Rachael is historic victory for Labour

By Connie Osborne Thursday 29 May 2014 Updated: 29/05 16:19

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Buy photos » Rachael Smith has become the youngest councillor in Redditch’s history and was one of two gains for Labour on the day. Picture by Ian Dipple (s).

THE YOUNGEST councillor in Redditch’s history has been elected.

Rachael Smith won the Abbey Ward seat for Labour on Redditch Borough Council at the age of just 19.

The holistic therapy apprentice beats the council’s former youngest members including Labour’s Gail Stone, who was 21, and 22-year-old Luke Stephens.

“I wasn’t not expecting it, but it did still come as a shock,” she told the Standard.

“I know I did my best. I think my age did hinder me in Abbey when I fist knocked on some doors, people were shocked and I think they expected someone older, but then a lot of people liked that I was younger.

“I think I also got a few younger votes which is what I want to see. I hope more young people will get involved in politics.”

She added she first went into politics after complaining to Coun Joe Baker about what she wanted to see in the borough for younger people.

“He said why don’t you do something about it but I thought I had to be 21. After a lot of hard work

and support from the group I got there.

“I just hope the 17- and 18-year-olds out there do become more interested in politics, locally and then nationally.”

Party leader Bill Hartnett said: “I’m sure she will make a big impression on the council and I’m confident she will make a great councillor for Abbey ward and will repay the confidence given to her by Abbey residents.”

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