In an effort to create awareness of youth involvement in local governance, the Linden Mayor and Town Council (LMTC) has appointed a Junior Mayor and Junior Councillors.
According to a media release from the Depart-ment of Public Information (DPI), Junior Mayor, 18-year-old Devon Beckles, is a fourth form student at MC’ Educational Institute, a Linden private secondary school, and the Junior Councillors are fourth form students from various secondary schools.
The Junior Mayor and Councillors were appointed by the LMTC, following an invitation to students across Linden to compete for the positions, the DPI statement said.
The students were tasked with studying a booklet on local governance and submitting an essay to be judged by Councillors. The programme is geared towards equipping youths with the requisite skills and knowledge needed in the local government arena, such as making representations for youth development and speaking up for their constituencies.
“The main aim of the programme is having continuity in leadership at the local level. It was birthed out of the struggles the Councillors faced following Local Government Elections, entering without any prior training,” Mayor Waneka Arindell was quoted as saying, in the release.
Junior Mayor Beckles meets with Mayor Arindell twice a week, attends the Council’s monthly statutory meetings and social committee meetings where he can make representations. Beckles is currently working along with Arindell to create a student government package, which entails the framing of a student government body manual which will be presented to the Ministry of Education.