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Teenager to stand in elections

PUBLISHED: 11:43 20 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:39 03 July 2010

STANDING FOR ELECTION: Tom Gerrard

STANDING FOR ELECTION: Tom Gerrard

Laura Bagshaw

AN 18-year-old politics student is to stand for the Conservatives in May's borough council elections.

Tom Garrod will battle against Labour heavyweight and former mayor Mike Taylor for Central and Northgate Ward in Great Yarmouth.

AN 18-year-old politics student is to stand for the Conservatives in May's borough council elections.

Tom Garrod will battle against Labour heavyweight and former mayor Mike Taylor for Central and Northgate Ward in Great Yarmouth.

A-level student Tom said he was delighted to have been asked to stand in the first election he can vote in.

He said: “When I was asked to stand I couldn't believe it. I feel honoured to be standing in Yarmouth. I have lived here all my life and I care about the people who live here.”

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

He recently helped organise the political debate between students and councillors at the town hall.

He said: “Politics is about making a difference and helping people in the community. I feel very passionate about politics.”

Tom said that “good things” were happening to Yarmouth, citing the outer harbour and large casino as examples.

“It's a really exciting time for Yarmouth and I would like to get more young people involved in local politics. Lots of young people have views and they might not be politically minded, but if a groups of kids wants something like a skate park in their local area then it is all down to politics.”

The Tories have also announced other candidates.

Local businessman Andy Gray will go up against Labour leader Trevor Wainwright in Bradwell North, while James Dinsdale will stand against Labour's Penny Linden in Southtown and Cobholm ward.

Former councillor Joy Cosaitis will stand in Nelson ward against Michael Jeal; in Claydon ward Margaret Greenacre will fight Tony Blyth, and in the Magdalen ward Patricia Page will go head to head with Colleen Walker.­

The Liberal Democrats will field candidates in several seats but have not yet announced a candidate list although it is widely expected Aleck Buchanan, who recently stood in the by-election for Bradwell South and Hopton, will stand again.

Claydon ward will not be contested by the Green party's Ian Holman after he pulled out of May's election for personal reasons.

While no other candidates have been announced the Greens hope to have candidates in a few seats.

UKIP's Alan Ball will stand in Cobholm and Southtown, Andy Baugh will contest Nelson ward and Gabby Baugh will fight in Central and Northgate ward.

Colin Aldred, who stood in the Bradwell South and Hopton ward by-election, will contest the same ward again.

The current make-up of the borough council is dominated by the Tories with 22 seats. Labour holds 16.

Nominations for the May election close on April 4.

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