JOE Beeston became Shaw and Crompton Parish Council’s youngest ever chair when elected earlier this year.Just 20 at the time, Shaw raised Joe could not have been happier with the accolade, especially as a first-time councillor.
Six months on and thoroughly enjoying his civic duties, the former Beal Vale pupil thinks he could be an even better record breaker.
Suitably inspired by recent discussions with some constituents, the 21-year-old animal lover began to research if there is a younger chair, not only in the UK but across Europe.
An initial internet trawl suggests there isn’t anyone to beat his claim.
“I wasn’t thinking of it until I got talking to a few residents some weeks back at an event,” Joe told the Correspondent.
“They were saying you must be the youngest, you must check. So, I did.
“And it does seem like I am. Google says I am so that must be right,” laughed Joe, who in his younger days chaired Royton and Crompton Youth Forum for four years.
“There are two chairs of Parish Councils in Europe I know of and there must be more. But I will be doing some more research.”
Rebecca Maitland was only 19 when she became a member of Lowick Parish Council in Northumberland last year but didn’t become chair.
Rob Reynolds was 29 when he became Rainsford Parish Council’s chair in 2015.
Joe is the youngest chair and councillor since the Parish Council was inaugurated in 1987.
He was co-opted as a Liberal Democrat councillor in May 2019 and then unanimously voted into the vacancy previously occupied by former chair David Bibby the following month.
“It is going very well; it could not be better,” says Joe of his term in office to date.
“I am really enjoying it and I still have a while to go.”
• The Correspondent has contacted Guinness World Records to see if Joe can claim a place in its famous pages.