Candidates vie for vote in Stevenage youth mayor elections

Stephen Mitchell

Stephen Mitchell - Credit: Archant

Two would be politicians are vying for the votes of Stevenage youngsters in the campaign to be the town’s next youth mayor.

Santino De Freitas

Santino De Freitas - Credit: Archant

Voting for the contest to replace current youth mayor – 11-year-old Emma Chapman, began on March 15 and closes on Wednesday.

The candidate who receives the most votes will be elected Stevenage youth mayor 2017/18 with the election result announced on April 26 to Stevenage Youth Council.

Candidate Stephen Mitchell, 13, told the Comet he aims to make ‘positive changes’ in the interests of young people.

He said: “I’d like to promote Stevenage as there’s something for everyone.

“I’d like to reduce the amount of litter in Stevenage – I’d raise awareness in schools and hold clean-up events where possible.

“I’d introduce Stevenage Youth Council suggestion boxes in schools so that the voices of a broader group of people could be heard. I’d also like to increase youth council membership.”

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His rival, Santino De Freitas, 14, said he’s committed to raising concerns that affect young people and sharing them with his peers and adults too.

He said: “I will work hard alongside Stevenage Youth Council to get our voices heard.

“I want to help promote health and wellbeing in young people. I do not think we have enough support and information on these important issues.”

Votes can be made online here. If assistance is needed to vote this can be arranged by calling 01438 242913 or emailing youthcouncil@stevenage.gov.uk. Youth mayors attend council meetings and civic events, and accompany the town’s mayor and deputy mayor at some youth-orientated events.

They also hold a non-voting seat at Stevenage Borough Council meetings and work with Stevenage Youth Council to help to promote the interests of young people regardless of ability, gender, religion, sexuality, ethnicity and class.

Youth mayors have a £3,300 budget to support a youth-related community project, organisation, charity or local group.