From education to employment

Newcastle student wins Council seat in Local Elections

Media Opportunities: Chris Barber is available for press/radio interviews and photographs on request. To arrange, please contact Lucy Mountford on 01782 254265 or email [email protected]  


May 7, 2008


A Level student wins Council seat


An 18-year-old student from Newcastle-under-Lyme College has won a seat in the Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council local elections.


With 416 votes, Conservative candidate Christian Barber, a sixth form student at Newcastle-under-Lyme College, won the Newchapel seat from Labour candidate Kyle Robinson in a landslide victory.

Chris, who received 44 percent of the 943 votes placed on May 1, said: "I’m overwhelmed by the majority. I’ve worked really hard for this but I’m still a bit shocked with the win. I thought it would be much closer.”

Chris added: "The electorate in my ward was surprised to see such a young candidate when I knocked the doors but I think they saw that I had passion and commitment on issues that matter to them."

His successful campaign centered on improving community spirit, supporting local business and ensuring a fairer deal for Newchapel when it comes to securing local government funding.


College Principal Karen Dobson said she was delighted to hear of Chris’s success. “We encourage all our students to become informed and responsible citizens who give something back to their local communities.


“What Chris has achieved really is remarkable, not only when you take into account his age but also the fact he is juggling his campaigning and responsibilities as a Councillor with preparing for his final A Level examinations. I’d like to congratulate him on his success.”


As well as studying for A Levels in Accounting, Business Studies and Economics at Newcastle Sixth Form Centre, Chris is also a member of the Newcastle-under-Lyme and Keele University Conservative Future group.


Upon leaving the College this summer, Chris plans to take up the offer of a place at Keele University to study for a degree in Business and Economics.


Chris’s gain in Newchapel helped the Conservative party achieve its best local government showing since 1980.


– ENDS –


Notes to editors:


o       The ward of Newchapel, which has 3,239 residents, now has probably the greatest age variation of its councillors in the country. Councillor Nora Salt, Chris’s co-councillor, is aged 84.



Newcastle-under-Lyme College

Newcastle-under-Lyme College is the largest provider of 16-18 education in Staffordshire, with student success rates amongst the top 10% of further education colleges in the country for full-time courses. The College recently underwent an Ofsted Inspection with the subsequent report, published in December 2007, identifying key strengths as good teaching and learning, excellent governance, strong links with employers, pro-active and innovative work with local secondary schools and highly effective strategies to widen participation. Inspectors rated the college as ‘good’ overall, with many outstanding elements:

  • OUTSTANDING initial advice and guidance;
  • OUTSTANDING provision to meet the needs and interests of learners;
  • OUTSTANDING approach to educational and social inclusion;
  • OUTSTANDING development of economic well-being for learners;
  • OUTSTANDING support for literacy and numeracy needs;
  • OUTSTANDING identification of, and provision for, additional learning needs.

For more information please visit

Media enquires:

Lucy Mountford

Marketing and PR Manager

Newcastle-under-Lyme College

Direct Dial: 01782 254366

Email: [email protected]


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