The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has written to Cllr Luke Ives congratulating him on his recent appointment as Chairman of Ryedale District Council.

At the age of just 22, Cllr Ives, who represents Norton West Ward, became the youngest ever chairman of a local authority in May 2014.

Writing to Cllr Ives personally, the Prime Minister said:

“I understand that at 22 you are the youngest ever Chairman of a local authority – this is a great personal achievement on your part and a tribute to your hard work.

“Public Service is so deeply important to our society and for the future of our county, so I was delighted to learn about the work that you have been doing in your community, from such a young age.

“The months ahead will undoubtedly present many challenges and will involve a great deal of hard work. But I know you will be a strong voice for Ryedale and I wish you all the very best of luck for your term in office.”

Cllr Ives’ theme for his year in tenure is a “year of youth”, and he has made it a key aim to increase engagement in politics among younger people.

Cllr Ives commented:

“The Prime Minister’s letter is proof that there is a welcome place for young people in politics. This is very important, as the only way that young people’s concerns and needs will be addressed, is if there is greater participation and representation in democracy.

“Politics shouldn’t be just about ideological differences, it should be about improving the lives of many others. The work carried out in the local community is where the greatest impact can be felt, hence the reason why the Prime Minister states the importance of Public Service.

“It is depressing that recent scandals means that disengagement is at an all-time high. Ultimately this is a detrimental to society, and I hope that over the next year more people will consider engaging in politics at a local level - regardless of political persuasion.”