‘Early-bird’ voting to elect the 4th Young Mayor of Tower Hamlets began this week to help students not living in the borough cast a vote.
The Young Mayor and deputies represent the views of the youth of Tower Hamlets. The elected candidate gets a chance to represent the borough on a regional and national level and work with young people in similar roles from across the country through the UK Youth Parliament and British Youth Council.
The selection is made by young people aged 11 to 18 living, working or studying in the borough.
Fifteen candidates are contesting for the post this year. Candidates were finalized after a preliminary round of online elections, where 6,386 votes were cast.
“The Early-Bird elections have proved to be very useful and we have had quite a few numbers of students come forward to cast their votes,” said a Tower Hamlets Council spokesperson.
Online campaigning for the election has been done through videos. Candidates have also laid out plans for the post on the council’s website.
Ferdousi Rahman, one of the candidates, aims to concentrate on stopping the negative stereotyping of teenagers in the borough if elected.
“As a young person in Tower Hamlets I have experienced the benefits of youth clubs and now I want to encourage all the teenagers to make use of these facilities as well,” said Hazira Begum, another candidate.
Uma Akhtar, the current Young Mayor, has encouraged the youth to have their say on multi-million pound plans to improve Victoria Park.
The Young Mayor is in office for one year and had a budget of £30,000 last year.
Election results will be announced at the Town Hall on January 21.