Although I was born in Aldershot Military Hospital I have a long-established Basingstoke Family history. My grandparents lived in the old terraced houses in front of the station before they were moved to council housing when the houses were finally demolished.
I spent some of my childhood in exotic places like Kuwait when my father was in the army. Most of the time I grew up in Worting Road and went to Brookvale Primary School (before it got turned into expensive flats) and Cranbourne Comprehensive.
Like many Basingstoker’s I started my working life at the AA. I also spent some time working and living in Reading and London before finally returning to my Basingstoke roots about 30 years ago.
Much of my employment has been in public service, for the Legal Aid Board and Basingstoke College of Technology. I now have my own small training business.
As a committed union supporter, I have been chair of the Legal Aid ASTMS union group and am still a union member today, in the National Education Union.
Why I am standing for councillor
Recently, I was pondering the future facing family members and all young people today – huge fees for education causing staggering personal debt, lack of affordable housing and the increasingly temporary and low paid nature of work.
It made me stop and think about how lucky I had been to have the benefits of good health care, public housing and a free education. I realised it was time to put something back and try to help improve the future and fight for a fairer, more equal society.
So, instead of just moaning about an asset rich council that cuts essential services at the same time as spending money on countless consultants to justify retail parks we don’t need, I am volunteering to stand as a local councillor so I can try and do something about it.
Just some of the Tory cuts and policy proposals that affect Brighton Hill residents include:
- Closing Sure Start children centres
- Stopping School Crossings, increasing the risk of accidents
- Not funding community transport e.g. dial-a-ride
- Cutting subsidies to support our bus services making it even harder to get about
- Building yet another retail park without sorting out Brighton Hill roundabout
- Reducing parking services causing even more pavement parking and obstructions
- Introducing charges and reducing services at the tip encouraging fly tipping
As well as fighting against things, I intend to fight for things including: better bus services, real affordable housing and more support for our local schools and health services, to mention just a few. If I am selected and elected I will work hard with labour colleagues to achieve this, as well as doing my utmost to represent and help residents with their individual issues.