A Young Mayor for the Olympics!

The Campaign Company (TCC) designed and pioneered the first Young Mayor election in Middlesbrough in 2002. Years later and there are now four Young Mayors in London, in the boroughs of Lewisham, Tower Hamlets, Newham and Lambeth.  Outside of London, you can find Young Mayors across the country, in Melton, Wyre Forest, Worthing, North Tyneside, Mansfield, Southend, and more.

The most recent Young Mayor election result was announced on 3 November. A total of 10,082 young people cast their vote and elected Abraham Male as the new Young Mayor of Newham – the host borough of the 2012 London Olympics. Abraham, 15, will be in office when the Olympic and Paralympic Games arrive in the borough next year. TCC were very proud to be involved in the project, providing candidate training.

The new Young Mayor received 1,055 votes and the turn out for this year’s election count was 43.37%, significantly higher than the 34.6% turnout at the 2006 Newham local Council elections! More details of the candidates and the election is here at the dedicated Young Mayor of Newham website.

Abraham Male - Young Mayor of Newham

Abraham Male - Young Mayor of Newham 2011/12

Hundreds of thousands of young people have taken part in these elections across the country. Turnout in these elections is regularly higher than the equivalent turnouts in adult elections; some of the most impressive examples being North Tyneside and Lewisham, with turnout reaching 59% and 53% respectively. Thus Young Mayor elections provide demonstrable examples of high levels of youth involvement.

TCC have extensive experience working with young people in a variety of different settings, ranging from youth councils to young citizen’s panels.  As part of the Young Mayor programme TCC can project manage the entire election process and also deliver candidate training.

In May 2008, TCC established the Young Mayor Network (YMN) which gives Young Mayors across the country the opportunity to support each other and come together with a view to getting their voices heard on a national stage. This has now merged with the British Youth Council to enable Young Mayors to contribute to wider UK youth issues.

In the next year we could see more local government  elected Mayors across the country as 12 cities hold referendums on whether to move to a Mayoral system. As a result we may also see more elected Young Mayors established to democratically represent young people to those elected Mayors.

Charlie Mansell is Research and Development Officer for The Campaign Company. Thanks go to Darran Martin at TCC for providing background to the Newham result. If you want to see what your own primary values set is, why not take the simple Values Questionnaire here.

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