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Is Elena Bunbury the youngest councillor in Kirklees' history?

19-year-old Tory has lofty ambitions

19-year-old Holme Valley Parish Councillor, Elena Bunbury of Scholes.

What were you doing in your spare time when you were 19?

Playing computer games, whiling away the hours in the student union, or taking part in your favourite sports?

Not Elena Bunbury – the Honley teenager now spends her free time reading parish council documents and attending meetings on behalf of her constituents.

Elena, a former Holmfirth High School and Greenhead College pupil, was last month elected to Holme Valley Parish Council.

It is thought she could be the youngest councillor in its history, breaking the record held by Thomas Dixon who was 23 when he joined the parish council in 2007.

Elena is now Conservative member for the Honley Central and East ward following a by-election on April 27.

She pipped Labour’s Pat Collings to the post by 229 votes to 207 with UKIP’s James Dalton trailing in third with 56 supporters.

Elena, who is in her third year studying Adventure Sports Coaching at the University of Central Lancashire, has lofty ambitions to follow in the footsteps of her mentor, Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney.

She has vowed to be a hands on parish councillor, fighting for community services for the Holme Valley.

She hopes to take a step up to Kirklees Council at the local elections in May next year and has already enrolled for MP selection training.

Elena Bunbury, 19 is the youngest councillor elected at Holme Valley Parish Council. Pictured on the campaign trail with Colne Valley MP, Jason McCartney

Elena said studying politics at Greenhead had really inspired her to take it on as a career.

“It really bothered me how there was nobody young in politics,” she said.

“So I decided to put my money where my mouth is and stand for election.”

Elena has already joined three committees and vows she will work hard.

“I want to be hands on and not just make up the numbers,” she said.

“It’s a cliche, but I want to make a difference.

“I want to be more involved in the community, Honley library and other events, and keep the things that are good about the Holme Valley going.”

Elena said she was one of only two pupils in her class of 30 at Greenhead that were Conservatives.

The other has become one of Mr McCartney’s staff and Elena has benefited from the contact, getting advice and work experience in parliament.

She added: “Conservatism was something I associated with from early on.

“I’m business focussed and really interested in the economy side of things.

“Labour just want to tax the rich but I like how the Conservatives don’t hinder people who want to make money and better themselves.

“They also believe in a meritocracy and not just filling roles from different groups.”

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