I am proud of my record and reputation as a councillor, campaigner and vocal representative for my community.
Climate Change and Environment
As Lancashire Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Recycling and Renewables, I have been instrumental in developing strong environmental policy solutions to the climate and ecological emergencies. We need a fair transition to a low-carbon life for everyone in Lancashire by 2030. This must be done fairly, looking at the real drivers of climate change, not scapegoating: it must be about changing our systems and infrastructure, not just focusing on individual behaviour.
Health and Care Services
Health and care services are one of my biggest priorities both as a campaigner and a representative. The Conservatives have thrown the NHS into crisis, which can be seen in overflowing A&E departments and people waiting hours for ambulances. I sit on the Joint Lancashire and South Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee, where I work to ensure safe, excellent services for everyone in Lancashire, despite the damage being done by the Government. I use this platform to challenge the Government’s privatisation of our NHS and the damaging cuts to services. I scrutinise what NHS organisations and local authorities are doing to provide the best services possible, even at times of huge cuts and increasing demand.
I have made disability equality a big focus of my work. From making accessible streets and pavements a council priority, to getting a Changing Places room included in the refurbishment of Preston Bus Station, I have made real change happen. I led a successful campaign with parents to stop cuts to after-school and holiday care for disabled kids.
I support disability campaigners in their work and always ensure that the needs of people with disabilities are at the forefront of my mind. I support Labour’s manifesto commitment to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into UK law.
Highways and Transport
Good transport links are important for everyone and maintaining and improving them has been a big part of my work. As a councillor, I listen my residents who tell me that transport and highways are a cause of real concern for them, in particular making sure we have decent, affordable and sustainable public transport.
In one win for my community, I made sure that development money set aside for bus services, which had been sitting doing nothing, was spent on a much-needed local bus service. I have also ensured that roads are resurfaced in my division.
Lancashire Labour will work with Transport for the North to develop a fully integrated public transport system that includes trains, buses and trams through smart ticketing and standard subsidised fares, whilst all subsidised public transport would be carbon neutral within four years.
Child Poverty and Hunger
I have worked with Councillor Jean Parr to get child hunger on the agenda at the County Council. I have promoted and supported the work of community organisations, including giving grants to local food banks. The current MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale denies that poverty exists in the area and shouts down his constituents and local charities when they tell him the truth. This isn’t good enough. I promise to listen to everyone, even when they’re giving uncomfortable truths.
Labour would ensure children have enough to eat as a minimum, while working towards an enriching life for all.
I have supported local businesses through repeated flooding, lobbying for resources to be directed to long-term solutions and for reinstatement of regular maintenance of drains. I believe planning laws need a radical overhaul to ensure new housing does not exacerbate flooding.
I have challenged Government policy on changes to domestic violence refuge funding, gaining cross-party support and ensuring widespread media coverage of the campaign.