First Youth Mayor for Broxbourne Elected

Broxbourne’s first Youth Mayor has been elected. The election took place on Wednesday 20 September by members of the Broxbourne Youth Council.

Tom Culley, who attends the Robert Barclay Academy in Hoddesdon and was the 2016-17 Chair of the Youth Council, was elected as Broxbourne’s Youth Mayor.

The Youth Mayor is a young person aged between 11-18 years, who is elected by young people to represent them. The Youth Mayor will attend Full Council meetings on behalf of the young people of the Borough and when invited, will contribute to issues impacting young people. The Youth Mayor will also produce an annual report on their work and chair the Broxbourne Youth Council, a politically neutral role.

Speaking of his proud achievement Tom Culley said: “I have been involved with Youth work for the Borough for quite some time now and it is with great pride that I will take on the role of Broxbourne’s first Youth Mayor. I am really looking forward to representing the young people in the Borough and adding value to existing and future projects.”

Leader of the Borough, Councillor Mark Mills-Bishop said: “As we work towards our 2020 corporate plan with our ‘We are Broxbourne’ motto in mind, I am delighted to see such a motivated young person step into this new role, which I am confident will help to improve our youth services, educational opportunities and quality of life for young people in the Borough. A commitment I made to put youth at the heart of the community”.

Youth Mayors can be found in a number of different authorities including Stevenage, Southend, Brighton and the London Boroughs of Newham, Hammersmith & Fulham and Lambeth.

Tom Culley was elected with over 50% of the votes. Also standing were Sakhara Dixon and Amy Flowers.

Sophie Barber, a John Warner School student, was elected as Deputy Youth Mayor.

Elections were also held for Cabinet positions within the Youth Council. The following were elected:

  • Cabinet Member for Transport - Sakhara Dixon (Robert Barclay Academy)
  • Cabinet Member for Schools and Education - Chloe Watson (Richard Hale School but resident in Hoddesdon)
  • Cabinet Member for Health - Luke Wheeler (The John Warner School)
  • Cabinet Member for Leisure and Social Life - Amy Flowers (Robert Barclay Academy)
  • Social Secretary - Chris Bakalis (The Broxbourne School)

The Broxbourne Youth Council is jointly facilitated by Broxbourne Borough Council’s Community Development Team, and YC Hertfordshire (formerly Youth Connexions). Fortnightly meetings are held at the Broxbourne Council offices in Cheshunt and all young people aged 11-18 years are welcome.

The Youth Council meetings usually have a guest speaker talking about services and issues relevant to young people. These have included the NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and MIND as the Youth Council has identified young people’s mental health as a key priority and has created a sub-group to look at the provision of services and support for young people’s emotional wellbeing.

Feedback from the Youth Council is sought by various agencies consulting on new developments and service redesign. The group also have social team building activities including a recent trip to the Lee Valley White Water Centre.

For further information, please contact the Youth Development Officer on 01992 785555 extension 5817 or access minutes from previous meetings on the Broxbourne Council website.

The Youth Mayor and the Youth Council are two means by which Broxbourne Council encourages young people to participate in community and civic life. Other opportunities include the annual Broxbourne Youth Awards (to be held on Friday 9 March 2018), the Mayor’s Cadet and the Mayoral Debate for Secondary Schools (to be held on Wednesday 22 November 2017).