In the council chamber, at rallies and in the local, regional and national press, I have consistently spoken up for local people and challenged the Tories on cuts to public services, privatisation, cronyism, and their stirring up of hatred and intolerance. I have never been afraid to speak out and to stand up for what is right in our constituency, even when I have taken personal criticism for it from our opponents.
I am currently the Migrant Member Champion for Stroud District Council, Chair of the council, and Armed Forces Champion. I was leader of SDC from 2018-2022.
During the pandemic
I wrote open letters which other councillors joined me in supporting, challenging the government’s failure from the very start of the pandemic to trust local systems to help keep people safe, as well as calling out Siobhan Baillie for failing to speak out against the profiteering of Steve Dechan and PPE cronyism. Again, in 2021 when the PPE was revealed to be faulty I called for an urgent investigation. I have continued to express concerns that there has not been enough consideration given to those suffering from long covid and the ongoing pressure on the NHS.
I responded to community concerns and publicly called for an investigation into the failure of the Immensa covid testing laboratory which resulted in higher cases in the southwest and Stroud District in particular, as reported in The Guardian and on BBC Points West.
Always campaigning on the local issues that matter
Ever since I was elected as a district councillor I have spoken out on the local issues that cause local people the most concern, and I have used my platform as council leader to amplify this. I have campaigned on cuts to public transport, and for positive campaigns such as encouraging more local employers to pay the living wage. I called out Tory failure to do enough on climate change.
I have consistently campaigned against racism and discrimination and spoken out on the Tories anti-immigration stance damaging our country’s economy.