Croydon’s first Young Mayor election is under way after candidates officially launched their campaigns last night (Thursday 22 February).
A total of 28 candidates aged 14-17 are standing for election, competing to become the new ambassador for Croydon’s 37,800 young people – that’s one in 20 young Londoners.
They unveiled their manifestos at the Croydon Young Mayor launch last night, opened by Croydon’s Mayor, Councillor Toni Letts, and attended by candidates’ nominees, supporters, council leaders, members and officers. Information about the candidates, including their campaign issues and manifestos, can be viewed at http://www.croydon.gov.uk/youngmayor
Councillor Letts said: “I am delighted to launch Croydon’s first Young Mayor election. It is inspirational to see so many young people ready to get involved in local democracy and represent their peers. You all have an important role to play in our borough’s future and I wish you all every success.”
Last week, all candidates benefited from Croydon’s Young Mayor boot camp to equip them with essential skills for local politics. Having attended workshops ranging from public speaking to local democracy – and quizzed the council’s chief executive, Jo Negrini, on local issues from housing to highways – candidates are set for success.
Between now and the election, in three weeks’ time, candidates will attend two public question times – the first in the south of the borough, on 1 March at Christ Church, Purley. The second will be held in the north of the borough, on 8 March at Stanley Halls, South Norwood. The events are invitation only but anyone can submit questions through Twitter @Young_Croydon.
There will also be a campaign day in Croydon town centre on Saturday 10 March with further details announced nearer the time.
Voters aged 11-18 will head to the polling stations on 13 March, with the count taking place on the 14 March and the new Young Mayor announced on 15 March. Croydon Council’s executive director of resources and Section 151 officer will act as returning officer.
“It’s fantastic to see so many young people ready to stand up and be a voice for others – this is what our Choose Your Future campaign is all about. And with such high-calibre candidates, Croydon’s Young Mayor election is going to be a tough competition. All candidates, whether they win or not, are invited to become part of our youth forums and I hope they take the opportunity, as all of them have so much to contribute. Good luck to each and every one of you.”
Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning