THE new youth mayor of Southend has vowed to create a music festival in the area during his time in office.

Nathaniel Whitehouse was officially unveiled at full council meeting on Thursday.

The 16-year-old, from the King Edmund School, pledged: “My plan is to bring back the main drive of Southend, which is music.

“I’ll be creating a festival in Southend to give bands experience, and to encourage attraction to the area.”

Glyn Morgan, director of Maple Pro Audio and co-owner of Chinnerys in Southend, said: “The music scene in Southend has always been vibrant, it’s full of bands and artists, so this idea can only be a good thing.

“I’d like to see a fresh angle; artists which are indie like The Pale White. We also need more young blood.

“Having been in the industry for 30 years I’ve seen it change. At one point people didn’t go out to see live music, now it’s turning back around which could work in the favour of the festival.

“If it goes ahead, I think it could take the Southend music scene in a different direction.”

Colette Bailey, director of Metal, the group behind the Village Green Festival, said: “I think it’s fantastic to see such initiative and passion for the arts in Southend, it makes us proud to see.

“Metal supports young people in all kinds of disciplines, so we would be more than happy to offer Nathaniel any advice or pointers with the festival should he need it.

“There’s so much music and local talent across Southend, whether it’s open mic nights, young promoters, record labels, there will be so much for him to choose from.

“I would say to him to be clear about what you want to achieve, be prepared to learn, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

Some of Nathaniel’s other key ideas for his tenure are to increase train security and bag checks to help reduce knife crime. He also hopes to introduce an anti-bullying policy to the youth council, and will look at ways of promoting the authority to more youngsters across the borough.

He will serve in office until November 2019.

16, from the King Edmund School,