YOUNG VOICES: ‘Leeds does not need a Boris’

Mayor of London Boris Johnson
Mayor of London Boris Johnson
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Young reporter Mia Sudbury shares her thoughts on why she thinks Leeds does not need an elected mayor.

Two years ago, 107,910 citizens of Leeds voted NO for an elected Mayor.

Even so, Chancellor George Osborne has proposed having a London-style Mayor for Leeds and other northern cities such as Manchester. He has promised “serious” money to the cities that agree to have a Mayor.

Osborne said bringing the North’s cities together to create a “powerhouse” could help reduce and rebalance the UK economy away from the South East.

If this happens, he suggests the next high speed rail link could connect Leeds and Manchester and this would help link together his “powerhouse”.

Many children in my year at school know who Boris Johnson is and some people may think that such a figure will give a higher profile to Leeds.

However, I don’t think that Leeds should trust all of its power in one person; I think that power is better shared.

If the people of Leeds felt they needed a Mayor, then they would have voted yes two years ago.

Leeds is managing without a “Boris Johnson” at the moment, and I don’t think that we will need one in the near future.

What people want to see is that a person understands a city - there’s a real danger that we could end up with a celebrity standing as a mayor.

It seems an elected Mayor is better suited for a city like London, not Leeds.

I think awareness needs be raised amongst children about the role of local politics in their lives as it shapes - and will continue to shape - their lives on a daily basis.

The Well-Bean Cafe. Picture credit: Endless Creative.

Leeds’ Well-Bean cafe supporting people in mental health crises