Teenager Tina’s election bid
SHE celebrated her 18th birthday just a few weeks ago.
But on May 6, Tina Ross could find herself representing the electors of Abbeygate ward in Bury St Edmunds.
Miss Ross, who is a sixth former at King Edward VI School in Bury and who is already the chairman of the town’s Youth Council, is standing as the Labour candidate for Abbeygate in May 5’s St Edmundsbury Borough Council elections.
With her birthday in February, she will become one of the youngest people ever to stand in an election.
It is a challenge she is relishing. “I’ve done quite a bit of work with young people,” she said. “Now I want to work people of all ages. I’ve been involved in politics for quite a while – though I only joined the Labour Party after last year’s General Election.
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“Age is not important. You are going to do a good job whether you are old or young.
“I live in Bury, I think it is a great place to live and I want to make it even better.
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Miss Ross, who is studying A Level politics, history and general studies, and who plans to study international politics at Brunel University, said many young people were actively interested in politics and the communities around them.
However, she believes there is possibly a resurgence in young people’s interest in national politics – in part because of changes to university tuition fees.
She said: “I don’t think there’s ever been a halt in interest. Young people have always been interested in issues that concern them. National politics, however, has perhaps been seen by young people as a bit removed. Not anymore.”
Her headteacher Geoff Barton said: “Tina has been a natural leader since she joined us in year nine.
“She coached our Young Magistrates team to great success and ran last year’s school election, which gripped the student population and made the general election come alive across the school.
“She is one of those people who doesn’t just talk about getting things done: she gets them done. She’s just the kind of person local politics needs. We wish her every success.”
n The other candidates for the Abbeygate ward are Paul Farmer (Con)*, Pippa Judd (Green), Chris Lale (LD), Richard Rout (Con)* and Tom Stebbing (Lab) (* denotes sitting councillors).