I’ve lived in Market Ward in Cambridge since 2008 and I work at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) as a Student Adviser, supporting students in need and helping them to succeed. I was elected to represent Market ward in 2019 and, as I hope you will have seen, have worked hard to support residents and to champion our ward and our city.
I live near the Grafton Centre, my child attends St Matthew’s primary school and I’m passionate about increasing diversity in politics, believing strongly that there are not yet enough working parents represented nationally or locally. Having been a Lib Dem since 1992, this is what motivated me to finally stand for election in Market. Since being elected, I have spoken regularly at Council and on committees to highlight issues affecting the city centre and have joined residents and local community groups to fight for improvements such as opposing the closure of the public toilets (including shutting one of the few disabled facilities) in Park St car park, speaking to support residents on planning issues, and pushing for better and more urgent environmental improvements to the council’s existing and new housing stock whilst I’ve been the Housing committee over the last two years.
Since my election, I’ve also served on Licensing (where we confirmed the electric taxi regulations for the city), Planning, the Joint Development Control (planning) committee, as well as being vice chair of our local West Central Area committee. I have spoken many times in support of pedestrian and cycle priorities and safety and in support of our affordable housing commitments. As Lib Dem Open Spaces spokesperson, I have been working with community groups to improve our facilities across the city and on our commons and pieces within Market – working to provide Covid safe toilets on Jesus Green during the summer, for better skateboarding facilities, and continuing to argue for the Labour group to stop herbicide use on council owned land, further to Cllr Martinelli’s motion on this in 2019.
More recently, I’ve been actively working with Tim, Anthony and Yemi on the successful petition against the Market closure and on the campaign to stop the mast on Jesus Green. With residents, we are demanding that the council halts the demolition of Park St Car Park (which it owns) to find a better solution and to avoid this incredibly damaging and destructive piece of infrastructure ending up on a beautiful well used and vital public open space.
Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve also been the lead councillor for Market for Mutual Aid, working cross party to help to coordinate the amazing work of our residents, volunteers and council officers in supporting our local community. I will continue to do this for as long as needed and I cannot thank Market ward residents enough for all their hard work which has made a real difference to people’s lives at this difficult time.
Juggling work, council duties and child care (especially home schooling!) has been a challenge but I’ve never missed a council committee and have a 100% attendance record. I moved the Black Lives Matter motion for the Liberal Democrats, and agreed and seconded the final cross party motion which was agreed unanimously at full council last year. At ARU, I co-founded and still co-chair the Part Time and Flexible staff forum to champion this group of staff and am actively involved in all areas of equality and diversity work, both at ARU and on the council where I sit on the Equalities panel. I completed my Masters degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education at ARU in 2018, with my research focussed on student withdrawal and retention. This, along with my ongoing work with students at ARU, has been of great benefit to my understanding of our ward, with its high student population.
I love our ward, with its open spaces and busy shops and you will see me out and about most days (lockdown regulations permitting) on the school run, enjoying the parks and green spaces and shopping and working locally. I hope that you’ll continue to stop me and say hello and tell me any concerns you have that I can help with in Market.