Young people quiz Mayor in Democracy Week

Young people from across Hackney quizzed the Mayor on everything from mental health to education at a meeting to mark Democracy Week.

Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville invited representatives from Hackney Youth Parliament and The Petchey Academy to his office on Thursday 12 October, where they discussed their concerns and some of the issues that interest them.

Many of the young people were keen to see a change in the law to allow 16-year-olds to vote. Other topics up for debate were schools funding, tackling gang crime, support for young people with disabilities and the Grenfell Tower fire.

Srdjan Milivokevic, who studies at The Petchey Academy, told the Mayor he thought schools should teach more life skills, such as how to budget and manage bills.

Skye Fitzgerald-McShane, a member of Hackney Youth Parliament, asked about what is being done to ensure the mental health of young people in the borough, which sparked discussion about support in schools and how exam stress and anxiety can affect young people.

The Mayor said: “I enjoyed meeting such an engaged group of young people and it was really valuable to find out what’s important to them at the moment and how they see life in the borough. Their thoughts and questions – along with the work of the Youth Parliament – help to shape policies across the Council.

“I was particularly interested to hear how passionate they were about votes for 16-year-olds and how concerned they are about schools funding. I’d like to thank them for coming and I hope they found it as useful as I did.”