Richard Costello, a first-year Politics student, has this week been announced as Labour’s council candidate for Sutton Coldfield, New Hall, which falls under the Birmingham City constituency.
Though the seat he is running for is currently held by the Conservative Party, Costello has a positive outlook on his election chances, stating: “It’s looking really tight at the moment, but I reckon I have quite a good chance. The University have given me a couple of extra weeks at the end of Easter to work on my campaign, and I’m down in Birmingham regularly so it isn’t too difficult to organise.”
He continued: “It will undoubtedly be a bit difficult to balance with University, but there hasn’t been more of an interesting time to get involved in politics since Thatcher was elected. I really think we may be faced with a hung parliament.”
Costello, who has been a member of the local Labour Party since the age of 16, was approached by the local party secretary and offered the chance to run for the seat.
The process of being named the final candidate involved being selected by the local constituency, and then by the Labour Party as a whole, through a numerous series of interviews.
Costello has been heavily involved in local politics for several years, and was last year selected as a delegate to the party conference, where he spoke in front of both MPs and the Prime Minister.
In his gap year, he also secured an internship with the regional party, where he took on the role of assistant Press Officer.
Should he be elected, Costello’s responsibilities would range from road safety to budget cuts. This is an issue that is particularly relevant to the Birmingham City constituency. The constituency is one of the first places to be targeted with 2,000 job cuts, so there are many budget disagreements dominating local politics.