‘I want to do everything I can to support young people’ – Newly elected Stevenage mayor says her teaching career and family life will set tone for her term of office
PUBLISHED: 12:20 18 May 2017 | UPDATED: 12:29 18 May 2017
A new Stevenage mayor and youth mayor have been elected to represent the town for the forthcoming year.
Members of Stevenage Borough Council elected Pam Stuart to replace outgoing mayor John Lloyd at a meeting at the council’s headquarters in Danestrete yesterday evening.
Councillor Ann Webb becomes deputy mayor and the new youth mayor is Santino de Freitas.
Pam has been a councillor for Chells ward since 1990, she was previously mayor of Stevenage in 2002 to 2003 and serves on the council’s overview and scrutiny, and licensing committees, as well as the environment and economy select committee.
She also represents the council on the Kadoma Link which develops relationships between Stevenage and its twin town in Zimbabwe.
A retired teacher, Pam taught at Round Diamond Primary School for more than 25 years and is now a governor at Camps Hill Community Primary School, and a member of the Children’s Centre Advisory Board.
She said: “It’s an honour to serve as mayor again and I’m looking forward to the next 12 months. As a teacher, a single mother and now a grandmother, I recognise and value the contribution young people make to society. During my year as Mayor, I want to do everything I can to support young people in achieving their full potential in all that they do.”
Pam, who lives in Chells, has three grandchildren and enjoys walking, swimming and going to live arts events as well as travelling to far flung parts of the world when time permits.
She says she is looking forward to supporting the many societies and voluntary groups in the town, and values the contribution made by them to the whole of the Stevenage community. She aims to attend as many events as she can and will be accompanied by her partner and consort, Tony Turner.
Santino de Freitas was inaugurated as Stevenage’s sixth youth mayor at Wednesday’s annual council meeting after being elected by young people from the town to replace outgoing youth mayor Emma Chapman.
Santino, 14, will work alongside Stevenage Youth Council to promote the interests of young people in the town. To help do this, he will be responsible for allocating a local youth budget of £3,300 to be spent on projects, organisations or charities suggested by other youngsters. Santino will also attend council meetings, take part in civic events and accompany the Mayor.
Santino is a pupil at The John Henry Newman School, and has been a member of Stevenage Youth Council since December 2015. As youth mayor, Santino hopes to help promote health and wellbeing, and in particular raise awareness of the increasing number of under-18s who experience mental health disorders in Stevenage.
Accepting the role, he said: “At least one child in 10 in Hertfordshire has a diagnosable mental health problem. Current support for children and young people is inadequate. I believe I can make a positive impact on helping the young people in Stevenage. Thank you to everyone for the support and for this huge opportunity.”
Clive Mathew, headteacher at John Henry Newman School, said: “The whole school is delighted for Santino and we wish him all the best for his year in office.”
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