Jessica set for her council bow

Jessica Spence (19) is the youngest ever member of Earby Town Council.
Jessica Spence (19) is the youngest ever member of Earby Town Council.

Earby Town Council will welcome its youngest ever member when councillors next meet in full on Monday, July 1st.

Coun. Jessica Spence (19), who is the daughter of current Earby Town councillor, Coun. James Spence, will take her seat after being voted on earlier this month having applied for the position in April.

Coun. Chris Tennant will introduce Jessica to fellow council members before getting down to usual business.

Jessica, who works for Principal Health Care in Skipton, is a former pupil at West Craven High Technology College and says she has wanted to be on the council for three years.

Jessica said: “I’ve wanted to be on the council since I was 16.

“It’s just something I enjoy doing.

“I want to make a difference in the Earby community and just want to give the younger generation a voice.

“Hopefully people will listen and I will be able to do a few things I would like to.”

Jessica has been Earby’s Standard Bearer since 2010 and will be on duty again this Sunday at the Rededication and Armed Forces Service at the Sough Park War Memorial.

In 2011, Jessica received the High Sheriff of Lancashire’s Citizen’s Award in which was presented to her at Lancashire Police’s headquarters at Hutton by Dennis Mendoros.

Two years ago, inspired by her father’s time working in the Armed Forces and the tragic death of L/Cpl Jordan Bancroft, she organised a shoe box appeal for Comfort Christmas Boxes for British troops in Afghanistan.

Expecting 50, she collected an astonishing 220 as people responded in huge numbers.

Now working full time, Jessica still finds the time to do an enormous amount of charity work.

She is a member of the Skipton based Principal Trust, the charity wing of the company she works for, which has holiday homes for disadvantaged families.

At Christmas last year, Jessica took part in the Santa Fun Run to raise funds for this.

Chairman of Earby Town Council, Coun. Chris Tennant, who also represents Earby ward for Pendle Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jessica to the council and she already has, at the age of 20, an amazing track record.

“Jessica was on the School Council in the last year at school and she tried very hard to set up a Youth Council Committee for the Town Council.

“In the same year she received the Town Council’s Shaw Greening Award for her services to the community through all her volunteer work.

“Coun. Jim Spence, already a council member, has every right to be very proud of his daughter.”

Coun. Vera Cocker added: “Jessica is so full of vitality and life. She is superb.”