I’m proud to come from Plymouth. I was born here and I live here. My Dad was in the Royal Navy and later worked in the Dockyard and my mum was a teacher here before becoming a lecturer at Marjon. Like thousands in the City I'm a long suffering but hopeful Plymouth Argyle supporter.
I believe our city is on the up. It has an enormous potential to create more jobs, attract more tourists, have better transport, more homes and better shops and culture. Everyone who lives here knows that there are somethings about our city that are simply world class, the Hoe and the view from the top of Smeaton's Tower for instance. But we also know there is a lot we need to improve - the state of our roads, how long it takes to travel out of the county, and the level of unemployment.
One reason I stood to be our MP is because I feel Plymouth is being let down. The Tory cuts have put huge pressure on the services we need in our city. You cannot fill potholes with austerity nor can you build homes with less and less money each year. We need a Government that recognises the potential in Plymouth and invests in our future. But to do that we need to be confident about our future and part of that means sending an MP to Westminster who won't stop until we get a better deal from Government. I was elected on a mandate to put Plymouth first, and that is exactly what I will do.
I’ve always been Labour. Not old Labour or New Labour, but in the broad middle of the Labour Party. I joined the Labour Party because I believe in social justice and equality and saw Labour delivering these values not just talking about them. I’m a proud trade unionist. I believe in public ownership. I want to take our railways back into public ownership, support the welfare state and defend public services against privatisation. I want more jobs in the private sector too, more apprenticeships and training. I want to see people from every background have an opportunity to get an education, get a job, get a future. For too long the Tory-led Government has concentrated on opportunity in London and the South East. I want to make sure the South West is seen as an area for opportunity too.
I joined the Labour Party as soon as I left University. The reason I’m Labour is because of my childhood and the way my mum brought me up. Bringing up my sister and me as a single mum in the 1980s wasn’t easy. She’s Labour through and through and she brought me up to be Labour too. That’s why I get angry when I see inequality and intolerance; whether that’s because of your background, sexuality, accent or the colour of your skin. From the day I joined I’ve believed it is only with a Labour government that we’ll achieve positive change and nothing this Tory government has done has convinced me otherwise.
I’m an active member of Unite and the GMB and proud to be a trade unionist. I’m pleased to be able to work with Plymouth's local trade unions who collectively represent thousands of people across the city. Whether it is supporting USDAW's Freedom from Fear campaign that helps to protect shop workers, calling for rights at work taken away by the Tories or with the GMB and Unite or campaigning against the botched privatisation of Royal Mail with the CWU I believe the trade unions have a lot to contribute to Plymouth's future. I know that we are at our best when we work as a Labour movement, alongside trade unions and the Co-operative Party, not just as a Labour Party alone.
My priorities are simple: Jobs, housing and defending public services. We need more full-time jobs not just part-time roles that shrink unemployment figures but don’t deal with in work poverty. That means jobs that pay a decent Living Wage to start with and don’t need taxpayer top ups to get to a decent level. We need to build more homes. I want to unlock spare public sector land to build more houses, especially affordable homes, part-buy/part-let and social housing. And, as your MP I would vote for the repeal of the Tory Health and Social Care Act that seeks to privatise the NHS. I would vote to scrap the hated Tory Bedroom Tax and work to get more people back into work.
Why is it important to be a Labour and Co-operative Candidate?
Co-operative values matter more than ever. Whether it is about new co-operative approaches to housing, education or the NHS, the time for co-operation has arrived. Find out more and join the Co-operative Party online here and can read my page on their website here.