AT 71 YEARS of age, most people are thinking about putting their feet up.

But one of Oxford’s newest city councillors has just taken on a whole new challenge.

Community campaigner Mick Haines was elected to represent Marston on Oxford City Council at the elections last Thursday.

The former scaffolder has spent years campaigning for better community facilities in the area he has lived in for nearly 40 years.

And he has said he wants to see change in Marston over his time in office.

He said: “I am ready for the challenge and excited.

“My first priority is to get a plaque in memory of the Armed Forces from Marston near the trees which were planted on Armistice Day in 1950 in Marston Road.

“We need more play equipment in the Croft Road recreation ground and we need more youth facilities in Marston.”

Mr Haines said he would also campaign to keep Marston Court care home open and improve parking in the area.

As a young man Mr Haines worked as a painter and decorator, but found the job boring. His boss moved him on to a team of bricklayers.

He went on to become a scaffolder, picking up his advanced scaffolding card in 1979 and going on to run his own firm, employing 28 people.

Since 2004 Mr Haines has been involved in a number of campaigns on issues ranging from sewage tanks underneath Croft Road recreation ground to plans by Tesco to open a branch in the old Friar pub in Marston Road.

Earlier this year, five years of campaigning, which included a trip to Downing Street, paid off as Oxfordshire County Council agreed to put lights in the Croft Road recreation ground.

Mr Haines said he stood for election as an Independent to make sure Marston is not at the bottom of the city council’s agenda.

He said: “Now that I am on the council I can be a voice for the people.

“Just because I don’t have a party behind me doesn’t mean I am on my own. People power has an awful lot of weight as it proved in this election. The people got fed up of asking for things and for nothing to be moving forward.”

Mr Haines is married to Janice and has six children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, who he says help keep him young.

The Elvis fan has lived in Marston since 1973, but was brought up in Headington by his grandparents.

He won the seat with 877 votes – and a majority of 241 over second-placed Labour – in a ward with the third highest turnout in the city.

His seat had been vacated by Labour councillor Beverly Hazell, who stood down, and only three of the 24 councillors up for election across the city received more votes than him.

The last time the seat was up for election, in 2008, Labour had a majority of 188 and Mr Haines came third.

Mr Haines said: “I could have a rough ride, but we should all work together and do what is good for the city.

“I am prepared to do the work and I have had three or four meetings this week already.

“If people hold anything against me, I think that is childish.”