New Leeds Children’s Mayor Hannah Begum, 10, has started as she intended to go on with a rousing speech in front of the city’s councillors.
The Hunslet Moor Primary School student recently presented her personal manifesto to councillors in a bid to promote community cohesion, British values and her personal mission - the “global families of Leeds” project.
The scheme aims to promote interaction between children from different parts of the city and different backgrounds who would never usually meet.
She told councillors: “Sometimes there are stereotypes of where you live, so my project would give the perfect platform for children and young people to feel safe, ask questions, and learn about respecting other cultures, religions and beliefs in a safe environment.
“My project would tie into the UN rights of the child, learning about tolerance and understanding, as well as underpinning the Government’s work on British values.”
Hannah comes from what may well be an influential political family of the future. Her cousin Shamim Miah is already a youth MP for Leeds, and was there to watch her launch her year in office.
Hannah, who wants to be a doctor, said in her manifesto: “The aim would be for children and young people in Leeds to have more opportunities to interact with each other through the existing youth and community groups, after school clubs and faith groups.
“I used to attend a youth group to meet loads of new people and visit Cadbury World and even the set of Coronation Street.
“My group had to shut down due to lack of funding so I feel really passionate about setting up these groups again.
“My community is very transient with many new families coming from all over the world.”
She added: “I love Leeds and feel proud to be a ‘Yorkshire lass’.
“It is a fantastic city and my project would make it even better for children and young people.”
Twelve school children are campaigning to become the new Leeds Children’s Mayor.
The competition saw a record number of entrants with 36 city primary schools submitting their best manifestos.
Pupils in year six penned a short manifesto on how they would improve the city if they became the children’s mayor.
It had to be based on one of the city’s 12 Child Friendly Leeds wishes.