Shapps launches X Factor-style search for new councillors

MOVE over X Factor, Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps has launched a new national talent hunt.

Mr Shapps wants to find “school gate mums and dads” to stand in local elections next May in a bid to become councillors.

And the local government minister returned to his constituency last Tuesday, to Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School, to launch his search, dubbed Your Community Needs You.

He said: “Next year, on May 5, around 31 million people will have the right to vote in local elections.

“But for democracy to thrive, people need to see the point in voting.

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“So we need talented community champions to have their names on those ballot papers.”

He said pupils at schools like Bishop’s Hatfield, as well as their parents, had the “kind of get-up-and-go attitude” which was also needed to become a councillor.

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“I’ve spotted this talent in the mums and dads who meet at the school gate, not just here but across the country.

“Yes, they spend time chatting and socialising – or even grabbing a quick coffee.

“But they’re finding out what’s going on, discussing what needs doing, and then they go do it.”

In his speech, Mr Shapps cited Welwyn Hatfield borough councillor Fiona Thomson as one such ‘school mum’ who had gone into politics on his advice, having knocked on her door.

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