A Skegness teenager is making history by not only being the youngest candidate standing in the May local elections but also flying the flag for a new, non-political party in the town.
Billy Brookes will be entering the arena with his father - former Skegness Town Mayor and Brexiteer, and district councillor Coun Danny Brookes - whose Skegness Urban District Society party was registered with the Electorial Commission in August last year. They will both be fighting for seats in town and East Lindsey district councils - Billy standing in the Seacroft and Scarborough Ward and his father in Winthorpe Ward.
When I go door knocking people might think I’m canvassing for my dad though. They are going to be surprisedBilly Brookes
The Skegness Academy sixth former - who is studying business, law and media - says he is passionate about the town he grew up in, and wants to stay in the area. However, he believes there are limited opportunities for young people - and that is what he wants to change.
He also fully supports his father in creating a new, non-political party to support Skegness Town Council’s efforts to regain the assets from East Lindsey District Council that were lost in reorganisation, when the former Skegness Urban District Council was abolished in 1974.
“I’ve alway been incredibly proud of my dad and how he has wanted the best for the town,” said Billy. “But I love the town, too, and I don’t want to be forced to move away when I finish my education, like many students, just because there is nothing for us here.
“I have grown up watching the town seem to go downhill, and although we are told there is to be investment, such as in the foreshore, we need to make sure this is followed through after the elections. I want to see an overall improvement, and more job opportunities for the young.
“The new party gives us the opportunity to stand side by side to make a difference.”
SUDS Facebook page already has more than 1,300 members. “We have enough potential candidates for all of the district seats and 15 town seats,” said Coun Brookes. “I am incredibly proud of Billy. He will bring a younger perspective on board, which is important because they are our future, and should have a say in how the town and district evolves.”
Billy said his school friends were supportive. “They told me to go for it,” he said. “When I go door knocking people might think I’m canvassing for my dad though. They are going to be surprised.”