Mayoral blog post: Co-option of the latest Diss Town Councillor
When I became mayor in the first year of my election, we only had seven (out of a possible 14) people on the council. I liked to call us ‘The Magnificent Seven’! Since then, I’ve had the privilege to have met and supported another six new councillors. And now, I have the great pleasure of introducing councillor number fourteen, local teenager Kieran Murphy.
On Wednesday 17th September, Diss Town Council made history by appointing 18-year-old Kieran onto the council. Not only is Kieran Murphy the youngest town councillor to be co-opted onto Diss Town Council, but he’s also one of the youngest town councillors in the UK. This is great news for our town and for the young people in our community who are, in my opinion, lacking a voice and representation.
From Diss Youth Council to Diss Town Council
I first met Councillor Murphy three years ago while supporting the Diss Youth Council. He assumed his role as chairperson and leader with respect and dignity and has continued to grow in confidence ever since. He is a phenomenal individual, taking on relevant training, contributing to the community through volunteering, and winning accolades throughout Norfolk – including Diss Junior Citizen 2018.
It has been my pleasure to mentor Councillor Murphy. Over the years, he has assisted me with some of my duties as mayor. This has included laying the wreath at Remembrance Day, supporting me with the Diss Christmas lights switch-on and co-hosting the mayoral carol concert. He has been a regular attendee of Diss Town Council committee meetings, providing updates on Diss Youth Council activities to all members of the council.
It has long been my hope that members of the Diss Youth Council would, in time, feel that they could apply to be a member of Diss Town Council, if there was the opportunity to do so. This is what has happened with Councillor Murphy. I was so excited and honoured to see someone who has worked voluntarily for Diss Youth Council take a place on Diss Town Council.
I believe that having Councillor Murphy on board is a wonderful step forward. He has a unique set of skills, knowledge and experience which enrich all of the different skillsets that we as councillors at Diss Town Council already provide. I look forward to working with him and seeing how our town council grows and changes as we become a more inclusive council to all our communities.
A big cheer and congratulations to you Cllr Murphy!