IF someone had said to me 20 years ago that I would be leading Stroud District Council, I would have been very surprised indeed and probably would have ruled it out.
Growing up in a sailing family I probably wanted to be a poet and an adventurer.
But this week I will be talking at the Local Government Association Labour Women’s Task Force, to encourage more women to get involved in politics – and understand what the barriers are to women getting involved.
I never envisaged doing something like this but it slowly crept up on me. Twenty years ago I was new to the area and I went to the local playgroup. I ended up on the committee, then became a school governor, got involved with community projects then the Labour Party. I became a parish councillor, then was persuaded to stand for district council.
It’s important that we have a council which is representative of our district and the Be a Councillor event organised by our Elections Team on Monday was a great opportunity to find out what the role of parish, town or district councillor entails.
There will be celebrations at the Concord Sheltered Housing Scheme in Nailsworth this week, where there will be an official reopening of the newly-refurbished communal lounge, in what is its 50th year. After listening to what residents wanted, we made improvements to the communal area and the corridors which will make a big difference to residents’ lives.
I’ll also be embarking on the GFirst LEP road trip this week, to take in Stroud College to see the new Stroud Growth Hub, and to the Five Valleys Shopping Centre.
Recently I enjoyed a meal at The Long Table in Brimscombe and it’s great to see the idea taking off – using surplus food to create a communal meal, with proceeds going to the Foodbank.