10:00am Wednesday 5th February 2014
By Kate Wilson
A TEENAGER who invited MP Neil Carmichael and former MP David Drew to his 18th birthday bash is hoping to become the youngest person to serve on Chalford Parish Council.
Ryan Davis, 18, was born three months premature and has cerebral palsy.
Although Ryan, an avid Liverpool football fan, has severe disabilities they have not hindered his ability to dream big as he has his sights set on becoming Conservative MP for Stroud in the 2020 election.
The first step towards that dream takes place tomorrow when Ryan, who attends district council meetings on a regular basis, will ask parish councillors in Chalford to make him a member.
“I am very interested in politics both nationally and locally and want to join the parish council so I can make a difference in my local area,” said Ryan, who lives in Frithwood Park with mum Emma Wojcick, stepdad Jason Wherlock and brother Callum Davis, 15.
Ryan is familiar with the workings of local government as he is an ambassador for vulnerable young people at Gloucestershire County Council.
He became a member of Stroud District Youth Council last year and also meets with district councillors Debbie Young and Paul Carter as well as GCC cabinet member Dorcas Binns for advice.
However Ryan, who spent some time at a special needs school in the Philippines as part of an exchange programme with St Rose’s School in Stroud, is also aware his disability could be seen by some as a hindrance and hopes people won't feel uncomfortable going to him with their problems.
“Hopefully people will feel comfortable coming to speak to me about their issues in the area and I can show them I not only understand but hopefully I can also help,” he said.
Ryan, who cannot read or write, has learnt everything about politics from watching BBC Parliament, the Sky News channel and by listening to Stroud FM, and he already has an idea of things he would like to change.
“At the moment I am trying to start a petition to stop politicians being parachuted into areas so that the person representing you in Parliament is actually someone who knows the area,” he said.
Regardless of whether he gets elected, Ryan still plans to pursue his political dream and is hoping to study politics when he attends St Martin’s Centre, which is on the St Rose’s School site, in September.
Check the SNJ website on Friday for thr result.
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