Posted on 12/01/2011
Royal Holloway undergraduate Natasha Lavender has become the youngest councillor in Windsor and one of the youngest in the country after winning this month’s by-election.
The 21-year-old, who is in her fourth and final year at Royal Holloway, University of London, is reading European Studies.
Natasha caught the politics bug at the age of 15 after watching the news and reading newspapers. Whilst doing her A-levels she was elected by her peers to be Windsor’s Member of the UK Youth Parliament.
She joined the Windsor branch of the Conservative party two years ago after becoming increasingly interested in actively participating in politics. When Conservative Councillor Richard Gard in Park ward, Windsor, resigned in October last year she was interviewed amongst 10 other candidates to take the seat in the case of a by-election being called.
Natasha was chosen by the party and once the election was announced she began canvassing. She said: “It took a lot of hard work - canvassing in Windsor six evenings a week in the snow and ice from October to the beginning of January, with a small break over Christmas, but it obviously paid off. I was thrilled when they called out my name to say I had won.”
She won 637 votes beating much-respected Lib Dim Richard Fagence, 64, himself a former cabinet member and councillor from 1997 to 2007.
Natasha said: “My European Studies course at Royal Holloway has equipped me with knowledge essential for successfully engaging in the political sphere, as well as the ability to confidently analyse, critique and question what's going on in the world of politics and IR through learning theories, debating papers and class discussions.”
She added: “I was inspired to stand for this position because I firmly believe we as a country need young people who are passionate about politics to get involved, bring change, act justly and set higher standards in politics. I hope to stand for Parliament one day and be a young MP - we need young people with experience to work in both local and national government."