Voting opens for the Leeds Children’s Mayor: Childrens Mayor

01 Sep 2023

Voting opens for the Leeds Children’s Mayor

Children's services

Children and young people in the city are being encouraged to cast their vote in the election to decide the next Leeds Children’s Mayor.

The programme is now in its 20th year and Leeds was one of the first cities in the UK to elect a young mayor.

It is a unique opportunity for the city’s youngster to learn about democracy and voting whilst enabling and encouraging them to be more community-minded by considering how they could make improvements in their schools and local areas.

This year’s Leeds Children Mayor, Mason from Whitkirk Primary, in partnership with John Jamieson SILC, is now coming to the end of his successful term.

His achievements include holding a School Olympics Event, that was a key promise in his winning manifesto, which encouraged inclusion with children of all abilities coming together to take part in different types of sport and activities. He also played a leading role in welcoming the newly crowned King on his visit to Leeds.

All year five pupils across the city are asked to write a short manifesto each year, outlining ideas for how they would improve Leeds for young people.

Each primary school in Leeds is then able to submit one candidate, who are then shortlisted down to a final 12 by a panel of young people, based on their manifestos.

Children and young people aged 5 to 18 years old who live and/or go to school in Leeds have till 5pm on 25th September 2023 to cast their vote and can do so by visiting the pop up voting station in Leeds City Museum and Leeds Central Library or alternatively they can vote online at

The newly elected Children’s Mayor is set to be announced by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Al Garthwaite at a civic reception event on Thursday 5 October. Voting closes at 5pm on September 25. 

The 12 finalists this year are:



Manifesto Summary


Drighlington Primary School


Supporting good mental health by creating safe spaces and pupil champions in school to encourage people to share how they feel.


New Bewerley Community School


Create a Mental Health Day where we learn about the topic from professionals and families can have coffee mornings to share ideas and raise money for charities.


The Grammar School at Leeds


Create dedicated wellbeing spaces with equipment, mindful activities and nature walks for children to unwind and relax as well as a website for self-help and support from therapists.


Kippax Ash Tree Primary School


Create a Positive Powerful Voices campaign to tackle bullying by encouraging children to develop confidence through performances, debates and school events with positive role models.


Ireland Wood Primary School


Beat climate change through tree planting and community clean up events, creating a composting program and creating a community garden.


Great Preston Primary C of E School


Lets make art, music and sport more accessible for all kids through festivals, events and workshops in schools and across Leeds.


Bracken Edge Primary School


Helping to tackle poverty through community meals for families, free and reduced cost activities and fundraising events for local charities.


Hunslet Carr Primary School


Tackle poverty by creating school allotments to grow and share food with families and hold a fundraising event to raise money for food banks.


Stanningley Primary School


Create a Poverty Awareness Week where children can donate, volunteer at food distribution centres, plant fruit trees and promote kindness.


Thorner C of E Primary School


Create a 'school takeover day' where children can do their dream job. Schools can teach lessons on jobs, money management and profit to better prepare us for our future.


Bramley St. Peter’s C of E Primary School


Raising awareness of disability discrimination by make schools, clubs and playgrounds more fun and inclusive.


St Francis Catholic Primary School


Raising awareness of visible and hidden disabilities and young carers making spaces such as nurture rooms and play areas more accessible and inclusive for all.


The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Al Garthwaite said:

“I’m overwhelmed and thrilled by the number of children and schools who have once again taken part in this fantastic programme.

“They are an inspiration, not only to their peers and other children, but to me, and to anyone working to help make Leeds the best city to live in. The quality of the manifestos this year is exceptional, and I am looking forward to the finals night in October to find out who will be our next Children’s Mayor – and best of luck to all our finalists.”

Councillor Fiona Venner, executive member for children and families, said:

“One of our greatest ambitions is to make Leeds a more child friendly city and helping our children and young people to become active citizens with a real voice and influence is a key part of this.

“This year the manifestos are written on a wide range of issues all that would make a real impact on our city. The children’s mayor project shines a light on how kind, thoughtful and community minded children in the city are and I can’t wait until the finals night to meet the winner”.

To follow the progress of the Children’s Mayor on Twitter, please see @LSChildrenMayor


A brief history of the Leeds Children’s Mayor programme

As part of Local Democracy Week in 2003, the democratic services and children’s services teams in the council teamed up to launch the “Mayor for a Day” project. The aim was to encourage secondary school students to be more democratically aware and to vote in local and national elections when they turned 18. After seven successful years running the programme with high schools in the city, it was the turn of primary school children and in 2011, “Leeds Children’s Mayor” was born – complete with Children’s Mayor robes and their own chain-of-office, which was kindly supplied by Stoners Jewelers.

Since then, over 37,000 children and young people have voted and every elected Children’s Mayor has attended a full council meeting to read out their manifesto to the 99 city councillors. In addition to being supported by Leeds City Council to make their winning manifesto a reality, former children’s mayors have taken part in a huge range of activities including waving the starting flag at the Tour De Yorkshire, representing children at the Remembrance Sunday parade, switching on the Leeds Christmas Lights, taking the stage at Child Friendly Leeds Live! and much more.

For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team