Contest of youth and experience

VOTERS in the Filey and Hertford wards will have a choice of four candidates each in the forthcoming Scarborough Council elections – including one would-be politician who has just turned 19!

Melissa Macdonald, of Church Hill in Reighton, took her A-levels at Scarborough Sixth Form College last year and is standing for the Conservative Party in the Hertford ward.

The teenager, who is currently on a two-year study gap, says she is hoping to apply to Cambridge University to study politics, psychology and sociology.

Mum Fiona Cawley, who formally proposed her daughter’s nomination, said Melissa had always been intersted in politics, so it came as no real surprise to her. “When she was three, she said she’d like to be Prime Minister,” she said.

“She’s watched Prime Minister’s Questions since she was about seven and she’s very bright and gifted.”

Melissa, who got the best A-level results in her year group at college, said she had never really been active in politics until she started going to the Conservative Association in Scarborough last summer.

“I decided over the last General Election, and thought ‘why not go for it?’ So I approached the Conservative Association and asked if I could help out.”

Of her age, she said: “I think it would be brilliant to get a different perspective on the council.”

Conservative Party agent Jennifer Kelly said Melissa was the youngest candidate they had ever stood in a council election. “We’re delighted we’ve got someone so young. She’s very enthusiastic and has a great interest in politics,” she said.

The other candidates in the Hertford ward are veteran borough councillor Godfrey Allanson, of Muston, who is also standing for the Conservatives; the Green Party’s Nick Harvey, of Hunmanby, who won his place on the council in a by-election in 2009, and Andy Sharp, of Scarborough, who is representing the Labour Party. Mr Sharp lived in Flixton for 16 years and has previously stood as a candidate in the Hertford ward and elsewhere in the borough. The four candidates will be competing for two seats.

In Filey, the three current incumbents, Mike Cockerill (Independent), Sam Cross (Independent) and Colin Haddington (Conservative) will be joined in battle by former town council hopeful Keith Wood, who does not give himself an official description. All live in Filey, where there are three seats up for grabs.

Polling day is on Thursday, May 5.

l Look out for statements from all the ward candidates in a future edition of the Mercury.