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Oldest and youngest Kirklees councillors celebrate together

Molly Walton, 80 today, welcomes Erin Hill as her Crosland Moor and Netherton ward colleague

Clr Molly Walton and Clr Erin Hill - the oldest and youngest members of Kirklees Council

Birthday girl Clr Molly Walton is celebrating more than her 80th birthday today.

She’s also celebrating having a new, young ward colleague, 22-year-old Erin Hill, whose potential she spotted when Erin was a teenager.

Clr Walton and the newly-election Clr Hill are Labour ward colleagues for Crosland Moor and Netherton after Clr Hill stormed to victory with 2,360 votes out of 5,033.

Clr Walton said: “Erin came to shadow me six years ago and she’s kept in touch and even then I could see she had potential, there was something about her that shone through and I knew one day she’d make a really excellent councillor and here she is today about to go off and do that.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with Erin, I feel we do need to look to the future and all parties need to bring in young members and we’ve a good one in Erin.”

Clr Walton, a Kirklees councillor of 24 years, is not about to hang her boots up just yet and is willing to use her experience to inspire younger politicians.

And Clr Hill is one of those watching and learning: “Molly has shared so much experience with me, she is really interested in developing younger people in politics.

“Young people are underrepresented in politics, if it was any other group there would be an outcry about it, we do need to attract more younger people of all parties to get involved and it’s great the older generation like Molly are so willing to help us.

“I’ve learnt so much from Molly, she’s been a total inspiration.”

Clr Hill held the seat for Labour and added: “There was a bit of pressure but it was more about wanting to do well for the party.”

The Crosland Moor and Netherton ward is completed by Clr Mohammad Sarwar, also a Labour member.

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