I live in Pity Me with my partner and our young son and have been a local authority councillor since 2007, first on the City Council and then on the new Unitary County Council.
I have legal qualifications and use my experience and knowledge every day when challenging the Council on a whole range of issues.
Over the years I have been involved in saving millions of pounds for the Council by challenging wasteful practices and recommending changes to how the Council is run.
I have also unearthed many of the unacceptable practices of our Labour councillors and the way in which they run the Council. This included discovering they were paying their Chairman and Vice Chairman clothing allowances of over £12,000 – hushed up and hidden for nearly 3 decades. Needless to say we got this scrapped.
I also campaigned and was successful in getting the council to agree to 20mph zones and then identified serious anomalies in their report, which had left some schools off completely. I secured a review of this and we will be starting consultation soon on the introduction of 20mph zones in our area.
In February 2018 my motion to get the Council to work towards a single use plastic free County was passed unanimously at Full Council and is currently being worked on.
In addition I led the political fight to stop the closure of the Durham Light Infantry Museum by Labour, was one of the leading councillors challenging the County Plan and Labour’s plans to build on huge areas of greenbelt around our area. (This is expected to come back again and we are ready for the fight again if necessary.)
As part of the Lib Dem group I also worked hard to get a fair deal for teaching assistants after Labour councillors decided to cut their pay by upto a staggering 23%.
Locally with my colleagues Mamie and Amanda we work hard in the community, delivering update leaflets every 3 months or so to all 6300 homes in the area.
Over the years we have secured environmental improvements for our community centres, including solar panels and funding for new windows and lowered ceilings to help save on energy bills.
We also led the fight to stop Labour closing Abbey Leisure Centre in Pity Me which has since then gone from strength to strength with the funding we have secured for it.
We met our commitment to get new play facilities across our area leading the way with funding for sites in Framwellgate Moor, Newton Hall and Brasside.
I’m a governor on Bluecoat and Framwellgate Moor Primary Schools and a member of Framwellgate Moor Community Association.
Alongside Mamie and Amanda I have ensured huge investment in our area in to cycle paths, regeneration projects and footpath and road resurfacing schemes and continue to work hard to make sure that our area improves and is not left behind by the Labour-run Council.