Young people aged 11 to 19 have started voting in the biggest youth elections Lambeth has ever seen.
19 young people are standing as candidates in the elections, to become Lambeth’s new Youth Mayor or Member of the UK Youth Parliament.
Voting is taking place throughout February, in 19 school and college sites and 5 youth clubs around the borough, as well as online at http://www.YouthMayor4Lambeth.com.
Last week, candidates visited the Houses of Parliament to meet with local MPs Tessa Jowell and Chuka Umunna, where they discussed issues ranging from tuition fees, to crime and safety and the Olympics.
Once elected, the new Youth Mayor will receive a budget of £25,000 to help improve opportunities for young people in Lambeth, while the Member of Youth Parliament will join over 600 other Members from across the country to campaign on the issues that matter most to young people.
This year, Darren Tenkorang, Lambeth’s current Youth Mayor who will hand over to the new mayor on April 1, chose to allocate his youth mayor’s fund to a number of youth projects nominated by young people in Lambeth. These projects included:
- a film project at Code 7 in Oval
- a photography project at 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning in Herne Hill
- a boxing club at Lambeth Academy in Clapham
- a sailing trip for young people attending the Flipside project in Brixton
- a summer activity programme at the Knights Youth Centre in Streatham
- a youth club for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people at the Terrence Higgins Trust in Waterloo.
Darren, 16, said: “During my time as Youth Mayor I have been involved in a whole range of exciting projects and opportunities and I am looking forward to passing this responsibility to a new representative at the end of this year’s elections.
“Elections are only ever as successful as the people voting in them. It’s important for everyone to vote this February because it’s only by having a good turnout that we can be sure the right people get elected to the roles.”
Cllr Adedamola Aminu, Lambeth Council’s deputy cabinet member for young people, said: “It is really important that young people are involved in democracy from an early age and we want to get the largest number of young people possible involved in this vital election.
“Lambeth’s Youth Mayor gives the borough’s young people a voice, and a way of influencing decision-makers such as councillors, businesses, service-providers and the media, so it’s vital that young people make their voice heard.”
Tessa Jowell, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, added: “It was absolutely inspiring to meet Lambeth’s Youth Election candidates with my colleague Chuka Umunna MP. Every one of them was fired with a determination to make a positive difference in their community. I hope and believe that they will never lose that desire and I wish all the candidates well. I really look forward to working with them in the years ahead.”
For more information about all 19 Election candidates, visit http://www.YouthMayor4Lambeth.com and register to cast your vote before Friday 18 February.
Election results will be announced at a special event at Lambeth Town Hall on Monday 28 February.