Cllr Wilson said that: Â“ItÂ’s a huge honour to have been elected as a Runnymede Borough councillor, being one of three current Royal Holloway students who are also councillors shows that, despite the claims of some, political life is far from dead on campus. I hope that in future years all political societies on campus can go from strength to strengthÂ”. Indeed, with the newly ratified Young Lib Dem society, the strong Conservative Future and RHUL Labour society perhaps in the next few years Royal Holloway can create an even greater multi-party presence on the council.
The re-elected third-year student, Cllr Hamilton, said that his two peers Â“fought tough and energetic campaigns and will be fantastic ambassadors for both the university and their council wards in the coming years.Â” Gaining a seat on a council is a substantial achievement for any person; the new councillors should be applauded for their great success where they gained almost double the votes of their nearest competitors.
Runnymede Borough Council is almost unique in its make-up of six councillors under the age of thirty. Considering that the council covers Egham and Englefield Green, the concentrated student accommodation areas, this dedication to hearing the views of young people can only benefit students by forging the gap between the university and its surroundings. Despite the reshuffling of age the political make-up of the council is remaining staunchly Conservative with the Conservatives retaining their 36 seats to the 6 Independent. Hamilton commented that Â“whilst weÂ’re [the Conservatives] never complacent and always look for ways to improve our service to local people, voters have sent us a clear message: Â‘we like the job youÂ’re doing so keep on doing itÂ’.Â”
The council are clearly displaying great promise. With the 6th lowest council tax in the country and local crime dropping by 20% they have much of which to be applauded. It seems only right that Cllr Wilson wants to ride this success and Â“continue the good work already doneÂ”.
Mentioning his pleasure at his 400 vote victory Cllr Wilson expressed his pleasure and decision to repay his constituents with hard work and passion: Â“every person that has put their confidence in you, as well as those who did not, deserve representatives who will fight tooth and nail to ensure that their interests are listened to and taken on board. ItÂ’s a challenge, but one I think IÂ’m ready for!Â”
Ignoring the national disappointment of Labour who deemed Thursday May the 1st as Â‘Black ThursdayÂ’ it was clearly a day of success for Runnymede Borough. Local voters displayed their Â“one clear messageÂ”; that age has no bearing on ability. Despite the youth of the new representatives they display a future; a future for the councillors which is bright with political promise and a continued future for local young people where they are heard and supported. Royal Holloway and the council have everything of which to be proud.