Newly-elected Labour councillor "itching" to be involved in community

Aughton and Swallownest's newly elected Labour councillor Robert Taylor says he is "itching" to get back involved in the community.

By Danielle Andrews, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 10th December 2021, 11:54 am

Councillor Taylor won the seat from the Conservatives in last night's by-election, with 645 votes - 49.8 per cent of votes.

The by-election was triggered when former Conservative councillor Jack Austin stood down, citing pressures on his business, after winning the seat in May.

Councillor Taylor was a councillor at RMBC since 2015, until he lost his seat in May.

Aughton and Swallownest's newly elected Labour councillor Robert Taylor.

He says he "didn't realise" how much he missed being a councillor, and working with the community.

He told the local democracy reporting service: "I didn't realise how much I missed it to be honest.

"You get the negative impact of losing the election, which is never nice for anybody.

"As you read issues popping up on social media and things like that, you're just itching to be involved.

"It's frustrating to be a member of the public and try and get things done.

"The biggest advantage of being a councillor, it puts you in that position where you can approach people directly, people that can influence these situations and get things done.

"It's been a short but intensive campaign. It felt really good to get out amongst the community again. People were so receptive on the doorstep this time.

Coun Taylor added that national politics over the last few days seemed to "overshadow" the last few days of campaigning, but the main issues raised on the doorstep were parking, traffic, and anti-social behaviour.

Coun Taylor first stood as a councillor following the revelation of the Child Sexual Exploitation scandal, which he said "angered me as a resident".

"Rather than sitting moaning, I got myself involved.

"I'm proud to be part of a council that developed systems that everything we consider has got that element, [of] child protection issues."