THE number of women sitting on Whitchurch Town Council has tripled after two new councillors were co-opted following a secret ballot.

Four candidates gave a presentation to the council explaining why they should be chosen to fill the vacant seats, before two were chosen – both of whom are women.

The council had previously expressed an interest in hearing from female candidates, following the resignation of Jackie Day and Linda Thomas last year, leaving just one female councillor – Claire Isbester.

Sharon Egan was selected to join the council after giving a passionate speech about her love for the town.

The 42-year-old, from Station Road, said: “I have lived in Whitchurch for just over 10 years. My partner and I moved here. We love living here.”

She added: “There have been lots of changes, and it’s been fantastic to see the town flourish and grow.”

Miss Egan, who works as a civil servant for the Department of Health, said she has volunteered in the community, adding: “I considered the opportunity of being a councillor about eight years ago but thought with my limited life experience it was too scary.

“But I saw the opportunity come up again and reflected on what I have done in the last few years and thought that would give me a better chance to give something back to the community where I live.”

Super-mum Fiona Nicolson was the second candidate co-opted to the council, after impressing councillors with her desire to give something back to the town. The 39-year-old full-time mum, who has two-year-old twins and a three-year-old son, said her eldest son, Callum, who is 18, was her inspiration for wanting to become a councillor.

Callum has previously appeared in The Gazette, having led a campaign when he was 15, to improve the town’s skate park.

Miss Nicolson, from Hillside, said: “He does wonderful things. He’s given me the inspiration to get involved in the community.”

Speaking to The Gazette after being selected, Miss Nicolson said: “I’m very shocked. I didn’t think I would get it so I didn’t tell anyone.”