The 19-year-old hoping to become Wirral’s youngest ever female councillor

A daughter of a long-standing Seacombe councillor is hoping to follow in her father’s footsteps at the upcoming local elections.

Kaitlin Stuart, 19, could be the youngest woman ever elected to Wirral Council, but she already has years of campaigning under her belt, thanks to her dad Paul, who has represented Seacombe for Labour since 2016.

“I joined the Labour Party when I turned 16, although have been helping out for many years before that,” she says. “My parents are very involved in the local community. My mum and dad are foster parents, and I have been involved in fostering events for the local authority for as long as I can remember.

“I also take part in charity events and help out each year with the Wallasey Lions’ Christmas drive – you may have seen me on occasion dressed as a Christmas elf.”

Kaitlin grew up in Seacombe, attending Egremont Primary School, Oldershaw Academy and Wirral Met College. When the opportunity arose to stand alongside her dad in the ward they both live in, Kaitlin volunteered and was unanimously voted to stand by the local branch.

“Standing in the ward I’ve always lived in is a dream for me,” she said. “I thought maybe one day, but for it to be so soon and to have such support is a real honour.”

When asked about how it would feel to be Wirral’s youngest-ever female councillor, she said, “I feel young people have a lot to feel empowered about these days. As a young woman I want to break the glass ceiling that can stop young people from standing for election. 

“While studying for a career in education, with a focus on SEND education, I have seen first hand how the Tories have led a sustained assault on younger people, especially on those who come from poor areas.  

“First, EMA was abolished making it harder for many younger people to go into continued education. University fees increased so much, the aspiration to go to get a university education became even more out of reach.  

“As they have decimated the NHS, and funding for youth mental health services has been cut year on year.”

Kaitlin is particularly passionate about this year’s introduction of voter ID, which will see voters needing photographic identification to vote in person, for the first time.

“The Conservatives have introduced the requirement of photographic identification in order to vote at a polling station,” she says.  “This is nothing short of voter suppression. How many young people can afford to get a passport or driving license? 

“I want to use my voice to make a difference and help make a difference to people’s day-to-day lives as we continue to live under Tory oppression. Enough is enough.  Let’s make a difference together.”

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