I’ve been a councillor since 2015 and Leader of the London Borough of Enfield since 2018. I’ve overseen a programme delivering thousands of affordable homes in my borough, investment in 100,000 trees to help tackle climate change, and led the council’s response to covid, including special services to deliver over 40,000 food parcels.
Like you, I believe that serving my community is an honour and I am passionate about the role of local government. Councillors are at the grassroots, solving issues with bin collections, getting the potholes fixed, fighting for better local facilities, and much more. We also champion services that look after our most vulnerable adults and children – services that Labour councils protect and invest in.
Local government has an incredible capacity to transform our communities for the better – and we know that it is Labour councils that are investing in our town centres and that are building housing. Residents tell us that their local area has a big impact on their lives. That’s why it’s important that local government is as strong as possible – properly financed with the powers that enable change.
I want to be on Labour’s NEC to deliver a strong voice for local government in our party. Labour in local government has valuable experience in delivering for our communities. With a general election looming, Labour’s local government can play a crucial role in campaigning so that Labour is in government and Keir Starmer is elected our next Prime Minister. Labour in local government know how to campaign and win, and we will do it for Labour for the general election.
I’ve been a councillor in Plymouth for 34 years, serving as alternating Leader of the Labour Group and Leader of the Council since 1998. The Labour Group I lead is hardworking, campaigning regularly all year round, but being a bellwether city with two marginal parliamentary constituencies, the control of the council switches between Labour and the Tories.
Moving between being the official opposition group and the ruling group has given me a unique perspective on being a councillor and a Labour Group Leader. I understand what it is like to be in opposition, with the different challenges that it brings and how best the party can support opposition groups. Many opposition groups lack the resources to run the campaigns that they want to run, and many recognise that they’d benefit from more training to scale up their campaigns. Many of you who are currently in opposition will be looking to make gains in the next local elections, with more of you hopefully taking control of the council, and I want to be a voice for you to do that.
We had a promising set of local election results this year, but if we want to see Keir Starmer in Downing Street then we need to keep building on this. Places like Plymouth are essential to this success, and I know how important it is for places that aren’t traditional Labour heartlands to have a strong Labour voice representing them in local government. We need a strong local government presence in these areas if we are to win more seats at the next general election