Wisbech’s ‘community champion’ councillor nominated for top youth award

THE youngest county councillor in Cambridgeshire has been nominated for a top youth award after she was hailed as a “community champion” for Wisbech.

Councillor Samantha Hoy, who is also deputy leader of Wisbech Town Council, will bid for glory in the ROI Cambridgeshire Young People of the Year awards after she was nominated by fellow Conservative county councillor Steve Tierney.

Cllr Tierney said: “A local leader and community champion, Samantha is proving that youth is no barrier to local democracy.”

Cllr Hoy was elected to serve Wisbech North in April last year. The 24-year-old was praised for her work on the controversial million-pound Waterlees Park, which was attacked by residents as a breeding ground for anti-social behaviour.

Cllr Tierney said: “Samantha set about organising residents meetings; to reassure them and work with them to sort out any potential problems.

“She has also set up a Friends of Waterlees Park group to make sure that local residents and users are represented in a positive way.”

Cllr Hoy, who is the founder and chair of the Fens Conservative Future branch, said she is determined to encourage young people to become more involved in politics.

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She has held ‘Pizza and Politics’ discussions and is a roving reporter for the council-funded community website ShapeYourPlace.

The 24-year-old, who has recently initiated a council-led review into domestic violence, is also a governor at Nene School, in Wisbech, and a trustee of mental health charity the Bowthorpe Association.

Cllr Tierney said: “Samantha is enthusiastic, positive and full of energy which she uses to help others. She leads from the front and encourages others.

“She is constantly demonstrating how young people can get involved and be powerful drivers within local politics, rather than leaving it all to the older folk.”

Cllr Hoy is studying social policy at Anglia Ruskin University but spends at least 30 hours a week involved in politics.

She said: “I’m a great believer in consulting people of all ages to get the best results for everyone.

“I really enjoy my life in politics and doing something positive for the community, particularly young people who often get a bad media image.”

As a nomination in this year’s YOPEYs, Cllr Hoy is in with a chance of winning a cash prize from a pot of �2,000 put up by sponsors including Fenland firms ROI and Hutchinsons. The awards are being held at Peterborough Cathedral on September 13.

• The deadline to nominate young people for the Cambs YOPEY has been extended to August 13. To enter people aged from 10-25, who should live, work or study in Cambridgeshire, logon to www.yopey.org or write to YOPEY, PO Box 236, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 1DP.

To book free places at this year�s YOPEYs email invites@youngpeopleoftheyear.org or call in at the Visitor Destination Centre, 45 Bridge Street, Peterborough.

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