Wandsworth Appoints First Ever Youth Mayor

17-year-old Millie Quinn vows to give young people a voice

Sana Jafri, Millie Quinn and Favour Oniri

May 24, 2024

For the first time ever the Borough of Wandsworth has a Youth Mayor, 17-year-old Millie Quinn. She was chosen by members of the Wandsworth Youth Council.

She is studying for her A-levels and hopes to work in human rights. She is a youth councillor and a member of the Wandsworth Music Academy, playing viola and piano.

She says she is passionate about educating young people about the harm of sexual violence and to promote understanding of young people living with poor health.

Ms Quinn said, “Young people represent nearly 20 per cent of Wandsworth’s population and I believe their voices are needed to make this a more inclusive, innovative and fairer borough. Policies about young people should not be made without us.”

The Deputy Youth Mayor is Favour Oniri who has an interest in education, community engagement, child poverty and young people’s mental health.

Last year’s Deputy Mayor Cllr Sana Jafri has been chosen to be the new Mayor of Wandsworth. She is an immigration lawyer and a mum of two who was born in Tooting and still lives there. She volunteers with local youth groups and charities, campaigns for equality and human rights and has raised funds for St George’s Hospital.

She said, “I’m proud to be the first Pakistani Muslim mayor. My faith will be an important part of my Mayoral year because I want to change the narrative about being a Muslim in Wandsworth. Yes there are some bad people but that’s not what we are – we are taught to look after each other, support charity and do good.

“As a mother I want to be a great role model for my children and I want to show young Muslim women that it’s important for us to be out there achieving. I’ve been through hard times in my life, but it’s been about having focus and knowing what my end goal is.

“This community has always been my home. My year as Deputy Mayor has been amazing and I had a great time bonding with different groups and helping to raise awareness of the many smaller organisations that together do so much for Wandsworth. I’m really looking forward to the coming year.”

Deputy Mayor is retired architect and East Putney councillor Finna Ayres who is interested in urban planning, affordable housing and accessibility issues.

The Mayor has chosen three charities to support during her Mayoral year: HomeStart Wandsworth, Rackets Cubed and Tooting Community Kitchen.

Council leader Simon Hogg has confirmed his Cabinet team will remain unchanged and will to be supported by Policy Champions in helping to deliver policies.

Councillor Hogg said he and his senior colleagues have formed a new leadership ‘Team Wandsworth’ adding , “Team Wandsworth is determined to deliver for our residents and businesses. We are committed to putting our communities at the front and centre of everything we do.”

The council’s cabinet of leading members comprises the following councillors:

Council Leader - Simon Hogg
Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Business, Voluntary Services and Culture - Kemi Akinola
Cabinet Member for Health - Graeme Henderson
Cabinet Member for Transport - Jenny Yates
Cabinet Member for Housing - Aydin Dikerdem
Cabinet Member for Children - Kate Stock
Cabinet Member for Environment - Judi Gasser
Cabinet Member for Finance – Angela Ireland
The Policy Champions will support the Cabinet in raising awareness of their specific roles and responsibilities, engage with local stakeholders, research innovative new ideas and evaluate relevant work in other boroughs.

There are three new faces in this list of champions, who will be focusing on new priorities for the administration. They will promote and enhance the council’s work on safer streets, high streets and Wandsworth’s role as London Borough of Culture 2025.

The full list of champions is:

Refugees Champion – Sarmila Varatharaj.
Safer Streets Champion – Sean Lawless.
Borough of Culture Champion – Jessica Lee.
Active Travel Champion – Jack Mayorcas.
Tenants Champion– Matthew Tiller.
Families Champion - Sarah Davies.
Conservation and Heritage Champion – Rex Osborn.
High Streets Champion – Jo Rigby.

The council has also confirmed the senior councillors who will chair the town hall’s important Overview and Scrutiny Committees. These committees give councillors the chance to comment, question and analyse council policy.

Wandsworth’s committee chairpersons are as follows:

Health Committee – Lizzy Dobres
Environment Committee – Jamie Colclough
Transport Committee – Clare Fraser
Children’s Committee – Sheila Boswell
Finance Committee - Annamarie Critchard
Housing Committee – Paul White
Planning Applications Committee – Tony Belton
Regulatory Licensing Committee - Maurice McLeod
General Purposes Committee - Rex Osborn

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