I was co-opted on to the Parish Council in November 2013 by my fellow councillors and as well as being the newest member, my age (19 at time of joining) makes me the youngest councillor by quite a significant margin. I believe that my presence can help change the face and impression of our council. Having a young councillor who is keen to defend and express the needs of young people helps prove that we sincerely care about representing the demographics of our village.
I am aware of a general feeling of alienation and apathy within my age group and I therefore want to work to keep the youth of our local community engaged and fairly represented; it is essential for the youth of our village to know that we, as a council, think that they matter.
Because of my interest in working to benefit those of my age group, I have already become one third of a subcommittee which is working towards the creation of an activity map which will mark out different genres of walks suitable for all ages e.g. history trial, nature trial, and activity trial. We are hoping to collaborate with local primary schools in the making of this and I would also urge any talented art or graphic design students to get in touch and help us with the project.
As well as the role of being a Parish Councillor being rewarding on a short term basis, it has long-term benefits as I believe that the position helped me attain an unconditional offer to study Liberal Arts at Kings College. Being a councillor is also beneficial to my future as despite firm career goals having yet to be set, I would at some point like to become a politician. Although we avoid the talk of party politics, the politics of life that we deal with provides me with an invaluable step on a path that I am interested in exploring much further.
I would therefore highly recommend that other teenagers consider becoming a parish councillor as it comes with huge benefits and I would like to remind all young people that they are welcome to come and sit in on our meetings. For now though, if anybody has any suggestions as to how we as a council can help improve the village for the benefit of the young, then please get in touch- myself and my fellow councillors are keen to take all sensible suggestions seriously.
I would like to thank the council for taking me under their wing as I have thus far thoroughly enjoyed being part of their team and I look forward to our future projects.