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West Wickham teen running in local elections advises others to ‘go for it’

PUBLISHED: 16:00 26 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:49 26 April 2018

James is hoping to become the youngest ever councillor in the borough in next week’s elections. Picture: Daniel Brown

James is hoping to become the youngest ever councillor in the borough in next week’s elections. Picture: Daniel Brown

Archant

An 18-year-old from Bromley is hoping to become the youngest ever councillor in the borough in next week’s Local Elections.

James Spencer-Boyce is running in the West Wickham Ward for the Liberal Democrats.

He said: “I have a passion for politics and the local community.

“I love West Wickham, the place I have called home all my life.

“I feel there is not enough dialogue between councillors and constituents and I hope to stand up for West Wickham residents on the Bromley Council to make things better for everyone.”

James’s interest in politics was further sparked after the 2015 general election, and the Brexit vote also inspired him to get involved.

He added: “I think the most important factor is hearing friends and family continuously talking about everything that is wrong with politics and the lack of action being taken to help ordinary people.

“That’s what politics should be about.”

James is hoping that his involvement will send a positive message to young people about becoming more interested and active in politics: “Obviously we saw a youthquake last year with Corbyn and Labour, but frankly as long as younger people are engaged and involved, for any party not just my own, I will feel my involvement is worthwhile.

“Ultimately politics impacts all of us and therefore we should all participate and engage.”

On top of his campaign, James is also studying for his A Levels at Ravens Wood School, Oakley Road.

He said that studying Politics for A Levels has been useful.

If he were successful, James said he would use his influence as the youngest ever councillor in the borough to improve education, engaging with young people to talk about how crime can be lowered and schooling can be improved.

He said: “But also as a young, energetic, committed and determined councillor, I would ensure that I am easily accessible to contact and work personally on local projects, not just leaving the hard graft to others.”

Although James’ ward is expected to be a very safe seat for the Conservatives, James is optimistic that he can do well, and would advice others who may not have the confidence to run in future elections to have a go: “There is no pressure or expectations on anyone seeking to unseat the current councillors.

“People are always supportive of people that care about the community regardless of the party you stand for, so go for it.”

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