As a socialist, I believe in a sustainable, co-operative future which enables everyone to live with dignity and fulfil their potential, and that a Labour government is the best way to put those values into practice.
I live in Tilehurst with my partner and my two children, who go to local schools. I know from my own personal experience about the difference that Labour in government makes – child tax credits were a lifeline for me when money was tight. But I also know what happens when the system is stacked against you – including experiencing the complexity and difficulty of claiming for Disability Living Allowance for one of my children.
My family’s roots are here in Reading and West Berkshire and it’s here my children were born, it’s where I founded my award-winning business and the community I have served as a Councillor since 2010.
I’m so proud to have been a local councillor representing Whitley for more than 12 years, helping our community to thrive and standing up for people in the face of the Conservative government’s massive cuts to local services.
Nationally, I’ve served on Local Government Association Boards covering Health and Wellbeing and Children and Young People, making sure the experience of people in Reading helps to inform national policy.
Locally I’m currently serving as Mayor of Reading, supporting communities, charities and promoting our town.
I founded and still run my award-winning small business, working with local charities, community interest companies and small businesses. My business is a Living Wage Employer and part of the Ethical Reading Network.
As a proud trade unionist, I worked with UNISON to make Reading one of the first councils in the country to sign up to the ‘Ethical Care Charter’, supported workers on the picket line and proposed the successful Community Union motion at Labour South East conference last autumn on sick pay for the self-employed.
I’m Treasurer of Labour’s National Environment Campaign the ‘Socialist Environment and Resources Association”, taking a firm stand against fracking, and promoting a just transition. I’m proud of the part we’ve played in supporting Labour’s new national focus on a fairer, greener future.
Here in Reading I’m a director of Reading Community Energy Society (RCES), a cooperative which installs solar panels on community buildings and gives grants to support carbon reduction locally.
I am proud to be a member of the Co-op movement – not just as a Director of RCES but also as a Labour and Co-operative Councillor, a member of Reading Hydro and other cooperatives.
I’m ready to be our next Labour MP, and ensure our voice is heard on the national stage – I’ll always put Reading West first.