By-election called as councillor steps down

Coun Chris Maughan has represented Highfield ward since May 2011.
Coun Chris Maughan has represented Highfield ward since May 2011.
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Blackpool’s youngest councillor has stepped down from his seat prompting a by-election in the town next month.

Labour’s Chris Maughan, 24, has resigned from his role in order to take up full-time work in the East Midlands.

A by-election has been called for Thursday September 26 in Highfield ward, which Mr Maughan had represented since he was elected in May 2011.

The move also creates a vacancy on the council’s executive as he had been cabinet member for young people.

Mr Maughan was 21 and still a chemistry student at York University when he won his seat.

His new job will see him work as political assistant to the Labour group on Leicestershire County Council.

He said: “My role on Blackpool Council has been fantastic and I have really enjoyed the last two-and-a-half years.

“But I have been applying for jobs since Christmas and this opportunity came up to be involved in local government and with the Labour party.

“I am still at the beginning of my career and when an opportunity like this comes along, I have to take it.

“A lot of the other councillors have said they are sad I am going, but on a personal level they are pleased to see me get this chance.

“It was a bit of a shock ti me when I was elected at such a young age, and then to be told I was chairman of the scrutiny committee. But that gave me an overview of how the council works which was great.

“And then I was delighted to take over as cabinet member for young people.

“The highlight was launching the apprenticeships scheme to fill 100 apprenticeships in 100 days.

“I think we have done a pretty good job so far and meeting England World Cup hero Sir Geoff Hurst as part of that was amazing.”

Council cabinet member Coun Ivan Taylor praised Mr Maughan’s work on the council.

He said: “He is only young and is very able and he had made a big impression on the council.

We are sorry to see him go but it is a great opportunity for him and I think he has a great future in politics.

“We are hopeful of retaining the seat and will be speaking to the people of Highfield and are looking forward to the campaign.”

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