INTERVIEW: Student Runs for Southampton City Council
Elections. It’s a word many of us have heard over and over again recently. This Thursday however its not just another parade of SUSU elections, it’s the local Council elections. Not quite […]
Elections. It’s a word many of us have heard over and over again recently. This Thursday however its not just another parade of SUSU elections, it’s the local Council elections. Not quite as prestigious as the General Election this time last year, but important nonetheless.
Like many students living in Porstwood, I’ve been inundated with party political leaflets flooding through my letterbox. But one caught my eye: The one of the Labour candidate Olivia Vaughan. In her letter to “The Resident” she states that Portswood has been let down by the Tories and Lib Dems, citing their broken promises on regulating private landlords and tuition fees. Dodgy landlords has been something we’ve covered several times before at The Tab, but it wasn’t that which piqued my interest. It was the fact that Miss Vaughan is a current Southampton University student.
It isn’t unheard of, a young person with an interest in politics but it is highly unusual for a current student to run for a political office. So I contacted Olivia for an interview to find out more.
Olivia Vaughan, 19 from Bromley, is a first year Geography student living in Chamberlain Halls and she is running for Southampton City Council, Portswood ward, as the Labour Candidate.
LOB: What made you want to run in this election?
OV: I want a career in politics. I’m the Secretary of the University Labour Club and we work closely with the local party. After speaking with them about the upcoming elections I decided to run. As I’m a fresher I’ve go a lot of time to devote to the campaign and the job. I’m approachable because I’m a student
LOB: So what are your policies?
OV: Landlord licensing is a big issue in Portswood. I also oppose the construction of the new supermarket on Westridge Road. The Sainsbury’s development had promised a health centre and housing but this hasn’t happened. A number of local residents have been in contact with me about these issues.
LOB: Cuts is a word that we hear a lot lately. How would you fight cuts if elected?
OV: There are cuts everywhere to all public services. EMA is one that I personally oppose. These are national issues that affect everyone. I can’t act nationally but I can start locally.
LOB: Do you think you’ve thrown yourself in at the deep end, going straight for a Council position? Do you have any plans for SUSU involvement?
Yes, I would like to be involved with SUSU at some point in the future. Its a great union, especially when compaerd with other universities. I was heavily involved in the Yes to NUS campaign and I would like to continue being a part of it.
LOB: Licensing Law is pretty important for a lot of students, and I’m talking here about Sobar and Jesters in Bevois Valley. How will you deal with the potential clashes with students and local residents?
As a student, I want to have a good time too! But I’ve got to be aware of the local residents, like those on Roselands Gardens who get a lot of noise from the Cube. I think because I’m a student I can give a fresh voice to the residents
LOB: And finally, the AV referendum is taking place at the same time as the council elections. What are your opinions?
I am voting yes to AV, it’s our only chance to get a fairer system.