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NINETEEN year-old Kalum House has joined Melksham Without Parish Council as a co-opted councillor standing for the Bowerhill Ward.
Formerly a member of the Wiltshire Assembly of Youth from 2008 until 2014, Bowerhill resident Kalum put himself forward for one of the five vacancies on the parish council following the local elections in May.
Kalum said, “After my time as part of the Wiltshire Assembly of Youth, I wanted to carry on doing things for young people in the community.
“I feel that I can bring a unique perspective to the parish council. Having a young person representing the constituency helps to make a difference.”
Kalum has many ideas about how he wants to help the community. “I am interested in sports provision in the area for young people,” said Kalum, “especially the availability of beginners’ sessions, so that young people can get involved with sports they would perhaps be put off by at a higher level.
“I would like to help make the whole of Melksham a more dementia-friendly place.
“I am also interested in tackling the stigma of mental health and making sure there are services available to support people and that there is awareness of the support on offer.
“I want to promote rights of way and organise trails and community activities, so that there is better use made of the beautiful countryside that we have.
“I also have plans to do more with social media for the parish council so that we can promote key messages to a younger audience.”
Speaking about the latest recruit, the chair of Melksham Parish Council, Richard Wood said, “He’s a very good acquisition, he’s young, very keen and knowledgeable.
“He’s already given his own perspective at the last meeting, which was most valuable. We’re very pleased to have him on board. It’s good to have someone young. He brings knowledge of IT, social media and other things we perhaps don’t know enough about.”
Looking ahead to the four years in his new role, Kalum said, “I am here to make a difference and I will represent the views of the people. I am here for anyone to talk to.”