Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WEEKLY NEWS to 80360 or email us
Burnham and Highbridge councillor Joe Leach steps down
6:00pm Tuesday 11th December 2012 in News
A SEDGEMOOR councillor who started his political career at the age of just 19 has resigned.
Joe Leach stepped down as district councillor for Highbridge and Burnham and Leader of Sedgemoor Liberal Democrats last week.
The 25-year-old, elected in 2007, said the move was due to a change of career over to the banking sector, which was ‘politically restrictive’.
He added: “Therefore, I can no longer effectively perform my duty as a local councillor.
“I am deeply saddened to no longer be able to represent the towns I have lived in all my life.
“I love them both very much and, as I have always said, the community spirit here is stronger than anywhere else I have visited.”
Joe had to learn the ropes fast and was still learning when he was selected as Sedgemoor’s Lib Dem leader - just 11 months after being elected. He was the youngest group leader in the county.
He said: “More young people are getting interested in politics and I think, in order to have a representative council, you need a mixture of ages.
“I would encourage more young people to just go for it because you can learn a lot. Many think their views won’t be deemed important – but they really are.
“It was a good experience for me and I like to think people were happy with the work I did. I hope I had a positive impact on people’s lives.”
Joe said his proudest achievement was the campaign to save green space in Queen Square, which was the first time a Housing Association had been beaten on appeal.
His biggest disappointment was the failure to have any firm resolution to the Highbridge Hotel and Market site.
He said: “I’m sad that upon leaving the council, this still remains one of the most important items on Highbridge’s ‘to do’ list.”
Burnham and Highbridge Lib Dem leader Phil Harvey said Joe had set a very good example for young people interested in politics.
He told the Weekly News: “He’s shown age is no barrier and he’s really been a great community activist.
“He’s been a great councillor.”
But the political world may not have seen the last of Joe, who added: “I intend to come back to politics one day.”
Following Joe’s resignation there will be a by-election for Highbridge and Burnham Marine ward on January 24, 2013.
Nominations for the vacant seat on Sedgemoor District Council will close at noon on December 27.
Comments are closed on this article.