Children's mayor Charlotte Williams gives her bike manifesto

Children’s Mayor Charlotte Williams with councillor Judith Blake

Children’s Mayor Charlotte Williams with councillor Judith Blake

First published in Local news Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A schoolgirl mayor who wants to get young people on their bikes presented her manifesto to councillors.

The children’s mayor, ten-year-old Charlotte Williams, explained her ideas to a meeting of Leeds City Council.

Charlotte, from Rufford Park Primary School in Yeadon won high office after her manifesto was voted the favourite out of the finalists in a Leeds-wide competition.

She attended a full council meeting last week with three of her school friends and explained her idea to promote cycling to young people across the city.

Each of the manifestos submitted to the competition, which was held throughout October last year, had to be based on one of 12 wishes for Leeds to become a child friendly city.

Called, ‘Life Cycle of Leeds’ Charlotte’s manifesto aims to promote cycling to children and was inspired by Paralympian cyclist Dame Sarah Storey.

As well as wanting to improve cycle access to places like schools, leisure centres and the city centre, Charlotte also proposes to provide safe areas to lock-up bikes and ‘borrow-a-bike’ schemes.

“In her manifesto she also considers how she could raise money for the project.

She said: “It was a little bit scary to read my manifesto in front of so many people, but it was great too.

“I hope that the councillors will listen to my ideas and more people in the city will start cycling.”

Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun Thomas Murray said: “The children’s mayor competition is a great way for local government to interact and engage with children, teaching them the importance of local government and what it is we do.

“Charlotte’s manifesto has really got us all thinking about how we can put her ideas into action.”

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said: “Charlotte did a fantastic job presenting her manifesto to all of the councillors – it must have been very daunting.”

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