CASTLE Point’s youngest councillor says his tender years will be no obstacle when it comes to representing residents.

Conservative Andrew Sheldon ousted the borough’s sole remaining Labour councillor, Brian Wilson, to win a seat in St Mary’s ward at last week’s elections.

At 22 he will be by far the youngest councillor in the chamber and has 13 years on the next youngest, 35-year-old Canvey Island Independent Party representative Lee Barrett.

Today’s Mr Sheldon is very different to the one featured in the Echo earlier this year.

Then he sported long hair and a “rebellious” streak. Now he has the clean-cut look of a modern day politician.

He said: “My friends know my hair meant a lot to me. My dad was in the Army and growing my hair was my way of being rebellious.

“But hopefully my new look will help me find a job.”

Mr Sheldon had his locks shorn to help raise £257 for Unicef, while working as a volunteer at the charity’s shop in Benfleet High Road.

He joins a council where many of his colleagues are close to retirement age, if not already in receipt of their free bus passes.

The young Tory, who grew up in Benfleet and now lives in Hadleigh, said: “What I may lack in experience I certainly make up for in energy and creativity and there are a lot of young people in Castle Point who could do with a louder voice.”

His political views were formed while studying for his A-Levels at King John School, in Thundersley.

He said: “I had some fantastic teachers, particularly two of my sociology teachers. They were brilliant, but complete left wingers.

“I spent hours and hours debating with them and I realised I had a coherent set of views.”

Following his A-levels Mr Sheldon went on to study for a degree in politics and international relations at the University of London and while there he worked part time as an assistant for Clacton MP Douglas Carswell in his Westminster Office.

He said: “I was answering constituents’ concerns and doing some basic administration.

“To go to work in that fantastic building and help people with problems and change things, I really loved it.”

He graduated in the summer of 2009 and despite undertaking an unpaid internship has been unable to find a permanent job.

He does not rule out standing as an MP one day, but says he is fully focused on the here and now.

He added: “For the moment I’m happy where I am. I want to get a job and move out of my parents’ house.”