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Student, 19, on poll trail again

PUBLISHED: 13:49 27 November 2008 | UPDATED: 12:24 03 July 2010

COUNTY CANDIDATE: Tom Garrod

COUNTY CANDIDATE: Tom Garrod

Laura Bagshaw

A 19-YEAR-old politics student who narrowly missed out on scooping a seat from Labour in May's local elections is hoping to build on his success after being chosen to represent the Conservatives in next year's county council elections.

A 19-YEAR-old politics student who narrowly missed out on scooping a seat from Labour in May's local elections is hoping to build on his success after being chosen to represent the Conservatives in next year's county council elections.

Tom Garrod was just 76 votes short of netting a seat on the borough council in Central and Northgate Ward, an area considered to be a Labour stronghold.

And undeterred, the A-level student is hoping to build on that success by standing in the Norfolk County Council elections for the Yarmouth North and Central Division next June.

In the borough council elections earlier this year, Tom lost against Labour heavyweight Mike Taylor by 76 votes, slashing a previous Labour majority of 276.

Tom will go head-to-head again with Mike Taylor as the Labour county councillor fights to defend his seat.

Tom said: “I am honoured to stand as a candidate. In my opinion, my generation are often stereotyped in the media; mentioned frequently in relation knife-crime or binge-drinking related stories.

“During this campaign, I am going to highlight that this is not always the case and that many teenagers make a positive contribution to society.”

Tom is a student at East Norfolk Sixth Form College in Gorleston and is also a member of Caister lifeboat and sits on the fundraising committee, despite suffering from cerebral palsy.

Earlier this year he helped organise a political debate in the council chambers between East Norfolk College students and local councillors.

The Conservatives prospective parliamentary candidate for Yarmouth, Brandon Lewis, said: “Tom is a great choice for the area, and I know he will work hard to represent the people of Yarmouth.

“I have the utmost respect for Tom. He has so much energy and drive and never lets his disability stop him from achieving his goals. I look forward to campaigning for his election.”

All seats in the county council are up for election next year and the Conservatives will be contesting all in the Yarmouth area.

Conservative county councillors Bert Collins, Jim Shrimplin, and Michael Carttiss will fight to retain their seat in Gorleston St Andrew's Division, East Flegg Division and West Flegg Division respectively.

Details of other candidates will be announced later.


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