Last year (2015) turned out to be quite a year for Bradley Stoke resident Neha Mehta, an A-level student at The Red Maids’ School. It started with her being elected Bristol Youth Mayor in February, saw her achieve a straight set of A* grades at GCSE in August and ended with a BBC television appearance!
After a whirlwind year as Youth Mayor, it was hard for Neha to think of the main highlights but, she said, “Sitting on the Learning City Partnership Board, chaired by Bristol Mayor George Ferguson and the Vice-Chancellor of UWE was certainly one of them. The group aims to make Bristol a ‘City of Learning’ for all ages, not just young people in full time education and I really support that ethos.”
In November, Neha attended the Mayor’s Annual Lecture where George Ferguson spoke about the future of Bristol and the impact of the city’s status as the 2015 Green Capital of Europe. Neha herself then addressed the audience, speaking of her efforts to continue the Green Capital legacy and her vision of what she hopes Bristol will look like in 2020.
Another highlight was attending the annual sitting of the Youth Parliament at Exeter University in July and also attending the Business Summit for Bristol as the Green Capital in October.
“Attending these meetings and events has given me a real insight into the democratic process involved when making decisions about the future of our city.”
Then, in December, to end what has been an incredible year, Neha appeared on BBC1 when she was interviewed for the Sunday Politics Show. She appeared alongside an MP and a Baroness to discuss whether or not 16-year-olds should have the vote. Not surprisingly she argued quite convincingly that they should!
With her term of office almost at an end, we asked Neha what had been the best thing about being Youth Mayor. Without hesitation she answered: “Giving back to Bristol,” adding, “I have loved working with different Bristol communities and I do feel like I’ve made a difference.”
Main photo: Neha on the set of the BBC Politics Show West. L-r: James Grey MP, Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, Neha Mehta and David Garmston.
This article originally appeared in the January 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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