37 year old Labour Cllr Ben Cooper serves the ward of Dartmouth and East Dart on South Hams District Council.

He said: ‘’I have pretty much lived in Dartmouth all my life, being born in Plymouth as my dad was in the Royal Navy, but moving here when I was a baby and my family connection goes back several generations.

“Having gone to school locally, I got my first job at Cafe Alf Resco aged 14 and then went on to study criminal justice at Plymouth University.

“After returning to Dartmouth to work, I first stood for South Hams District Council in 2011 when I was 25, I won in Dartmouth Townstal and stayed for the four year term before the ward was abolished and losing in the newly created Dartmouth and East Dart ward in 2015.’’

Ben spent some time in London working on campaigns with Lord Adonis but although he enjoyed the work, he didn’t like working in London.

He then travelled to see family in Australia before I returning to Dartmouth to get a job as a caseworker with Plymouth Sutton and Devonport MP Luke Pollard which he did for almost two years.

Returning to Dartmouth once more in 2019, he got a job as Manager for Smith Street Deli and has settled into a job he really loves.

Ben joined the Labour Party aged 18. He says: ‘’I’m gay and Labour were and are doing the most for LGBTQ plus people including getting rid of Section 28 (which prohibited the promotion of homosexuality). Now their work includes helping trans children.’’

Ben told us : ‘’Since the pandemic, I helped set up Dartmouth Youth Group with Liz Moseley and an amazing group of people providing free activities, food and trips for the young people of Dartmouth and the surrounding area and remain vice-Chair.’’

The group organises weekly activities at Coronation Park and Ivy Lane including aqua runs and swimming but by far their most popular event is the roller disco that attracts between 80 and 100 young people.

He topped the polls in his ward at the elections.