Title: Co-Leader of the Labour Group
Division: Hastings - Braybrooke and Castle
101 Lower Park Road
Phone: 01424 719109
I'm very grateful to the good people of Braybrooke & Castle for electing me for the sixth time.
Improving standards of education is very important to me. It is wonderful to see the new Further Education College (Sussex Coast) at Station Plaza and in Parker Road, thanks to the last Labour Government's investment and faith in Hastings. The loss of Brighton University from the town centre was sad and I hope that we will find a way to expand degree level courses in Hastings. I welcome the investment in the Hastings and St Leonards Academies.
I am particularly proud to have led the campaign to improve our town centre library and I am very proud of what we have achieved in these difficult times. I look forward to the formal reopening, after refurbishment, this year and I am so pleased to see the new children’s library flourish. I have supported the Bexhill/Hastings link road which is improving the quality of life for so many living on the A259 in our town. Things are improving in Hastings and I'm keen to continue that. My area is one of the poorest in Sussex, and the Castle part of my division has the second highest rate of unemployment in Sussex.
I'll be tackling these issues by helping to stimulate regeneration in Hastings, campaigning for improved community safety and trying to lower the level of crime.
More about me
I was elected as County Councillor for Braybrooke and Castle, Hastings, in 1997, having previously worked in local government as an officer for Lambeth Borough Council where I was Head of Pupil and Student services. Before that, I was a teacher, youth worker and foster parent.
But how did I get here?
I moved to Hastings in 1984. I have always been interested in local politics so, after I took early retirement from working in local government, I decided to devote my time to improving the area where I live.
The major concerns in my division are crime and the fear of crime, poor housing standards and the high rate of unemployment. The poor standards of education in several of the schools in Hastings has also been of real concern.
Hastings is a friendly and interesting town with great green spaces. On the whole, its people are diverse and warm, and I enjoy living close to the sea.
The best thing about a political career is seeing families' and individuals' lives improve. It's very rewarding achieving things for both individuals and the community in general. I am particularly proud that £3.5 million was invested in improving my local park and of overseeing that project as a Borough Councillor. I retired from being a Hastings Borough Councillor for Braybrooke in 2014 after 20 years. I'm now looking forward to the £8million+ refurbishment and reopening of the Hastings Library in 2018 for which I have been striving for many years.
As a Councillor, I like seeing the physical things improve like working road signs and lampposts – these things might seem small but they really make a difference to people's lives. It's also rewarding when you achieve something like ensuring a landlord does up his or her property, so it isn't in a state of disrepair for the tenants, or removing offensive graffitti.
My home life
I'm divorced with two children, both boys, aged 32 and 39.
My spare time
Apart from being a County Councillor, I am an Associate Hospital Manager, dealing with mental health statements, President of Hastings Welsh Society and I've just retired as a Justice of the Peace after 28 years. My other great passion in life is music and I support various musical societies.
That means I have very little free time. I don't usually have time for a holiday, which is just as well as I don't have the money to pay for one!