Bradley Stoke teen is one of the UK’s youngest town councillors

Aleena Aditya, a Bradley Stoke sixth form student, has become one of the country’s youngest town councillors – after winning a seat for the Conservatives on the Bradley Stoke Town Council in the first elections she was eligible to vote in.

Aleena, 18, was elected to one of three seats representing Primrose Bridge Ward in the poll held last month.

Driven by a passion for her hometown, Aleena said she would push for improved youth services and better support for businesses and community groups. She also campaigns for more parking spaces in the town. She supports a Youth Council for Bradley Stoke and better school funding campaigns and appreciates the new budget provisions to enhance school services.

She said: “I want to ensure that facilities such as our local buses remain helpful and enjoyable for everyone. I feel so lucky to grow up in a safe, calming area, and wish to help future generations maintain these close bonds with the community and keep a positive outlook on Bradley Stoke.”

Aleena is hoping to bring a fresh perspective to the town council chamber and said she wanted to make sure “young people are represented”.

“I feel like young people don’t get involved that often and I thought it was a good idea for me to show that young people can get involved,” she said.

The teenager, who hopes to go to university in September to study architecture, said she was surprised but happy to be elected.

Aleena expressed thanks to all those who encouraged her to stand and supported her during the election. “A lot of marginalised groups or people often need that encouragement and support, I think, to be able to take that next step.”

She said: “While walking to and from school, I used to think about what I could do to make Bradley Stoke a better place to live. As a small child, I greeted everyone with a smile or a handwave to bring more kindness to the community, and I felt there has been some change in people’s perspective. Why sit and complain about stuff that’s happening or not happening, when I can be part of the change?

“I appreciate the experience and wisdom of our elderly, yet young people could bring so many fresh ideas and creativity that maybe the elders won’t have thought about. At the moment, I’m attending meetings and learning the basics from people. There’s a lot to learn and digest so I’m grateful for the expertise of the other councillors”.