Young Local Authority of the Year
Two rising stars have earned Kingston Council the title of Young Local Authority of the Year after taking part in a national competition that aims to develop and recognise the skills of young people in the early stages of their local government careers.
Grace Abel and Izzy Saunders, both members of the council’s Youth Network, impressed judges with their critical reasoning and exemplary communications skills. The pair excelled in each of the marked disciplines, fending off challenges from 25 other local authority teams to claim the title for Kingston.
Senior Policy Officer and graduate programme lead, Grace Abel, explained what was involved:
“There were three components to the competition. The first was a Pride of Place presentation, where we showcased Go Cycle; the second was our main argument where we spoke about the importance of living in the real world rather than online; and the third and final element was an ‘on the spot’ presentation, where we posed ourselves a question and answered without notes. We argued the case for carers receiving a pay rise.”
Business Support Officer, Izzy Saunders, said:
“We entered the competition for the experience. Grace and I both run the Youth Network together so it made sense to pair up. It has given me so much confidence in public speaking, and confidence in general. We put so much work in so it’s great it paid off.”
Judge, Kenneth Roy, Chairman of the Young Programme said:
“Grace and Izzy’s paper on the topic of social media and its disturbing impact on young lives was transformed by the exceptional quality of the writing. At once tender and angry, occasionally bordering on the lyrical, this quirky, well-crafted piece offered an ironical contrast to the dismal world which it revealed to us. First-class teamwork…brilliant audience eye contact…clear, confident delivery.”