A Seaford teenager has become the youngest councillor in the UK after winning a seat in last week’s by-election.
Isabelle Murray secured a seat on Seaford Town Council after the re-run of the central ward vote last week and, at just 18 years old, the Liberal Democrat becomes the youngest councillor in the country.
The vote for the central ward had to be re-run after newly-elected Conservative councillor Gary Bedford didn’t take up his seat on the council, failing to sign his declaration of office in the necessary time-scale without asking for an extension.
Isabelle, who was too young to be a candidate in the original vote in May, put her name forward for the rescheduled by-election, which took place on Thursday, July 23.
Cllr Murray said: “I was delighted to be elected as councillor for the Seaford central ward of Seaford Town Council.
“In the previous election, in May this year, I was not old enough to stand and therefore missed out. However, when I found out that a by-election was taking place, I jumped at the opportunity.
“I’ve always been active with helping the local community. Throughout my schooling at Seaford Head, I was deputy head girl and chair of the student council. Then, at sixth form in Brighton, I couldn’t resist making a difference so became part of the student council there.
“Now that I am on the town council, my main aim is to bring my knowledge of young people’s concerns. In the campaign, I stood for three main points: stopping anti-social behaviour, more facilities for young people and fighting for affordable housing.
“I believe all three of these require bringing together all ages to find solutions. I would like to build strong connections with the Young Mayor of Seaford, allowing young people’s voice to be heard more.
“I believe I won due to the dedication of the local Lib Dem councillors, everybody that volunteered to help with the campaign and, of course, the supporters. I’m very proud to have joined such a caring and hard-working team. I would like to say thank you to everyone who voted for me.”
The Liberal Democrat victory means the Conservatives lost overall control of the council. Seaford Town Council is now made up of ten Conservative councillors, seven Liberal Democrats and one councillor each for UKIP, Labour and Independents.
Cllr Adam Maclean, Leader of the Lib Dem Group on Seaford Town Council, said: “This shows the Lib Dem fightback is well under way. We had a great response on the doorstep and our supporters were pleased to see us back on the streets campaigning hard.”
To view the vote results, click here.
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