Councillor takes stage at Labour conference

Lachlan Morrison at conference
Lachlan Morrison at conference

THE Labour Party’s annual conference in Manchester will stand out in the memory of Coun Lachlan Morrison, a Hucknall Labour member of Ashfield District Council.

Not only did he speak in a debate but he also put a question to Labour leader Ed Miliband, who remembered him from when they met during the last General Election campaign.

In the debate, which was about education, Coun Morrison claimed that young people from a working-class background were losing out on apprenticeships because of Tory policies.

“People from former industrial areas are suffering more than those in middle-class communities and this could lead to a lost generation,” he said.

He stressed that he knew the value of apprenticeships because he had completed one himself in plastering, and this had stood him in good stead.

Last year, he added, just over 4,000 apprentices were taken on in construction across the UK and this was not enough to sustain the industry, with the danger that there could be a serious skills shortage.

The question which Coun Morrison asked Mr Miliband whether he shared his view that more young people with working-class backgrounds should take an active interest in politics.

“Young people can bring a totally different perspective to bear on important issues, compared with the older generation,” said Coun Morrison.

“The current situation is summed up by the fact that out of the 649 MPs, only one is under 30.”

Coun Morrison, who has just turned 23, is the second youngest member of Ashfield Council.

He said Mr Miliband was very sympathetic to his point of view and told him he too would like to see the younger generation better represented in local and national government.

“I was quite surprised that when I asked the question, Mr Miliband said he remembered me from when he paid a visit to the Sherwood constituency at the last election,” said Coun Morrison. “It really made my day.”