A Good Experience

The local political scene in St Albans is competitive, with a District Council hanging on to a thin Tory majority, and the minority split between Labour and the Lib Dems. We also have two Green Councillors, and UKIP are fielding a candidate in every Ward. There is everything to play for as we move into…

Standing for Councillor

A few months ago, I attended a ‘stand for councillor’ evening at the offices of North Norfolk District Council. It was open to ‘anyone interested in becoming a candidate and would like to find out more about what being a councillor involves’. As a member of the local Labour Party, I will indeed be a…

Putting the people of coast and country at the centre of decision-making.

I have lived in Hampshire for a large portion of my life and worked in a local authority in a predominantly rural county, so have seen first hand the kinds of unique issues people face when living in the countryside – particularly when they are also dealing with challenging life circumstances such as unemployment, disability…

A Living Wage for Powys County Council – success for 6 strong Labour Group!

Despite the idyllic postcard look and feel to Powys, if you scratch the surface there is real poverty and deprivation – sometimes disguised by our rolling hillsides. The Independent-run council has happily allowed more than 1000 of its workers to scrape by on poverty pay for years, but since Labour increased its numbers in the…

The politics of justice – enforcing the minimum wage

I was astonished and genuinely outraged (as others have been) at the reported remarks of my MP Conservative George Freeman. When answering questions about the low enforcement and prosecutions for those not paying the minimum wage (under this government, there have only been 9, prosecutions and 162 named and shamed) Freeman talked about this criticism as…

The Coast & Country question: why should Labour bother with the rural vote?

In the last summer of 2013, I was interviewed on Radio Norfolk. They had recently heard about my campaign to get the Labour party to launch a “Rural manifesto” to reconnect with non-urban voters. Some had even read my Rural manifesto proposal – over-long and badly written, though it was. It was a terrifying experience,…