NEW Denton West councillor George Jones was inspired to get involved in local politics through Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish.
Had George not met Mr Gwynne as a schoolboy as part of his studies for his GCSE in citizenship at Reddish Vale High School, he said he would never have entered politics.
He explained: “I didn’t understand the subject, but Andrew explained things and made them clear.
“I will always remember what he said at that meeting about going on an achieving your dreams which was inspirational.
“Had I not met Andrew through education, I would not be here so I have a lot to thank him for.
“He remains a huge influence as I see the work he does day in, day out.”
George was aged 16 when he joined the Labour Party and the Denton and Reddish Constituency Labour Party.
He is the constituency’s youth officer and chair of the smaller Denton West Labour group.”
George’s triumph in the Denton West by-election made him Tameside Council’s youngest serving councillor.
Indeed, the 19-year-old has become the joint youngest-ever Tameside councillor as Oliver Ryan was elected at the same age in 2014 to serve Audenshaw.
George, who lives in Dane Bank which is part of his ward, was selected to stand for Denton West following the Dawson Lane’s decision to stand down.
“It was nice to be elected for the ward in which I live,” explained George who is studying for a degree in politics at the University of Salford.
George added he based his campaign on three points to improve Denton West residents.
“It was about improving the quality of life, which people want, by having a cleaner, greener and safe Denton West,” he explained.
And about serving Denton West, George continued: “I want to be a voice for our community.
“My message is that I live among you, I live on your street. I cannot promise you the world, but I will do my best.”
George added he is learning each day and lucky the two other Denton West councillors are vastly experienced, Tameside Council executive leader Brenda Warrington, who was his election agent, and Michael Smith.
“They are my mentors as I am learning and this is brand new. They are always checking on me and together we make a great team to represent Denton West,” he said.
The three councillors hold weekly surgeries at Denton West Community Centre each Tuesday between 6.30pm and 7pm.
George describes himself in many ways as a “typical teenager”.
He explained: “I am still a teenager and student and enjoy nights out.
“I am more mature for my age than most teenagers and a bit different as I am a councillor.
“I have to be a role model and know I have a responsibility to represent the people of Denton West which is a privilege. It is about striking the right balance.”
George also praised parents Pete and Angi for their support saying they are not interested in politics and he could not be a councillor without their support.