Lambeth’s Youth Mayor – taking on twitter
Taking over the Lambeth Council twitter page was a fantastic experience. Upon my arrival I felt very apprehensive about what types of questions I would receive. I began to ask myself: what would people ask, would they be disappointed about my delayed arrival, would they criticise my every response, would they be responsive, would the public even respond to my tweets… would I be taken seriously?!
People had real concerns about youth provision, low youth turnout, young people’s involvement in strategic planning and even my plans as Youth Mayor gave me a real sense of pride. I became proud that people in my borough share the same passion and enthusiasm for these issues as I do. There was a real sense of online community, a willingness to change things for the better, together.
Overall, the twitter take over was a great experience. I believe it’s something that should be replicated with members of the council. Politics has definitely lost its touch, politicians are so busy toeing the party line and trying not to step out of line that they lose a fundamental aspect of politics. Being real.
What I’ve learnt from the twitter takeover is that people want some authenticity, even if that means disagreeing with their opinions. There’s definitely a deeper issue here at hand, one far beyond just a young person taking over the council twitter page for a couple of hours.
The issue is that people want real answers from real people, not a party manifesto or generic ‘safe’ statements that aim to result in electoral success. That’s why this method of reaching out to people is effective – it’s free from bureaucracy and very direct. We need more of it.
Are you 11-19 years old and want to have your say in Lambeth? Join the Youth Council
Here’s the full discussion from yesterday’s twitter takeover. If you have any questions or want to add to the discussion, feel free to comment at the end of the article.