Meet Lincoln's newest Labour city councillor Katie Vause
Lincoln's newest Labour city councillor has revealed how the pace of change in education moved the school teacher to enter politics.
Katie Vause, 31, head of geography at Lincoln Castle Academy, polled 577 votes to win the Bracebridge City of Lincoln Council by-election with a 97-vote margin.
The seat was up for grabs after former city council leader Darren Grice – a Conservative turned independent – was removed from office over his poor attendance.
Mrs Vause, who has three daughters aged 13, 7 and 4 and is married to window fitter Simon, has pledged to fight to save under-threat libraries and restore Bracebridge's evening buses.
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"I have always supported Labour but only joined the party recently," said Mrs Vause, who lives in the ward.
"I got to see Labour councillors at work and I was impressed by the difference they can make to their communities.
"The last three years in education have been increasingly hard because of Education Secretary Michael Gove and the coalition Government. It's the constant change, the pace of it, changes to grade boundaries and teachers' pay and performance.
"It's too much too soon and you're constantly playing catch-up and it's not good for the students and is using them for political gain.
"One thing I'm absolutely going to push for as a councillor is youth provision in the ward because there's a real need for young people in Bracebridge to have something to do and have more engagement in the community.
"I'm just incredibly proud to have been elected and I'm going to work very hard for the ward.
"Some of the best contact I have with people is when I'm walking Diesel, my husky malamute cross.
"It's good to be seen and I want to be available and approachable."
Mrs Vause lists the Hull West and Hessle MP Alan Johnson among her political heroes.
She says the Labour politician, a former Education Secretary under Tony Blair, has "achieved so much".
"He was the first Education Secretary to ever have had free school meals as a child – he shows it's possible to make it in politics whatever your background," she said.
"I do like the Miliband brothers for what they have achieved and any women who have made it in politics from whatever side.
"I think the Labour Party now needs to get behind Ed Miliband because the election is not far away.
"What you have to admire about Margaret Thatcher, even though our politics are very different, is the strength she needed to get to where she wanted to be."
And Mrs Vause joked: "You never know, maybe Britain's second woman Prime Minister could be me."
Turnout in the by-election on August 22 was 25.7 per cent.
Conservative David Denman was second with 480 votes, UKIP's Elaine Warde polled 345, Ross Pepper of the Liberal Democrats 75 and Karen Williams of TUSC polled 14.
Labour now has 25 seats on the council to the Conservatives' eight.
Councillor Ron Hills, leader of the opposition Conservative group, said: "The signs at the moment are if you vote UKIP you get Labour and I think that's what's happened here.
"In opposition, we will always challenge the ruling group where it's appropriate. I do believe in consensus politics but at the moment there's little to have consensus on."