Schoolchildren step into civic shoes with the chance to become South Tyneside ‘Mayor for the day’

South Tyneside schoolchildren became ‘Mayor for the Day’ as part of the borough’s Local Democracy Fortnight.

By Hayley Lovely
Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 12:19 pm

Sonny and Laila from Westoe Crown Primary School were given a rare opportunity to don the chain of office as they took on the role to gain an insight into what it means to be the first citizens of the Borough, as well as learn first-hand how local democracy works.

The two pupils at Westoe Crown Primary School were collected by the official Civic Car and driven to South Shields Town Hall, where they were presented with their own Chains of Office from the ‘real’ Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor Pat Hay and Jean Copp.

The youngsters were then shown around some of the rooms in the historic Grade II Listed building, including the Council Chamber and the Mayor’s Parlour, where they took part in important Mayoral signings.

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Westoe Crown Primary School pupils Sonny (aged 8) and Laila (aged 9) undertake ‘official’ signings overseen by the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside and Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, Councillor Adam Ellison.

Sonny and Laila’s official engagements and duties also included a VIP visit to The Word, in South Shields town centre, and an official photograph.

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Cllr Hay, the Mayor said: “The Mayoress and I were delighted to welcome Sonny and Laila to South Shields Town Hall and give them an opportunity to step into our shoes for a few hours. They took on their Mayoral duties with such enthusiasm and professionalism.

“It is so refreshing to see our youngsters taking an interest in our roles and engaging in the workings of local democracy. It’s been wonderful talking to them about what happens in the town hall.

“We hope they enjoyed their time with us and will have wonderful memories of this experience to look back on in many years to come.”

Mayor for the Day was just one of a series of events and activities taking place as part of South Tyneside’s Local Democracy Fortnight.

Mr Price, Head Teacher of Westoe Crown Primary School, added: “The children were extremely excited to become Mayor and Mayoress for the day.

“Both children are school councillors so the experience of becoming mini-Mayor and Mayoress for the day has given them a small insight into what the role entails and a day in democracy fortnight that they’ll never forget.”

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