Ashfield teenager is youngest councillor in country

NMAC11-1343-2''Coun Tom Hollis the country's youngest councillor pictured at Ashfield District Councils offices on Monday
NMAC11-1343-2''Coun Tom Hollis the country's youngest councillor pictured at Ashfield District Councils offices on Monday

THE YOUNGEST local councillor in the whole COUNTRY is helping to make decisions that affect the day-to-day lives of Hucknall residents.

Liberal Democrat COUN TOM HOLLIS (pictured) was just 18 years and three months old when he secured his Sutton North seat earlier this year.

At the time, he was studying A-levels in politics, history, maths and accounting at Bilborough College in Nottingham. He is now studying law at Nottingham Trent University.

But he is also carving out a career in local politics — a path he decided to take after helping fellow Lib Dem and district councillor Jason Zadrozny on his unsuccessful bid to win the Ashfield Parliamentary seat at last year’s General Election.

He now represents his ward alongside Coun Zadrozny, a former leader of the council, and Coun Margaret Patrick (Ind).

He sits on the licensing and overview and scrutiny committees, which make decisions that impact district wide.

“I really found an interest in local politics,” said Coun Hollis, who lives in Teversal. “I am not so interested in the national stuff. I am a local person trying to make a difference locally.”

After joining the Lib Dems, Coun Hollis helped the party deliver leaflets before Coun Zadrozny put him forward as an election candidate.

Describing his gruelling campaign, Coun Hollis says: “I would get up at 5.30 am delivering leaflets, knocking on doors, talking to people and coming home to print leaflets.”

And being a new candidate meant that he had to work even harder to persuade people to vote for him.

He added: “I had to go out there and invent myself but I think I made a good impression on people.

“People have rung me up and said: well done Tom.”

Coun Hollis polled just under 15% of the vote in Sutton North to be elected.

Coun Hollis, whose family has a solicitors’ firm in Sutton-in-Ashfield, even addressed delegates at the Liberal Democrat Conference in Birmingham in September when he spoke about the party’s success in Ashfield. — DISPIC NMAC11-1343-2.