James Savage is running for a seat in Newry Mourne and Down District Council’s District Electoral Area election on Thursday 2nd May.
As one of the ten candidates, James is one of the younger DUP members who has a keen interest in politics.
He is currently studying to become a mental health nurse and is passionate about the bread and butter issues.
“If elected, I would certainly serve everyone in the district on a fair and equal basis. Politics in Northern Ireland needs to be modernised and I’d like to play my part in doing this.
“To date I have served two terms in the Youth Parliament and had to retire at the grand old age of 19 as I was too old! It was a tremendous experience. I learned how local and national government works firsthand. One of the highlights of this experience was a couple of visits to Westminster and having a tour around the Commons.
“We actually had a national youth parliament in the Commons and I spoke on two issues on education around understanding cultures. We had a few excellent internal debates in the Youth Parliament back in Northern Ireland.
“During my work experience when I was at Blackwater Integrated College, I was lucky in spending a couple of weeks with Arlene Foster MLA when she was finance minister and Simon Hamilton MLA when he was health minister. This gave me a real view of what the wheels of government are about.”
James has also worked in health care for a spell and knows what it is to care for vulnerable adults and patients. And in his hometown of Killyeagh, he was a founder member of the Killyleagh Youth Drop in and also the Killyleagh Community Association.
And James has also spent a week with Councillor Billy Walker who he says has been an excellent mentor. “I spent a week with week with Billy When he was Chairman of the old legacy Down District Council. It was great to see how local government operates at Council level,” he said.
After taking his GCSE’s at Blackwater College he moved to Down High School to complete his A-Levels so he could eventually move into a degree nursing course.
“I really enjoy politics,” he added, “because sometimes you help an individual or a group of people in the community and there is no better feeling.”