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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 October, 2004, 09:41 GMT 10:41 UK
Pupils pick city's 'young mayor'
Primary school children in Cumbria are getting a taste of the hustings in an election for a "young mayor".

Schools in Carlisle have been casting votes for their favourite candidates to put forward for a special ceremony at the city's civic centre.

The "election" marks the beginning of Local Democracy Week on 18 October. The event, organised by Carlisle City Council, gives year six pupils (aged nine and 10) the chance to become young mayor for a week.

Competitive voting campaigns have been taking place in Brook Street, Yewdale and Hayton primary schools.

Each school has elected one candidate to go forward to the final stage of the election, to be held at the civic centre on 18 October.

'Great opportunity'

Council leader Mike Mitchelson said: "Local Democracy Week highlights how local people can get involved in the decision making process.

"We are aiming to encourage youth involvement and the Young Mayor initiative is a great opportunity for young people to get directly involved in council activities."

On Monday an invited audience of young people, council members and teachers will listen to the final candidates' manifestos.

The candidates and their fellow pupils will vote in a secret ballot for their preferred young mayor.

The winner will shadow Carlisle's own mayor Ralph Aldersey at engagements planned for the rest of Local Democracy week.

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