Before I moved to Wigan I was a successful Labour and Co-operative Councillor in Salford, working hard on behalf of constituents for improvements in their services and environment. I raised funds to support the local Women’s Centre and the Agnes Hopkins Centre for elderly and disabled people. I supported local people in a campaign to retain a post office service and organised community clean-up sessions to remove litter from recreational areas.
As a senior councillor I was the lead member on the Salford Cabinet who oversaw housing, environmental services and regulatory services. From 2012 to 2016, I had to manage significant Tory-led economic cuts in Salford whilst maintaining outstanding and award winning environmental services. During my period of office we dramatically increased recycling and reduced the cost of landfill waste. In addition I oversaw the investment of over half a billion pounds into our social housing stock and increased the licensing of landlords in areas of high turnover and anti-social behaviour. We had award winning and successful regulatory services that ensured businesses complied with safer working practice and that food services complied with health standards.
I would bring this experience to Wigan to fight for better affordable housing for local people and tackle disreputable landlords so that residents do not have to endure anti-social behaviour and rubbish tipped in their streets. In addition I would use the knowledge I have to support local parks, libraries and recreational areas and to fight for a reduction in toxic emissions from excessive traffic on our roads. Respiratory disease from these emissions causes serious health issues for children and the elderly in our community.
Labour Party Experience
I have held a number of positions at branch and CLP level. The most recent was as the Treasurer and The Women’s Officer for Salford and Eccles CLP and I attended the Local Campaign Forum. I have attended several Labour Party Conferences and most of the Women’s conferences. I have also attended a number of North West Training sessions.
I have significant experience of campaigning in local and national elections and have produced election material for my own campaigns and for others. I have been an agent in local elections and supported local and national candidates in bi-elections.
I campaigned actively in the General Election in both Leigh and in Makerfield and I am delighted to have helped return Yvonne Fovargue and Jo Platt to serve as MPs in this region. I also campaigned for Andy Burnham’s successful Mayoral Campaign. If elected I intend to donate 15% of my alliance to support his homeless project here in Wigan.
I have been a member of a union all my working life. Whilst a teacher, I was a member of the NUT. Since then, I have been a member of Unite the Union, who sponsored me in my last election.
Greater Manchester Experience
My senior political role in Salford afforded significant opportunities to represent local people at a Greater Manchester level. I was a member of the housing and planning commission, the North West Housing Forum and the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority. I also attended cross-Greater Manchester environment and flood forums.
This experience will enable me to ensure that the views and needs of our constituents do not go unheard in the Greater Manchester Devolved Council.