I have lived in Spennymoor all of my life. I am married to Clive and have two daughters, Ashley and Portia, who both attended local schools. My parents were Managers at local Coop Stores and my grandfather was a miner at Tudhoe Mill Drift.
For many years I was a School Governor at Tudhoe Grange until it closed, followed by 4 years as Governor at Whitworth Park School. I am a School Governor at Ox Close Primary and believe education is important for our young people to develop and achieve, give them important life skills and help them become good citizens of our Town. Sport and recreational facilities and somewhere to meet up with friends in a safe environment are also important. DCC has recently withdrawn youth facility funding; this decision needs to be reversed.
Since 2003 I have been a Councillor on Spennymoor Town Council. I believe in honesty, openness, transparency and accountability, key principles of our Group but sadly lacking in some aspects of Town Council business. I am an active member of most Committees including Audit and Health and Safety, and am able and prepared to speak out on issues affecting our Town and residents. I have always made time to deal with residents’ casework, and regularly report on environmental issues. As a member of the Spennymoor PACT (Police & Communities Together) and previously as a member of the Police Consultative Group, I support the role of the police in our local community.
Some years ago as a Residents’ Association Community Representative on Sedgefield Borough Council’s Local Strategic Partnership I raised concern at the lack of affordable housing schemes, lack of opportunities for young people and the pressures of isolation on older people. Sedgefield Borough Council set up a task team to look at these problems, but moving forward 10 years, these same issues are still being discussed today. On a more positive front, the suggestion for mapping and improvement of cycle pathways, countryside walkways and ancient bridle paths; was included in the County Plan and subsequently implemented.
As a Borough Councillor, a job I loved, I was able to support and assist local initiatives e.g:
- Ox Close School to apply for funding to start a Community Garden for children to experience outdoor play and learning
- Spennymoor Boxing Club to apply for substantial neighbourhood grant money for a new Boxing Gym to be completed
- Provide member initiative funding to create much needed car park facilities at Rosa Street and also secure green open space for enjoyment of local residents
- Provide member initiative funding to enhance play equipment in Jubilee Park
- Working with a local historian, Bob Abley, and Culture/Arts officers to restore ancient marker stones (1836 parliamentary terminus) for the Clarence Railway Company to their original site position at Byers Green
- Chaired an environmental sub-group that made recommendations to the County Council to help with the successful transition of services.
If elected, I will consult with you and use my Durham County Council (DCC) Neighbourhood funding fairly and equitably across the Town and Parishes to benefit all of our communities. After all, it is your money, paid to DCC through local taxes, that is recycled back to County Councillors through Area Action Partnerships neighbourhood funding.
I have fully supported a number of Town Council initiatives in the past few years; e.g. Party in the Park, D Rifles Freedom of the Town, Amy Tinkler Celebration, Byers Green Carnival, and participated in the very successful Roald Dahl event In the Town that brought Community and Schools together. In 2011 I toured all skate parks in the local area with colleagues from the AAP, Council and young people from Whitworth Park School to identify and plan a suitable facility within Spennymoor; this skate park finally opened in 2017; initial teething problems have been reported and are being monitored.
During my working career I have been a Purchasing Manager, a Logistics Manager and a Sales/Administration Manager working for international organisations. I have also worked for local Councils and the NHS. This past experience has helped me to suggest and encourage better budget control and improved working practices within our Council.
My attendance over the last 14 years on the Council is 95%.
“I want to make our Town a place that everyone can be proud of and will always put our local community first.”