Bristol elects its first ever Youth Mayors - and George Ferguson will work with them
LESS than three months after gaining its first ever elected mayor, Bristol now has two more.
Issi Trout and Ramal Royal were declared the city’s first ever youth mayors after a vote of 8,800 youngsters, aged 11 to 18, in polling stations across the city.
Bristol mayor George Ferguson immediately pledged to work closely with the two 16-year-olds and to take their views as seriously as any others he hears at City Hall.
Tonight's count at The Station, a youth centre in Silver Street, saw 24 members elected to the Bristol Youth Select Committee. The winners chose the two youth mayors from among themselves, along with six people to represent the city at the UK Youth Parliament.
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Issi, of Bishopston, a Year 11 pupil at Redland Green School, pledged in her manifesto to ensure young people’s views are represented at council meetings and the impact on the city’s youth is considered in making each decision.
She told The Post she would ask Mr Ferguson “to give us a stronger voice.”
She added: “I’m pleased he’s so interested and involved with helping young people. Hopefully he will support us.”
Ramal, of Easton, a student at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College in Brislington, pledged in his manifesto to get young people’s views across to the people in power and change their representation in the media.
He said: “I’m determined to deliver better for young people and represent them to the best of my ability.
“I really enjoy getting young people’s voices heard in my community. Now I’m a young mayor I can do it on a bigger level.”
The creation of youth mayors was one of Mr Ferguson’s manifesto pledges.
He invited Issi and Ramal to visit him at City Hall next week and said: “This was a key part of my vision.
“I’m really excited about the prospect of working with them.”
The 65-year-old said that when he consults with his youth mayors, “they will be absolutely on an equal level with anyone of any age or experience”.
In a speech to all of the candidates, he said: “This has been a real show of real democracy by Bristol’s young people.
“It was one of my key aims when I stood for mayor to engage with the youth community of Bristol.
“The youth community is what make Bristol a very, very special place in many ways.
“I want to bring young minds and young thinking to everything - to care for the elderly, to education, to transport, which I’m pleased you regard as an important issue.
“All of us involved in the running of this city are here because we want to make it a better world, not just for now but for the future.
“Let’s think together about the sort of Bristol we want.”
The turnout of 25 per cent among the 35,000 11 to 18-year-olds eligible to take part in the Bristol Big Youth Vote was close to the 28 per cent of adults who voted in November’s mayoral election, which saw Mr Ferguson take office.
At the count to welcome the Youth Parliament members into office were Bristol West MP Stephen Williams and Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy.
Bristol Big Youth Vote results
Elected to Bristol Youth Select Committee:
(North area) Ikky Amin, Jacob Burgess, Jess Caine, Aarabi Canagarajah, Theo Davies, Courey Detain Hawkins, Kane Graham, Tayib Kamran, Erin Patterson, Sanya Rajpal, Isobel Trout.
(South area) Nell Bailey, Imiee Barnard, John Gibby, Rowan Gibby, Christy Nunns, Sarah Lee Thomas, Dominic Weir.
(East Central area) Fatima Ahmed, Bethany Bartlett, Thanushan Jeyarajah, Rajni Mamgai, Vishal Mamgai, Ramal Royal.
Youth Parliament members: Theo Davies (deputy), Sanya Rajpal, Nell Bailey (deputy), Christy Nunns, Rajni Mamgai (deputy), Vishal Mamgai.
Youth mayors: Isobel Trout, Ramal Royal.