A 21-YEAR-OLD Green Party candidate believes a “radical” change is needed in Parliament to stop places like St Helens being left behind.

Kai Taylor is standing in St Helens South and Whiston at next month’s general election, a seat held by Labour’s Marie Rimmer since 2015.

Cllr Taylor became the first Green councillor to be elected on to Knowsley Council in 2018 aged 20, having failed to get elected two years earlier.

Now 22 and leader of the Knowsley Green group, Cllr Taylor is looking to cause another upset by winning St Helens South and Whiston from Labour.

For Cllr Taylor, who is currently studying politics and international relations at Liverpool Hope University, making Parliament more representative is vital to changing to status quo.

Cllr Taylor said: “I think what’s key is Parliament is representative of the people, and 600 middle-aged white men is not representative of the British population.

“I’ve not got a home yet. I’m still looking to get on the property market. I’m still dealing with student tuition fees. I’m still out there looking to see how I make my way in the world.

“And I think that comes into play. I think we need those voices in Parliament to say actually, student fees, this is the effect it has on me – not being able to get a home, this is the effect it has on young people.

“It’s good to have people who’ve experienced different situations and come from different backgrounds as well.”

Despite being barely out of his teens, Cllr Taylor said his age has not yet been a problem for the majority of residents since he entered politics.

Cllr Taylor said people care more about his views on big issues and experience, which he considers to be “considerable”.

The Green councillor thinks the status quo is simply not working anymore for Northern towns like St Helens.

Cllr Taylor said: “We’ve got in our head what a politician looks like and we’ve all be let down by that stereotypical politician so many times on too many occasions.

“I think people are just genuinely open to the idea of look, we do need a different type of politician. We do need a different type of Parliament.

“We need to radically change the way that we’re doing things because it is towns like St Helens that get left behind, by not just this Parliament, the Parliament before it and the Parliament before that.

“It’s Northern working-class communities that never seem to have anyone speaking up for them or standing up for them.”

St Helens Star:

Cllr Taylor said the frustration with the current Parliament has been all too apparent while on the campaign trail.

He said people have become “exhausted” with Brexit and want to talk more about other, local issues.

Cllr Taylor said: “I think what is quite clear is, St Helens has got a lot of problems that needs addressing and for the past three years Parliament has been absolutely gridlocked talking about Brexit.

“What we are finding are the big issues are people are worried about the future for young people in terms of a lack of employment opportunities.

“We’re seeing big warehouses popping up in St Helens, but let’s be honest, they’re going to be minimum wage jobs and they’re not going to be fantastically meaningful forms of employment, especially not something we should be pushing people to aspire to.

“I’m not belittling the jobs as they are, but we can do better.

“We’re a town with such industrial heritage and such a proud background in industry that we really should be aiming to promote that and to work in that sector.”

Cllr Taylor said environmental issues are high on the agenda with voters, with residents concerned about green belt development and the impact the influx of homes will have on the local infrastructure.

But crucially, Cllr Taylor believes it is clear from speaking to residents on the doorsteps that people are ready for a new type of politics.

Cllr Taylor said: “In St Helens, what we’re getting is especially throughout this campaign, people have got a lot of issues they want to see action on and all that they’re seeing in Parliament is deadlock, debate and point-scoring politics.

“And I think what people are hoping for, whatever happens in the election, it produces a government that can actually get on with a domestic agenda of trying to deal some of these key issues.”