EXCLUSIVE: 20-year-old Barnsley student running for South Yorkshire Mayor

Written by Sophie Watson

Dominic Jones, 20-years-old, is the youngest candidate running to be Labour’s new South Yorkshire Mayor.

Born in Barnsley, Jones hopes to “collectively build a more positive future for South Yorkshire”, focusing on improving the needs of young people and the future generations in the region.

As a final year politics student at Liverpool University, Jones believes his involvement in Youth Parliament as well as representing the UK at the G7 Summit this year, will help his campaign.

Jones’ said: “South Yorkshire is where I’m from, it is where my heart is. The region has shaped my voice and was my childhood and I want it to shape my future as well.”

His campaign proposal, set out as a nine point plan, focuses on three key aims. These include, improving the transport network in the region, offering more opportunities for good jobs and skills development in South Yorkshire and tackling the local impact of climate change.

Under the transport section of his manifesto, Jones aims to continue concessions for young people by protecting and promoting the Zoom Concessionary Pass, which allows people under 21 to access 80p singles on buses and trams.

He wants to implement increased accessibility on transport across the region and enhance staff training so everyone can utilise public transport in South Yorkshire. Finally, he hopes to introduce more active travel initiatives by encouraging people to walk and cycle instead of using the car.

To offer more job opportunities to the current and future generation of young people, Jones will work with local and regional partners in South Yorkshire to promote good standards and conditions in the workplace. He wants to introduce a ‘Young People’s Promise’ ensuring that every young person under 25 has access to a job, training or apprenticeship within six months of being out of work.

Lastly, Jones hopes to boast South Yorkshire’s ‘Community of Culture’, by choosing a different community every year in the region, to showcase the history and culture of their home.

“South Yorkshire needs to be the best place to grow up in. Good jobs and opportunities for skills development are a big part of this”, Jones said.

“I can bring my own experience as well as the insight of young people.”

To tackle the local impact of climate change, Jones’ proposals will work towards the plan of being a Net Zero region by 2040 with significant progress made by 2030. He wants to ensure all funded projects in the region not only have a social impact but an environmental one as well. Finally he wants to introduce green jobs to help reach the Net Zero target.

“Climate change is really an emergency. My climate proposals are about looking at what we can do to make an impact quickly.

“I want to ensure our low carbon future starts and is generated locally here in South Yorkshire”, said Jones.

Dominic Jones slogan for this year’s campaign is “Collectively we can build a more positive future for South Yorkshire.”

Alongside his politics degree, Jones is heavily involved in Youth parliament. As a member of the organisation, Jones encouraged 11,000 people in Barnsley alone to participate in the Make Your Mark scheme, the biggest referendum of young people in the country.

He was also one of the four UK representatives at the G7 Summit held in Cornwall in June.

At the summit, he helped to put young people at the forefront of discussions and helped make sure the topic of mental health featured in the final leaders communicate.

Jones believes his age differentiates him from the six other candidates running for Mayor and wants to help to ensure young people and young workers are the consideration of the future.

Written by Sophie Watson

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