Councillor Ruth O'Keeffe MBE

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Title: Leader of the Independent Group

Party: Independent Group

Division: Lewes

Parish: Lewes

Contact information

Home address: 
12 Dorset Road
East Sussex

Mobile:  07941 151989



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Committee appointments

Term of Office

  • 05/05/2005 -

Appointments to outside bodies

Additional Information

My politics


I have always been interested in empowering local people, so that they can make a difference and influence decisions themselves.


I will campaign on environmental issues, especially the upkeep and maintenance of Lewes and the town’s services. I also examine specific issues such as traffic, parking, floods and housing


More about me


I was first elected county councillor for Lewes in 2005 and have lived in East Sussex since 1987. I am a teacher by profession, and have also worked as an administrator at a special school, raising money for equipment and resources for the children. I am currently working as a Councillor at three levels, County, District and Town.


But how did I get here?


In 1998, I was a parent governor at a local Lewes primary school. A colleague from the Town Council asked if I'd ever considered standing in the local elections, so that sparked my interest.


I decided to stand as a councillor as I wanted to make a positive difference to the local community, by solving constituents' problems, and perhaps maintaining existing coherent policies and influencing new ones that could help them further.


My community


I am really interested in the people who live in my community. It is important to spend time finding out about what is happening in the local community by talking and listening to local residents. Keeping a detailed diary and a small notebook to write down everyone's requests and queries is vital.


I enjoy being able to help people sort issues out by providing them with the information they require, making sure that their views are heard, and that the Council and relevant officers are fully aware of local feeling. Particular concerns include traffic, parking, access to services, flooding and approaching local government.


Securing funding and encouraging different groups to work together on community projects has been particularly enjoyable. I have also taken Fair Trade as an issue to the Council, which has resulted in the Council agreeing to join local people in working towards Fair Trade County status.


My home life


I have lived in Lewes since 1987 and have four children.


My spare time


I like reading, walking, gardening, knitting, sewing and take an interest in environmental issues.