I am standing as the Non-Metropolitan District Council Representative. I currently sit on Epping Forest District Council and Essex County Council. In recent years I have demonstrated my passion for local government and the role Councillors can have to play in shaping the future of their communities and representing the voices within them. As a (relatively) young councillor I believe I provide a fresh approach and a different perspective.
I am a campaigning, community councillor who has led numerous local campaigns from saving a small local business to calling Transport for London (TFL) to account for the reduction of services, creating a petition with over 10,000 signatures. I also use innovative digital methods to communicate with residents.
As Deputy Chairman Political of my local association, I have successfully organised local election campaigns. I am known as a hard-working, grassroots Conservative Party Activist.
I have significant executive experience. As the Cabinet Member for Housing for the past three years, I have led a multi-million Council House Building and regeneration Programme. During the pandemic, my team supported the most vulnerable, for example helping all rough sleepers off the street and providing longer-term accommodation. As Cabinet Member for Communities, I have worked with Essex Police and our Police and Crime Commissioner to successfully deliver four in-house Police Officers exclusively for our District.
Upon my election to Essex County Council I was appointed as Deputy to the Deputy Leader, whose brief includes libraries and ‘Levelling Up’. I play a leading role in the Conservative Group communications.
If elected to the CCA board my priorities will be:
- Supporting Local Campaigning efforts
I believe that getting Councillors elected and re-elected should be a top priority. Organising action days across the Country in target council seats and for by-elections is an important function of the CCA. I would hope to build upon campaigning efforts by working regionally and partnering with different groups, to get as many boots on the ground as possible – to win as many elections as possible!
- Developing policy knowledge and understanding for councillors
Policy is important, to establish Conservative Councils with vision and to build future leaders and executive members. Councillors should have a strong understanding of policy in the key areas for which they are responsible. There should also be more opportunities to share case studies of success to drive the best possible outcomes. It would be good to develop relationships with the Conservative Police Forum to shape Local Government Policy and ensure the voices of all Councillors are heard. Younger Councillors have a key role to play in this, providing alternative and new ideas, which reflect their experience.
- Promoting the effective use of Digital Campaigning and Communications
Recent elections have shown the pivotal role that digital campaigning can play in winning local elections. CCA should promote ideas and best practices in successfully communicating with the electorate online and building an effective online presence. Younger Councillors often do a great job at this and CCA can promote the merits of digital campaigning and build understanding and skills with its wider membership.
- Mentoring new and future Councillors
I was 23 when I was elected, and I understand the importance of receiving good advice from those with greater experience. As a board member I would advocate for the CCA to develop its training and mentoring programme for new councillors, young and old. From panel discussions to workshops to one-on-one support.
I am passionate about seeing younger people enter local politics, as I believe they bring energy into groups and provide alternative views. CCA can provide a platform to promote the great work which is and can be done at the local government level by younger people to encourage others to step forward to represent their community.
I believe I would be a strong voice on the CCA board, who would bring new ideas and energy to the board, with my experience, expertise and enthusiasm to the CCA. I would be most grateful for the support of fellow Young Conservative Councillor Colleagues across the UK. If elected, I will be accessible and always willing to listen, support and work with younger councillors and candidates.