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01/05/2015 10:15 BST | Updated 01/05/2015 10:59 BST

Teenager Luke Holland Is Hoping To Be Britain's Youngest Councillor

Luke Holland

Luke Holland is 18 and standing as an independent candidate for the ward of Moseley and Kings Heath in Birmingham.

Self-identifying as a "proud Brummie", he told HuffPost UK about his policies and background, and why he feels Birmingham Council needs fresh new energy.

What made you decide to run as a councillor?

I decided to run as Councillor because I was fed up. Theres only so many petitions I can sign, only so many protests I can go on until I question what those actions are actually achieving. I wanted to get in there and influence the decisions myself. I know what really happens in Brum and I don't beat around the bush when it comes to telling the truth.

Why should people vote for you?

I set up my own eco green cleaning business, Green Kleen, when I was 17. I was renting on my own at 16. As an independent I have no political affiliations, enabling me to vote whichever way residents want me to - I don't want to be under the thumb of the whip because they didn't vote me in, the residents did.

Birmingham is the youngest city in Europe, yet a lot of young people don't vote here. When I canvas on the streets and chat to young people I ask them to at least register. I receive a continuous stream of Facebook messages telling me they only registered so they could vote for me. The youth of Birmingham needs to be reflected in our Council Chamber - without this it doesn't truly represent the city. I want to change this.

What are you looking to achieve if you win?

Birmingham is a tale of two cities. In one, 37% of children live in poverty. In the other, the the rich drive Mercedes around our pothole-ridden streets. I cannot live in a city like this. In 2015 it shouldn't be happening. That's why if I am elected I will give my Councillor Allowance of £16,267 to the community of Moseley and King Heath to tackle deprivation, setting up youth clubs and other services.

I often hear from people that they never see their politicians. I would be different - if elected, I would leaflet every house in my ward four times a year with updates of I've done and what I plan to do asking for the public's opinions and involvement. I'll walk up and down every street inspecting them for maintenance issues and will hold clean ups once a month. I will make promises that will change the definition of a politician.

What will you do next if you don't win?

Hopefully I'll win, but if not there are other options. Mayor Of Brum sounds decent...

Who are your supporters?

I have a lot of support in Moseley and Kings Heath, ordinary folk. Many have found truth in what I say and are supporting me because they feel I truly represent them. I receive around 80 emails a day from city residents, dealing with issues as diverse as homelessness to stolen wheelie bins. Donating my councillor allowance proves that I want to tackle deprivation. Thankfully all I have achieved with my business means am self-sufficient and don't need the extra money.

Is there are a particular area of politics that you're passionate about?

An issue very close to my heart is diversity. Birmingham thrives on diversity while racism divides us. I do a lot to promote a diverse Birmingham and tackle racism when I see it.

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