Town council teen makes history
WITH bright red hair and only just eligible for a pint, Siobhan Brasier is not your average councillor.
Yet 18-year-old Siobhan has made history as the youngster Cirencester town councillor.
making history: Teenager Siobhan Brasier has become a Cirencester town councillor
Siobhan, who reached the milestone birthday on New Year's Eve, was elected unopposed for the Stratton-Whiteway ward. She is thought to be one of the youngster councillors in the country.
The Liberal Democrat said she aimed to shake up the establishment.
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"I want to show politics isn't all white middle class males with the power and that anyone can make a difference," she said. "I come from quite a working class background and I also think it's important to bring young people into politics.
"Quite a few people have asked me how I can stand for the town council when I don't understand how the system works, but I've had a passion for politics for quite a few years.
"Just because I'm young, people think I can't do a good job, but I've also had fantastic support."
Siobhan, from Bowling Green Road, already has an impressive track record in politics.
A Youth Parliament member for three years, she is now South West procedures group representative, liaising between head office and young people.
She has debated in the House of Commons on free public transport for the under-18s.
The Cirencester College student has also won the Bingham Library Trust Award for "the student who has contributed most to the wellbeing and good name of Cirencester".
On the town council, Siobhan will champion issues including young people's activities, safety and keeping the "Humpty Dumps" field as an open community space.
She added: "I also want to engage more people – we have to bring politics to a level where people see it can make a difference to them and local councillors are there for them."
Her proud mum Amanda said: "It's great having people with experience on the town council, but they also need young blood to put the voice of youth across."
Also elected unopposed to the other two Stratton-Whiteway seats are Lib-Dem Andy Lichnowski and Brenda Potter, who stood as a former Cirencester Mayor and Stratton School governor.
Cotswolds Lib-Dem leader Paul Hodgkinson said: "Siobhan's story is inspiring.
"At 18, she'll bring fresh ideas to the way Cirencester is run. Young people are more engaged in the political process than for many years because they've more things to fight for as a result of the recession.
"This is just the first step towards making our local councils more reflective of all Cotswolds people."
Yesterday, Local Government Association spokesman Dale Atkinson said they could not officially confirm whether Siobhan was the youngest town councillor in the country, but added: "We haven't heard of any younger than Siobhan."