Havant's Imogen Payter shortlisted for LGIU and CCLA young councillor award

A Havant councillor who was only elected in May has been shortlisted for a national Young Councillor of the Year award.

By Toby Paine
Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 2:20 pm
Cllr Imogen Payter

The Local Government Information Unit Cllr awards celebrate the contributions councillors make to their community that often go unrecognised.

This year there were over 400 nominations from all across the country, with only one Hampshire councillor making the cut.

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Imogen Payter at the Borough Council election count in May, when she was elected Picture: Stuart Martin (220421-7042)

Cllr Imogen Payter, 28, who lives in the borough, represents St Faith’s ward and said she was ‘flattered’ to receive the nomination.

‘I’m very excited, quite flattered actually as I've only started in May, it’s nice to know I've started off doing something right,’ she said.

‘I was a little bit shocked at first because they said they had quite a lot of nominations but I couldn't tell anyone because it was embargoed.

‘I’m starting the Havant business association so that will be looking at all the businesses in the town centre trying to get a forum for them.

‘We’ve got a forum coming up next month and we’re going to try to get a Christmas display competition going to brighten up the town centre.

‘I’ve also requested a meeting with Southwestern Railway to see what we can get done about the train station, if we can try and get it renovated and looking a bit smarter.’

The average age of a councillor in the UK is 59. Young people often have to over come barriers to becoming elected such as work, studies, family and financial pressures.

Imogen said she has been looking to start a young councillors association to inspire young councillors and provide a support network for them.

‘There are challenges for younger people that older people don’t face given that we have to work full-time to support ourselves because you can’t do that on a councillor’s salary.

‘We bring out enthusiasm and we don’t stick with how things always were and it’s good to get your ideas across and that there ways to do that which I am finding not always easy.

Imogen grew up in Havant before moving to Australia with her mum where she studied and worked with an Australian Member of Parliament.

She moved back to the UK three years ago where she started working with Alan Mak MP, before getting involved in the council.

Imogen currently runs several small businesses in Havant where she does consultancy work.

The winners of the Cllr Awards will be revealed on Wednesday, December 1 from 6.30pm to 9pm at Camden Council, Five Pancras Square, London. The ceremony will be broadcast live on YouTube.