New kid on the block The local elections in May produced eight new councillors in Solihull. Samia Amir quizzed the youngest of these - Councillor for Shirley South, Peter Doyle.
SA: You are one of the youngest members on the Solihull Council What made you go into politics? PD: As one of the few members under 30 I am one of the youngest, but politics and policy should not be about age but passion to continuously improve the quality of life for our constituents and the next generations. I have always been interested in the politics of governing the nation and I would like to work some day in central government but would like to have worked in local government for some years first. SA: How do you think we could get more people involved in politics? PD: I think that for the most part, people just don’t know what politicians ‘do’ beyond the tabloidexploited scandals they seem to so often be involved in. Which is why I ‘tweet’ and have a website dedicated to my work as a Solihull Councillor. SA: What made you represent the Conservatives? PD: I hold no negative feelings towards other (mainstream) parties or their members but I have always leaned towards the conservative policy when I have watched debates and read manifestos. I must also say for the record that I contacted all of the three main parties in Solihull and the Conservatives
were the most welcoming towards me becoming a representative of their party. SA: What do you think about the current issues regarding tuition fees? PD: I would love to see free education for all in the UK but I understand the pressures of government budget cuts. In Solihull we had to slice £15 million from the annual budget this year! We live in a capitalist society which means we benefit from the services we pay for. It is statistically proven that the average graduate will receive a substantially higher salary so it is only fair that it is they who pay and not the tax payer who does not go to university. SA: You were elected for Shirley South ward in May, how did you get involved with your local community? PD: First of all when I met the Conservative selection committee I insisted I represent the ward in which I live, which is Shirley South. Had I been offered Olton I would have walked away. I have been involved in many community projects and assisted residents with their issues and represented them at council meetings (a highlight reel can be seen on my website). SA: What would your advice be
for young people interested in politics? PD: First of all follow my website (shameless plug). I would suggest that they get in touch with a local political group or youth council and read their literature and ‘get involved.’ The more you do that the better you will understand and it may well draw them in (as it did with me). Most council meetings are open to the public and can be sat in on at the Civic Centre in Solihull. The crossparty banter can be quite amusing at times, I would recommend any young person to pop along and hear a debate. SA: Being on the Education, Children and Young People Scrutiny Board, what are your views on the local government and young people? PD: Solihull has a fantastic reputation in all aspects of providing for and protecting its young people. Education is at a very high level and is improving all of the time, there are many talented and dedicated people who work at Solihull Council in the Youth services divisions (education and welfare) who I am very proud to work along side on the ECYPSB. You can follow Peter Doyle on twitter @Solihull_Cllr or visit his website: www.pdoyle.co.uk
Published on Oct 3, 2011
As the dust begins to settle from the August riots, issue 3 of SL Magazine brings together the reactions of young people in Birmingham, and...