Voting has begun as local young people are set to choose their first ever mayor.
Pictured are pupils at Phoenix High School in White City casting their votes this week during their lunch break after the candidates revealed their election platforms (full list of candidates is below).
The youth mayor scheme was introduced to give young people a formal role at the heart of the council, enabling them to properly scrutinise and improve the services they receive.
“We have some fantastic candidates who have a real passion for politics and a drive to make a difference,” said Cllr Sue Macmillan, H&F Cabinet Member for Children and Education.
“I urge all local young people to listen to what they have to say and choose the candidates who they want to represent them – this chance only takes place once a year.”
The voting is being held in schools, youth clubs and community centres throughout the borough.
The election for the young mayor will be held at the same time as the vote for the borough’s member of youth parliament.
All young people aged 11 to 18 who attend the borough’s schools will be able to cast their vote for both elections on the same day. The runner-up in each vote will become the deputy to the young mayor or youth MP.
The young mayor and their deputy will represent young people in H&F and will champion their local campaigns. They will accompany the mayor at events, lead H&F’s youth strategy and lead local consultations.
There are four candidates for the role:
Lyeba, 15, goes to Fulham Cross Girl’s School. She loves to draw and bake.
“I am just an ordinary(ish) girl and feel I can represent the young people in this borough, she said.
“I want to be young mayor because I think I can help make things better for young people. There are things that need to change and I acknowledge that, but I also have realistic goals that can be achievable with the hard work I will put in.”
Aminata Koroma, 15, lives in White City and goes to Phoenix High School.
In her spare time she enjoys playing football, reading and using social media.
“I should be the youth mayor of Hammersmith & Fulham as I will do everything I can to make sure young people’s voices are heard.”
Nicolas, 16, attends Burlington Danes Academy.
“I like playing basketball and rugby and socialising with my friends and family,” he said.
“I'm already involved in the youth council and it's a great opportunity to be able to do something to help young people in my community. I think I should be youth mayor because I would like to get even more involved in the community and help young people achieve their dreams.”
Joshua Yirenkyi Owuraku
Joshua, 15, goes to Hurlingham Academy.
“I’m funny, smart, kind, caring and one amazing guy who is positive at all times,” he said.
“I would say I am organised and know what I am doing and a very good listener and good at helping people fix things.
“I feel I’m an excellent person to represent all young people here in H&F. I have been a leader before and have a lot of skills and I am a very good listener and speaker and I know what it takes to make things happen.”
The H&F member of youth parliament and their deputy will head up the borough’s youth council, represent the voice of the borough’s young people at the UK Youth Parliament and lead local campaigns.
There are six candidates standing for the role:
Shan, 15, attends Fulham Cross Girls’ school.
Shan is a Kurdish activist and supporter of anything based on the grounds of equality. She enjoys debating, writing and working with numbers. Also, reading books such as 1984 by George Orwell and The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steven Peters, as well as watching TV shows from the likes of Empire, to Reign, to Mr Robot.
She says she is keen to get involved in local and national politics and is willing to actively listen to the experiences and thoughts of others.
Shan wants to be H&F’s MYP because she wants to have an impact on the ways in which the youth are able to express themselves both locally and nationally.
“I intend to be the voice for those in H&F who are not able to put their own across,” she said.
Fred, 15, has lived in H&F all his life
“The reason I want to become the MYP for the borough is simple,” he said. I want to make a big, but realistic difference in this area, and encourage young people to express their ideas and opinions.
“If elected, I would never stop campaigning and arguing for the beliefs of young people in the area.”
Jasneet, 15, of Hammersmith, goes to Fulham Cross Girls’ School.
Her hobbies include reading, politics, debating and socialising with friends.
She believes she would make a great MYP because she is hardworking, responsible, organised, friendly and approachable.
Salsabeel, 16, of Fulham, goes to Fulham Cross Girls’ School.
Her hobbies include ballet, representing her school in sport tournaments, politics and having a good debate.
“As a student I am ambitious, proactive and acquire many well-rounded roles and responsibilities within the school,” she said.
“As a leader I feel strongly about listening to all those with individual and unique ideas taking all into consideration for a final outcome. I am highly motivated and dedicated to earn the trust of those I lead.
“I’m very enthusiastic about representing the young people of H&F, willing to go the extra mile, undergoing all the challenges in my way and making an e-mail in which we can communicate to make sure your voice is heard as I have the confidence to present to the decision makers.”
Huma Sindhu, 15, attends Fulham cross Girls' school.
Huma says she is hardworking, determined and devoted to making change for young people
“I will act upon the changes you wish to see and morph them into action plans,” she said.
“I'll hear and empower your voices and work together with young people to make change.”
Johnley is 17 and goes to Burlington Danes Academy.
He enjoys debating controversial topics and watching legal dramas on Netflix. He is interested in learning more about the law and how to film like a professional.
“There comes a time in your life when you’ve seen enough to navigate around the world,” he said.
“I’ve been in the youth council for three years. I’ve seen others develop and change the world involving us, the future of this world.
“I’ve engaged with burning issues you all have voiced under amazing leadership of the previous MYPs and DMYPs. There comes a time when I need to step up and take control.
“That time is now. With my past experiences and resilience to fully campaign for your wellbeing in the future, I believe I am the best candidate for the MYP for H&F.”