Hailsham Youth Mayor election

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THE closing date for all nominations to become Hailsham’s first Youth Mayor closes tomorrow, April 27.

Hailsham’s first Youth Mayor election campaign was officially launched on April 20, ahead of the Annual Meeting of Hailsham Town Council in mid May.

Young people aged 16-18 who live in Hailsham and complete an online nomination form will be eligible to become Youth Mayor.

Charlotte Collinson, oversight councillor for Youth Projects at Hailsham Town Council, has worked hard to get the initiative off the ground. The role will provide a focus and a channel for young people’s views to be heard by decision makers in the local community.

Young people in Hailsham currently have representation via the Hailsham Youth Council, which was re-launched in 2010, but town councillors want to recognise the potential that young people have to offer the town further by establishing the Youth Mayor post.

Cllr Collinson said: “Hailsham Town Council has a history of encouraging children and young people’s participation in local democracy thanks to the strong commitment of the Youth Council since its launch in 2010 - and of course to the Council’s dedicated youth project staff. So why not have a democratically elected Youth Mayor to act as official spokesperson for the young people of Hailsham?”

The Mayor of Hailsham, Cllr Jeff Bentley-Astor, who met with youth councillors and staff to help organise the election said: “Tens of thousands of young people have voted in youth elections in other towns in the South East and the Youth Mayors have really felt that they are making a valuable contribution to the local community.

“Whilst our Youth Council already offers an excellent way for young people in Hailsham and surrounding villages to make themselves heard, the introduction of a Youth Mayor and civic leader will help make a bigger impact, wider decision making power and a real opportunity to shape and influence local policy on all issues affecting young people locally.

“I am looking forward to working with my colleagues on the election campaign in the coming weeks.”

What will the remit of the Youth Mayor be?

The Youth Mayor will serve a one-year term and will:

• Represent the interests of Hailsham’s young people to the Town Mayor,

councillors, businesses, the wider community and other public service providers

• Represent all of Hailsham’s young people and their interests regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, class or sexuality.

• Be a part of Hailsham Youth Council and consult closely with young people at large to build a greater understanding of young people’s needs

• Promote the interests of Hailsham’s young people to Hailsham residents and externally

• Attend events of interest and importance to young people in Hailsham Town Council Investigate and initiate projects and schemes for young people

• Offer advice and help to town council members and officers on developing services and facilities for young people in Hailsham.

Nominations the closing date for all entries is Friday 27th April.

Nominees will need to complete a form including a photo and statement about why they should become Youth Mayor of Hailsham and be able to provide the names, addresses and signatures of 10 young people aged 11-17 years

who support your nomination.

Nomination forms are available to download from www.hailshamtc. gov.uk/youthmayor.html and are also available via Hailsham Community College.