We visited Thomas on our trip to the UK in December. Neither of us met him in person before, so we were quite excited to talk to the youngest borough council member of the Liberal Democrats. Thomas is Borough Councillor for Wildridings & Central Bracknell. But let’s start from the top.
As some of you might know, we are both members of the liberal party in Austria (NEOS) and engage in matters for the 11th district of Vienna. As part of that we knocked on several doors to talk about different campaigns in different elections. Thomas did the same thing while Brendas mother was staying in Bracknell and it happened that he knocked on her door. Long story short, that’s how we got in contact with Thomas and we enjoyed talking about his story, how he got into politics and what challenges he has to face as a young politician.
My world, your world
As a member of the council, you normally have plenty of different topics on your agenda. There might be voices that say the work of someone in the council consist mostly of ‘moving bins and naming streets’. That is a big part of the job, but in general it is about changing situations people have to deal with everyday on their way to work or to school. It is about a missing crossing, a dangerous junction or a library that has to be closed because of budget cuts.
“It is about working with people and to see if you can move the conversation.”
What is it that you do?
The work a council member has to do was just one of many topics we talked about with Thomas. For instance, have you ever wondered how an election feels for someone who is being elected? Thomas shares the story about the day he got elected as a council member and how it felt knowing that he had actually gotten a seat that was conservative for a really long time. He also gave us an insight how working with mostly older men looks like and what he has to do to be taken seriously.