Election countdown: Labour candidate wants to bring 'fresh face' and 'real change' to Bilton
A teenager who will become North Yorkshire County Council's youngest member if elected this week has pledged to bring a "fresh face" and "real change" to local politics.
Tyler Reeton, 19, is standing in his first election for the Labour Party and is one of six candidates competing to fill the Bilton and Nidd Gorge seat left vacant following the death of Liberal Democrat councillor Geoff Webber.
Voting will take place on Thursday and Mr Reeton said tackling anti-social behaviour is his top priority as he also promised to launch a new annual event to "bring the community back together".
He said: "While I'm young at 19-years-old, that doesn't make me any less passionate than the ordinary person - I will be a fresh face and the only candidate who will be truly accountable to residents.
"Anti-social behaviour is a problem which is spiralling out of control because not enough has been done. It's a difficult situation to tackle but I believe in the message that if we all work together, we can get the job done.
"I would organise surgeries so residents can speak directly with police to crackdown on the problem before it gets to this point again.
"My local recovery plan will focus on rebuilding the community after Covid and using my county councillor grants, I will bring back a yearly community event like the Bilton Gala which has been fundamental for so many years."
The Labour candidate is a former Harrogate Grammar School student and aspiring solicitor who says his sole aim in life is to help others.
He believes "years of party politics" have damaged relationships in Bilton but vowed to start a "rebuilding process" if he is elected.
He said: "I am not in this for myself, my aim is to help others and make Bilton a better place to live. I feel party politics has damaged reputations between councillors and residents and I now want to start on that rebuilding process.
"With the effort I am putting in and the fact I will be accountable to residents, I believe I have a great chance of winning this election.
"We need a councillor who is accountable and can crack on with the job. If you pledge a vote for me, you will be voting for real change."
The other candidates include Matt Scott (Conservative), Andrew Kempston-Parkes (Liberal Democrat), Anrold Warneken (Green Party), John Hall (Yorkshire Party) and Harvey Alexander (Independent).
Voting will take place on 6 May - the same day that voters will choose a new North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner with the winners set to be announced the following day.
Voters will be required to bring their own pen or pencil to polling stations, wear a face covering, wash their hands when entering and leaving, and keep a safe distance from others.
People should not attend the polling station if they have symptoms of Covid-19 or if they have been asked to self-isolate. Anyone who cannot because of these reasons has up to 5pm on polling day to apply for an emergency proxy vote.
For more information go to www.harrogate.gov.uk/voting-elections
Meanwhile, there are no full elections being held for all seats on Harrogate Borough Council or North Yorkshire County Council.
This article is part of a series of profile pieces about the by-election candidates. Each profile will be published online in the run-up to polling day.
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter