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Conservatives choose 18-year-old for East Brighton by-election
Most 18-year-olds are thinking about having fun, a few drinks and maybe going to university.
But Joe Miller is vying to spend his gap year sitting in a council chamber debating parking prices, bin collections and budgets.
Young Conservative Joe, who turned 18 in August, is hoping to become the youngest ever Brighton and Hove City Councillor.
He is too young to have ever cast a vote, but he is hoping voters in East Brighton will have faith in him.
The former Cardinal Newman School pupil said his friends were “shocked” to hear about his political aspirations.
He told The Argus: “Hopefully all of the councillors will be pleased as I am there to represent the young people of Brighton and Hove who they should take seriously.
“I will prove myself to voters between now and October 18. I am a serious candidate and will stand up for the views of residents of East Brighton.
“I believe I have enough life experience to be taken seriously and I believe it's good to have a young person representing the residents of East Brighton.
“I have never had the chance to vote before, but I'm immensely excited to participate in our democracy as I think it is important that people vote.
“Some of my friends are pleased, some are shocked and are willing to help out.
“My family was fairly shocked as well but are proud and very pleased.”
Brighton Kemptown MP Simon Kirby – who himself became one of the youngest councillors on East Sussex County Council at the age of 27 – said: “We should be encouraging young people to become involved in politics and I am absolutely delighted to have such a competent candidate in Joe.
“Joe would make an excellent councillor and be a real breath of fresh air. He is young but he is very capable with strong links to the area.”
Already a politician by nature, Joe refused to divulge his future political aspirations – other than representing the people of East Brighton. However he is hoping to study law.
In 2009 Alex Kipp became the youngest councillor in Sussex when he was co-opted to Pulborough Parish Council just 11 days after his 18th birthday.
Joe will be running against Labour candidate Chaun Wilson in the by-election on October 18, which is being held following the resignation of the Labour's Craig Turton due to ill health.
Seasoned campaigner Ms Wilson said: “I have a wealth of experience to bring to the council and have a particular interest in housing matters.”
The Green group said it intend to announce its candidate on Friday.