Ten-year old mayor for Geldrop-Mierlo

Children's Mayor Annalot with Mayor Jos van Bree and Alderman Mathil Sanders next to her. Behind her Jesse Vorstenbosch, who sparked the initiative of a children's mayor.

On Thursday evening, Annalot van Neerven was installed as the first children’s mayor of Geldrop-Mierlo. The 10-year-old student of primary school Puur Sang in Mierlo – alongside the ‘adult’ Mayor Jos van Bree and Alderman Mathil Sanders – will fulfil ceremonial duties for a year.

Annelot speaks to the Studio040 reporter, composed and knows exactly what she wants. When her teacher in group 6 read the letter from the municipality, she immediately knew: ‘This is something for me!’. “I really wanted to, but then I started to have some doubts because I thought it was exciting. After all, you sometimes have to give a speech to a large group of people, and are in the spotlight more than usual.”

In the end, Annalot sent in her application, and she stood out for her motivation and good ideas. “My mission is to ensure that children play outside more often instead of spending the whole afternoon on the laptop or behind the PlayStation. That is why I also have an idea to organize a car-free Sunday, where a number of streets in Geldrop-Mierlo will be closed off, and children can play in the street


Alderman Mathil Sanders, who has youth care in her portfolio and acts as a kind of mentor to the children’s mayor, agrees: “Annalot has a clear opinion on certain matters and it is very nice to work with her. It is the first time that we have a children’s mayor and we try to involve her in as many things as possible. And together with the youth policy officer, she will work on further developing her project.”

Incidentally, Annalot is not the chairman of the youth council, which exists within the municipality of Geldrop-Mierlo, but there are plans to form a ‘children’s council’ with the children who have registered as candidates for children’s mayor. Sanders: “With this, we want to reward them a little for the fact that they have applied. Children are interested in politics and we think the municipality is very important.”

Learn from each other

After all, there is a lot of talk about youth issues, says Sanders; the children and young people also appear to have very good ideas. “Think of things like inclusiveness, culture, sports and games and more exercise. But also the desire to bring youth and the elderly together. It’s nice to have contact with older people, and we might also learn something from each other “, says Annalot, who is active in daily life playing trumpet and football.

After the summer holidays, things really get serious and Annalot can be found regularly at the town hall. “I’m really looking forward to going out with the mayor and meeting all kinds of people. Organizing the car-free Sunday routine is also high on my list.” And then she can also spend a day with Alderman Sanders at the ‘Day of the Children’s Mayors’.



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