Leeds girl, 10, is mayor for a day

Addressing a big political meeting is a daunting experience – especially when you are only ten years old.

But budding politician Emily Humphries took it all in her stride when she delivered her speech to a full meeting of Leeds City Council in the imposing surroundings of the Civic Hall.

In the council chamber where the walls bear famous names from the city's past, Emily – a symbol of the city's future – had her say.

Winner of the Mayor for a Day competition, she presented her manifesto about school hygiene to all 99 councillors.

A pupil at Bramley St Peter's Church of England Primary School, Emily's manifesto gained huge support last year when she presented it to the Lord Mayor, Coun Jim McKenna, along with nine other pupils looking to win the opportunity to be mayor for a day.

Her manifesto set out how Leeds could provide better hygiene facilities for children at school. Her ideas included competitions for pupils to design posters raise awareness about the importance of better hygiene and also to encourage schools to raise money for Water Aid.

And it was well received by the councillors who gave Emily an enthusiastic round of applause.

Coun McKenna said: "Emily presented her manifesto very well at the initial stage of the competition, and we were very impressed with her ideas and confidence about the issues she was discussing."

As part of Emily's prize, she has already accompanied the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress to the Leeds Christmas Lights switch on in November last year, where she met popstars Pixie Lott and McFly.

Mayor for a Day is an annual competition organised as part of Local Democracy Week, which is a national initiative to encourage young people to get more involved in local government, to understand what it does and how it affects their lives.

27 October 2017.
The view from the top of Leeds Town Hall.
Leeds Civic Hall.

21 ways we’d do it better: Leeds council opposition parties present action plan to avert budget ‘black hole’