Knaresborough's youngest ever councillor has targeted tackling pollution and congestion at Bond End following his election to the Town Council.
Conservative Ed Darling also hoped to address issues over flooding down the Nidd and encouraging businesses back into empty shops during his time on the council.
Mr Darling won a hard-fought by-election for the Knaresborough King James seat on Thursday, January 19, with a majority of 126.
The 21-year-old became the youngest ever councillor elected to the Town Council by beating off challenges from the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and UKIP.
He said: “It is a great honour to be elected to Knaresborough Town Council and to speak out on behalf of the community where I live.
“There are so many issues we need to address in Knaresborough – pollution and congestion at Bond End, the threat of flooding down the Nidd and encouraging businesses back in to our empty shops are just a few.
“These things are best achieved by all councillors working together irrespective of any party political concerns. I will therefore work with my new colleagues across the political spectrum to achieve the best for our town.”
Mr Darling grew up in Harrogate and moved to Knaresborough in 2010.
He was a student at Harrogate Grammar School and Sixth Form before taking on work experience in Andrew Jones’ office, where he currently works.
He said: “I couldn’t contain my excitement when I found out, I was very proud. I’ve had messages from people from school and from my family to say congratulations.
“I’m just really pleased that so many came out to vote, it’s probably the worst time of year to have a by-election with it being cold and wet so I’m just pleased that people did get out to vote, it was quite a high turnout.”
Mr Darling took 577 voted in the by-election (45.3 per cent) ahead of the Liberal Democrats with 451 (35.4 per cent).
UKIP finished last in the race with 106 votes (8.3 per cent) behind the Green Party with 139 (10.9 per cent).