Have your say on coastal communities

The UK is an island with over 7000 miles of coastline but for too long UK policy makers of all colours have concentrated on the big inland urban cities and coastal communities have been ignored.

Coastal towns have unique combination of issues of connectivity,  deprivation, seasonal workers, an ageing population plus empty tourist property.  It is no wonder that seaside areas are rated as one of the highest areas for inequality. 

To help address this, Labour have launched a consultation “What does the future look like for our coastal communities?”

I believe it is important that as unique communities we have our own specific plan for development. It is no good replicating urban cities and repeating their mistakes. We have to take the best bits that fit in with our need to preserve the heritage and culture. Having a balance between recognising the beautiful landscape and natural beauty of the environment that attracts so many visitors and the practical reality of living in the areas all year round.

You can submit your ideas on how we do this here labour.org.uk/coastal-communities-consultation/ 


Selection for Plymouth Moor View

Unfortunately, I didn’t make the shortlist for selection to be Labour’s candidate for Plymouth Moor View at the next General Election.

I ran a people-powered campaign and I wanted to say a big big thank you to everyone that supported me on the ground, made a donation and sent words of encouragement.

As with every new challenge, I have learnt a lot from the process especially the importance of pushing yourself forward and having a goal and working towards it.

From the start that, it was important to me that as an all women shortlist we showed that women in Labour can lead the way and politics doesn’t have to be negative slander-fest.

So in that spirit a big thank you to the other candidates for making this a positive experience and I am 100% behind Charlotte Holloway who was chosen to represent the seat for Labour by the members.


The solution to UK’s productivity problem?

As a former employee of a welfare to work charity, I know the difficulty that the teams had persuading employers of all sizes to take a risk, as they saw it, on someone with a disability. The charity I worked for specialized in providing opportunities for people with profound learning and physical disabilities into work.  These were people that were paid at the same rate as their colleagues and did the same job, often “carving” a set of tasks into a role.

Over the last 7 years, the job of employment support charities has only got harder, but the Conservative Government always had warm words for helping to make the job market #DisabilityConfident. This fitted with their agenda that everyone could and should work and benefits cuts were justified as the jobless were gaming the system. This was despite the reality that people who receive state help, needed more support, not less and cutting people’s money does nothing to enable people into work.

So when the Chancellor blamed the UK’s productivity problem on high levels of people with a disability in work it felt like the mask had slipped.  Not only is this factually incorrect, it is also insulting to the thousands of disabled in work who are doing equal work for equal pay and the thousands who are spending their time talking to employers to represent and recruit from a diverse local community.

Here is Cornwall, this statement is more acute as the new Disability Minister is Sarah Newton who is our local MP for Truro and Falmouth. Instead of issuing an immediate retraction she is keeping a low profile not even marking International Disabled Persons Day. 

Any representative for disabled people need to find their voice and speak up and use their power for some of the most vulnerable people in society and Sarah should put party loyalty aside and get Phillip Hammond to apologise publicly and commit to take responsibility for the low productivity in Britain and look at the real barriers facing people with a disability who are looking for work and who are in work.

My 10 point Plan to Win

Here is my 10 point plan to win in Plymouth Moor View

1) Hardworking on the ground leadership
2) Creating a high media profile on social, print and broadcast media
3) Develop training for volunteers to empower them to get involved and get everyone election ready
4) Create a core team of talented activists to support key areas
5) Build a bank of local resources within Moor View
6) Dedicated fundraising efforts to build our capacity to campaign all year round
7) Create a public profile for “Team Labour” with activists, Councillors and trade unions
8) Speak to every voter and turn every Labour promise into a Labour vote
9) Concentrate on local issues and casework
10) Challenging the Tories lies and not letting them hide behind empty words

Support my selection for Plymouth Moor View

I am standing for selection to be Labour’s candidate for Plymouth Moor View at the next General Election.

I want to run a people-powered campaign to build a team of talented volunteers so together we can take this marginal seat back from the Tories.

But I cannot do this without you. So I have started a crowdfunder to raise funds for my selection campaign.

Donate Here

Every penny will be spent talking to members about my positive vision for Plymouth so please donate what you can and small donations especially gratefully received.

Any unspent funds will be donated to Plymouth Labour Party after the selection to go towards campaigning.

After running for just one day I have already reached £100!!

Standing for Plymouth Moor View

My paperwork has been submitted and I am happy to announce that I am standing to be Labour’s candidate for Plymouth Moor View.

I believe I am the right person to lead our community and to build a better future for Plymouth.

It would be my job to listen to local people, communicating Labour’s transformational policy platform. Talking to people about issues that they care about and provide real on the ground solutions.

I want to lead the team in Moor View so that ordinary people put their trust in me as a politician and a person from the same background that understands their daily challenges and will fight every day to make their lives better.

If you want to support my campaign or ask me any questions please get in touch.


Labour Conference 2017

My first Labour conference in Brighton was, as people told me it would be, great fun and provided plenty of opportunities for selfies with epic Labour people.

Starting with Women’s conference on the Saturday, after a rousing chants of “We are all Phenomenal Women” from Dawn Butler; it was Emily Thornbury who held the room with her confidence, gags and call to arms to get into Government. What a different world standing we would have if we had a Foreign Secretary to be proud of.

Away from the hall, the fringe events were great for getting into Labour policy detail and finding out about campaigns that are off the public agenda. I especially impressed with a Fabian event on diversity whose panel included Diane Abbott, Owen Jones and David Lammy. The depth of knowledge on social exclusion and passion to fight for people to get better outcomes is incredible.

Conference is definitely a great place to network and I every Labour MP I talked to was very approachable, and generous with their time. How Labour does politics always ready to listen, not matter who you are.

The conference rounded off with Jeremy Corbyn’s statesmanlike speech which really showed we are a Government in waiting.