BLAENAVON’S newest town councillor has pledged to be a voice for young people after being co-opted to the council aged just 25.

Georgina James, who works as schools co-ordinator with Melin Homes, said she hopes to work with the other town councillors to bridge the gap between generations in the town.

“I don’t see enough representation for young people on public bodies, so I need to represent for others like me,” she said.

“I believe I will bring an element to the council that will allow us, collectively as a group, to engage younger people and help bridge the gap between the generations.

“I am hugely passionate about our town and want the further generations that are coming through to feel the same.”

Cllr James is now the youngest person on the town council - three years younger than Mayor of Blaenavon Cllr Liam Cowles.

Free Press Series: New Blaenavon Town Councillor Georgina James with Mayor of Blaenavon Cllr Liam Cowles. Picture: Blaenavon Town Council.New Blaenavon Town Councillor Georgina James with Mayor of Blaenavon Cllr Liam Cowles. Picture: Blaenavon Town Council.

The former St Peter’s Primary and St Alban’s RC High School pupil is already a familiar face in the community, having worked with Blaenavon Heritage VC Primary School on local events and intergenerational projects with Melin Homes.

As part of her role, she visits primary and secondary schools across the five former Gwent local authority areas, talking to pupils about environmental issues and life skills, and giving them career advice.

She also helps run its Youth Empowerment Programme, which is designed to give young people the experience of working with board members.

When she was 21, Melin Homes supported Cllr James to go to Cambodia and help on a house build with charity 'Habitat for Humanity'. She has since been to Brazil and returned to Cambodia to work on further house builds.

A former trustee of the Workmen’s Hall, Cllr James is also a neuro linguistic practitioner, coaching people to achieve their goals and change their mindsets to a more positive light.

Alongside her day job, she runs local dance fitness business GEEJ, and is due to launch her own active wear brand ‘Coal Connection’.

Cllr James recently moved out of Blaenavon to live in Penygarn, but said that has made her want to stay connected to her hometown “more than ever”.

“I still work here, but I want to bring more to the town that has shaped me to be the person I am today,” she said. “I’ve been campaigning since I was 15, and still feel the urge to protect and care for the people of my community.

“I realised at that age if I have the opportunity to make my voice heard and make changes, then I should use it. We all should.”

Cllr Cowles said: “We are very lucky to have someone with Georgina’s energy and passion for helping people of all ages join our team - she will be a great asset.

“It’s also good for me, personally, as I will no longer be the youngest councillor.”