It was a real pleasure tonight to join a panel alongside the excellent Nickie Aiken MP and the energetic Laura Evans, Conservative candidate for Mayor of Greater Manchester.
It was an event in aid of the Young Conservative Network, a grassroots organisation that's seeking to get more young people engaged in politics and civic life.
The theme was specifically about local government, and the impact that Covid-19 will have on it going forward. As a local councillor I was only too pleased to accept their invitation to join the discussion.
Questions ranged across a wide variety of topics, including:
- How did we get started in local government?
- What's our view on delivering efficient local services?
- How should young people get involved in campaigning?
- What's the Conservative case in the upcoming local and Mayoral elections?
- How old is old enough to run for Council for the first time?
The questions were fantastic, and showed a real curiosity and understanding about local government. We need good people up and down the country to stand for election, and the greater diversity we can get in our candidate pool the greater the diversity of ideas we can offer once elected. My key message to all those on the Zoom was for them to get involved in their local parties, and in time when it's right for them, to put themselves forward for election. I first ran when I was in my mid-20s, I lost but the experience taught me a lot. Getting to understand the mechanism of a campaign and the structures of my community really helped me in future efforts to serve my local area, which I was lucky enough to be able to do four short years later.
If anyone reading this would like to know more about how to become a councillor, drop me an email and I'd be only too pleased to help!