Former Harrogate Grammar School student Lucy Atkinson from Harrogate has been elected to Lancaster City Council for the University and Scotforth Rural Ward for Labour by a significant majority, becoming the youngest elected in the UK.
Cllr Atkinson studied Politics for A Level at Harrogate Grammar School, and has always been passionate about making a difference. She is now a first year student at the university, and keen to promote issues surrounding mental health and welfare for young people and the disadvantaged in society.
Head of Sixth Form at Harrogate Grammar School, Mr Neil Renton, said: The school is extremely proud of Lucy’s considerable achievements. Throughout her time at here, Lucy demonstrated exceptional communication skills and unquestionable commitment to social justice.
Lucy is delighted about her new role and campaigned for many months before the election.
Lucy said: I have been out door knocking weekly since January trying to get people to register to vote, as well as a Facebook campaign, stalls in public, and a variety of posters and canvassing closer to the time. I am thrilled to represent the student and rural population and will work very hard to make sure everyone’s voices are heard.
It was also the first time Lucy was legally able to vote, and her own name was on the ballot paper.
Lucy added: It was very surreal and exciting to vote for the first time but to also be a candidate. It didn’t quite sink in at first, seeing my name and putting a cross next to it in the box.
Her mum, Michelle Beckett, said: Lucy has wanted to make a difference and been interested in issues that affect people from a very early age. I remember her crying about the death penalty in the US when she was about 9, and asking me what she could do about it. I watched her make her acceptance speech on stage with tears streaming down my face. I couldn’t be any more proud.
Lucy had worked hard to campaign on behalf of Cat Smith, the newly elected local MP and one of the youngest in parliament.
I’m delighted to see Lucy Atkinson elected to Lancaster City Council, we need to hear the voices of young women in our council chambers, town halls and parliaments. If we are to make civil society relevant to the lives of young women then it will be young women like Lucy who will lead this work and champion some of the huge issues facing young women in our communities from sexual harassment, job opportunities and a more equal society.