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HONITON: Town’s new councillor a ‘voice for youth’

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

New town councillor Henry Brown hopes to be a voice for young people in Honiton

New town councillor Henry Brown hopes to be a voice for young people in Honiton

Young people in Honiton feel “disconnected” from key facilities and projects and need a “voice” to represent them, according to the town council’s newest member. Twenty-one-year-old Henry Brown became the town’s youngest councillor this week following his co-option at the April full council meeting, and he has already made it clear he intends to stand up for young people in the town. Councillor Brown fills the vacancy created by the resignation of the late Liz Tirard due to ill health in the November of last year, and he told Pulman’s View he wants to make improving youth facilities in the town his number one priority. Councillor Brown said: “Honiton has the second highest percentage of young people in its population in East Devon, but that is not currently reflected by the members of the town council. I think I can fill the void. “A lot of young people feel disconnected from some of the town’s facilities and projects – they must be given a sense that they do have a purpose in the community and that they are not seen as a burden.” Following a public consultation, Devon County Council has set in motion plans to cut funding to youth services across the county and Honiton’s youth centre could be closed. A petition drawn up by students at Honiton Community College and backed by town councillors Gary Elliot and Caroline Kolek recently gathered more than 600 signatories in one day. And Councillor Brown says he hopes to bring his experience in dealing with youth issues to the debate, having had a long-running involvement in the Honiton scout movement and a number of years volunteering in the youth service. During this time he became a senior member of the youth bank, which helped to make decisions on where resources and funding should be allocated. He added: “I am also interested in environmental issues and health issues in general, and I believe I have much to offer the town council as a young person who was born, bought up, educated and is now working in the town.”

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