Candidate for Normanston
Born in Reading, I grew up in Suffolk, attending Worlingham Middle School then the Sir John Leman High School before reading Modern History at Oxford University. I joined the Labour Party whilst at University and was involved in canvassing and campaigning for a number of candidates, in various spheres. After graduating I worked in Norwich for a year with the HSE, Civil Service before moving to London where I did a stint working as a financial researcher for Simply Money, a Sky TV programme.
Once deciding on a career in law I then attended BPP Law School then Oxford School of Law to study for a Legal Practice Course to become a solicitor. Following a year working in the City in London, for Linklaters and Taylor Wessing (international law firms) I returned to Suffolk to train with Prettys (a large commercial law firm) in Ipswich. Whilst in London I campaigned on behalf of Roger Carsale (and his second successful term as MP in Wimbledon – the first time in 50 plus years Wimbledon has been Labour) and on behalf of Meg Hiller (both as local councillor and later as a MP for Hackney South & Shoreditch). I also delivered leaflets whilst in Ipswich, however was restricted due to work commitments.
On qualifying as a solicitor I took the opportunity to move to live and work in Jersey, the Channel Islands, where I worked within the Corporate and Banking Department of Bedell Cristin, an international law firm, for a number of years. Due to there being no opportunities to help out with the Labour Party in Jersey I volunteered for the Citizen’s Advice Bureau instead.
In 2008 I took a job at Taylor Vinters in Cambridge in the Banking department as I wanted to move back closer to my family, however due to the global recession was made redundant shortly afterwards. Thus I took the opportunity to move back to Beccles, Suffolk to start a family. Looking for a career change I got a job with Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People, outside Norwich, where I worked as an advocate assisting people with various problems and queries they may have had; from issue with housing problems to loss of benefits, including advising upon the now defunct ‘Independent Living Allowance’. At this time I also became a trustee on the board of directors of ‘Suffolk Association of Voluntary Organisations’, having a number of broad ranging responsibilities.
At this point I was elected councillor for Harbour on Waveney District Council, where I had a variety of responsibilities. I sat on the monthly Overview and Scrutiny Committee as well as on the Local Development Framework Committee. I was the Council representative on CAB’s board of directors, and I was the Labour councillor on Sentinel’s Board of Directors, where I was greatly involved during all the re-shaping following the financial issues. Most recently I have been volunteering for the charity Open Road, in a range of capacities.
I am standing for election again as I believe I have much still to offer – I am motivated and hardworking, I know and understand the problems facing Waveney and in particular Harbour and am dedicated in trying my best to resolve these. I do have vital experience of working as a councillor and know the hard work and sometimes stressful work involved. My work as a solicitor and as a trustee has also given me irreplaceable experience of analysing documents, understanding the issues involved that I would have to vote on, drafting letters, etc. Working for a charity has given me useful experience on advising people regarding any problems they have, finding the best recourse to resolve the problems, and providing advice.