Youngest councillor talks to JMU

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Jake Morrison is Liverpool’s Labour Councillor for the Wavertree Ward, but what really sets him apart from other members of local government is his age.

He first campaigned in 2010, when he was just 18, and won against Mike Storey, the former leader of Liverpool’s City Council, making Jake the youngest councillor ever to sit on the council.

It was through a community radio show on KVFM that he first began to get interested in taking part in politics. He told JMU Journalism: “I interviewed then Lord Mayor Cllr. Hazel Williams about local government and that got me really interested in local issues. We also started a ‘Shadow a Councillor’ project and I met Joe Anderson, who was leading the opposition. That’s when I knew the Labour was the right party for me and that I wanted to be involved in local government.”

Cllr Morrison was originally part of the Liverpool Youth Council and was encouraged by Cllr Joe Anderson to become an approved candidate. Morrison chose Wavertree as his ward because he felt that it had a lot of challenges that weren’t being addressed, and he wanted to prove that he could be a good leader.

Looking back at the year he’s had, Morrison believes he has made a difference since his election. “.I think the residents are finally seeing things get done. These are issues that have been there for years and obviously not all things are getting done, but some are. My biggest challenge is to make them believe they’ve made the right decision in choosing me in less than six months.”

The great thing about his job, Morrison feels, is that it has no typical day. “I come in, work on planning applications, post street letters and speak to residents to get their views. I have phone calls come through with people talking about issues to do with their houses and street cleaning. It’s really just about being a local leader.”

Morrison is also a health care assistant at the Royal Liverpool Hospital and when asked about his political ambitions, he said: “I’m not sure. Four years is a very long time. Twelve months ago, I was only a candidate. I want to make sure I’m doing the right job. But I am passionate about local politics and that is something I would want to continue.”

About Priyanka Zaveri, International Editor