Many of my friends asked me why, at my age and my somewhat gentle temperament, did I want to bother with the cut and thrust of local politics when I could happily continue with my career and my social activism in other ways.
I must say that I have asked myself that question myself. Repeatedly. The one reason that kept coming back to me was that I believe in social justice and social responsibility and believe I can make a difference.
I believe that in the current climate of savage public spending cuts including benefit cuts, of massive job losses, of house repossessions and increasing homelessness, amid a background of deep economic crisis, I believe that I can make a significant difference to those most in need – while not denying that Britain is in dire economic straits.
I came to Beeston in 1975 and other than a twelve year period working overseas in community-based rehabilitation and as a teacher, have lived in the Ward since.
You may know me in one of my many roles in and around Beeston as a social activist and community organiser. Perhaps as one of the founders of the Beeston Volunteer Bureau or as a volunteer for ten years with the CAB or maybe as the founding manager of the Oxfam shop on the High Road 30 years ago. Or maybe you know me as a founder member of the Fairtrade campaign or helping to set up the Nottingham Credit Union collection point in Inham Nook. And some of you will have heard me preach since I became a Methodist local preacher a few years ago.
With my life-long activism and my life-long support for the Labour Party I consider myself to have impeccable Labour Party credentials.
I see my role as a Labour councilor as an opportunity to work for the whole community and to get results. I will face cuts in a way that will least affect the poorest members of our society but be borne by those most able to afford the cuts.
I am nobody’s political mouth-piece nor will I bend with the political wind. I am far too experienced for that. I am a woman of conscience, a woman with a deep political conscience and a life long social activist.