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Teen Jacob Double aims for a family triple on St Austell town council

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: October 29, 2013

  • FUTURE HOPES: Conservative Jacob Double who is standing in the Bethel ward by-election.

  • LISTENING PLEDGE: Labour candidate Paul Roberts who is standing in the Bethel ward by-election.

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A TEENAGER and son of the town's mayor hopes to follow in his parents' political footsteps by standing as the youngest candidate on St Austell Town Council.

Conservative Jacob Double, son of mayor, Steve and mother, Anne, who represents Mount Charles ward, turned 19 last Wednesday.

Now Jacob is trying to make it a triple for the Double family by vying for a seat in the Bethel ward by-election.

He told the Cornish Guardian he had been fired up to stand in a bid to give St Austell's younger generation a real involvement in the decisions being made.

Jacob also stood in the May town council elections for Mount Charles but failed to secure a seat.

He said: "I know there are a lot of people my age specifically, talking about how the place could be better. What better way to do this than to be part of the council.

"I might not have the political experience some of the other candidates have but no one can say they know the town better than me. I have lived here all my life, I have found jobs in the town, I have gone to school in the town, I know it quite well and I know what I would like to see for it in the future."

The election takes place on Thursday following the resignation of longstanding town councillor Bob Davidson.

Mr Davidson stood down in August, when he said he could no longer give the job the time it required, months after he and South East Cornwall MP Sheryll Murray revealed their romance.

Nicky Oxenham (Liberal Democrat) and Paul Roberts (Labour) are also standing.

St Austell-born Miss Oxenham, a former European commercial manager, returned to the town last year.

Since then she has been part of a campaign to halt drivers using an estate as a rat run.

Her involvement in that long-running problem prompted her to stand for Bethel.

She is championing employment and training opportunities and addressing local planning and development concerns.

"I care about people and I want to give something back. I want the younger generation to have the opportunity of apprenticeships and training and to have the opportunity to choose either to stay in the county in employment or fly the nest."

Mr Roberts, who also stood for the Mount Charles ward in the May election but lost, led a demonstration in the town against the Government's so-called bedroom tax.

The government reforms saw housing benefit cut for housing association and council tenants who it is deemed have spare bedrooms, in a bid to save £23 billion on housing benefits.

"My aim is to serve the people of Bethel. I am not approaching this with any preconceptions.

"I will listen to residents and act according to issues they raise."

The polling stations are at Bethel Methodist Church, Brockstone Road; Bishop Bronescombe School, Boscoppa Road; and Sandy Hill Academy, Sandy Hill; and will be open for voting on October 31 between 7am and 10pm.

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