A major theme here of the closing session of the 2016 Conservative Party Conference was our fantastic MPs and Peers telling us why they are Conservatives.
My story is not typical of most Conservative Councillors, I was born with a development coordination disorder called Dyspraxia. Dyspraxia plays a large role in my political story.
I have always had a Conservative outlook on life but this is heightened by what I’m about to tell you.
I struggled through school, I was bullied at Junior School and received my Dyspraxia diagnosis aged 9, almost by accident because despite both me and my parents protesting to the teachers, they never believed what was wrong until the special needs coordinator went on a course.
I moved on to Senior school and from the age of 11, I was bullied once again. When I came to my GCSE selection year I chose IT as a double award GNVQ and that became my soul focus. I had a fabulously inspiring teacher in Jeremy Long. He taught me a lot. He taught me to hone my strengths and that as long as I knew my strengths and played to them, I could do whatever I wanted with my life.
He taught me the values of meritocracy, he taught me the values of hard work and values of respect and authority.
As a staunch unionist and socialist, I’m sure Jez would be proud to know that he instilled with in me such Conservative values as meritocracy; hard work; respect and small government.
Thanks to his belief in me, I went off to the University of Derby. I struggled through my formative years but in 2008 I was elected in my 3rd year as Disabled Students’ Officer on the Students’ Union.
Student Politics was a really fulfilling role and I loved it. My 2 year stint in this role made me the councillor that I am today as it taught me to be humble it gave me humility and taught me that there are people out there needing my help. It taught me how to help people without expecting anything in return.
I joined the Conservative Party in May 2009 after Sir Eric Pickles closed our student elections. I was impressed by his manner and the way he was so incredibly down to earth. Im proud to call Eric a chum of mine.
I finally graduated following 5 years of hard work. It took every one of my Conservative values to get me through my degree.
I have been a branch chairman of Conservative Future, Deputy Area Chairman; Area Chairman; Vice regional Chairman; Deputy Regional Chairman and a regional Chairman. I sat on the National executive of CF.
I have been branch Chairman and Deputy Chairman, Vice Chairman and Deputy Chairman of my local Association and was the first CF member to be called to sit on the Area board.
Im a Conservative because I believe in Meritocracy; Hard Work; Small Government; Low Tax; Freedom; Family and success.
As a young Councillor I want to be part of a movement that continues to provide 2 million apprenticeships to help young people to earn qualifications whilst they earn money. As a Derbyshire lad I want to be a part of a movement that is supporting local businesses like Bombardier to earn major national contracts.
I am a proud Conservative and a proud British Citizen.