Youngest parish councillor in South Holland, Millie Howard, looks forward to doing 'good things' for Holbeach area
The newest, and youngest, parish councillor in South Holland has outlined her mission to "make a difference" for Holbeach.
Coun Millie Howard (19), of Saracen's Head, has joined Holbeach Parish Council as a member for Hurn Ward after she was co-opted by her new colleagues during their December meeting.
An ex-student of University Academy Holbeach (UAH), Coun Howard works at Holbeach Hospital as a finance assistant, having started out as a volunteer within its care home four years ago as part of her Duke of Edinburgh's Award activities.
Coun Howard said: "When I was growing up, I didn't like politics at all.
"But I've always wanted to make a difference and to do good things.
"So I spoke to one of the parish councillors who told me about the work she was doing in Holbeach and a few months ago, she said there was a space on the council.
"At the same time, I also talked about it to one of the directors at Holbeach Hospital who asked me whether I was too young to do it."
Under the guidelines of the Electoral Commission, anyone who is 18 years old and over can stand for election, provided they are either a British, Commonwealth or European Union country's citizen and live, work, own/rent land or are registered as an elector within the parish.
Coun Howard said: "It was suggested to me that I should write a letter saying why I wanted to be a parish councillor and it would be considered at a future meeting.
"So I went to the meeting in December which was when other people on the council introduced themselves and I was co-opted without any objections."
Coun Howard, who was presented with her gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award in Spalding last November, is particularly keen to represent and speak for young people in Holbeach.
But she also wants to make the work of Holbeach Parish Council more accessible and widely known to everyone in the area, council tax payers and the younger population alike.
"I went to see my grandparents after the meeting and they bowed to me," Coun Howard said.
"But I don't think many people know yet so I'll have to tread carefully and take a little while to see what I can and can't do.
"I want to build up a bit of trust and then hope to be a voice for the youth of Holbeach, not only listening to what they want but also making them aware of how local government works."
Steve Baragwanath, principal of UAH, said: "Mollie is a very mature and hard-working young lady who, I am sure, will do well as a parish councillor.
"She will bring a youthful perspective to the work of the council where, no doubt, she will be supported by the more experienced councillors."
Coun Paul Foyster, chairman of Holbeach Parish Council, said: "Coun Howard is now our youngest member and we are delighted that she has joined us.
"We are also very pleased that her generation now has a real voice on the parish council."