It's just been announced by the local Labour party that I am standing for the council in Whitley ward in the next set of elections. I'm really looking forward to the campaign and being involved in the community in a different way. It's a great bunch of people standing for election with lots of different things to offer. I really hope that we'll do well and be able to work together for years to come! I've put a full copy of the press release below:
Labour name ten candidates for 2010
Reading & District Labour Party is pleased to announce its first batch of ten prospective candidates – five of them women - for the 2010 Borough Council elections. The remaining candidates will be announced in the next few weeks.
Bet Tickner, who has represented Abbey for six years, will be standing there again for Labour. She is in the Cabinet as Lead Councillor for Community Action and chairs the Safer Reading Campaign and the Ethnic Minorities Forum.
Former Councillor Malcolm Powers, now Labour’s Regional Director, will be fighting to regain Church. Malcolm is an experienced and hard-working campaigner who says he looks forward to working with local residents to make sure that ongoing local problems such as anti-social behaviour are tackled.
In Katesgrove, Richard Stainthorp has been finding it difficult to combine his work as a Councillor with his increasing responsibilities as a teacher, and will be standing down after 20 years on the Council, including a turn as Mayor. The Labour candidate will be Matt Rodda, a former civil servant and now a charity project manager, with a strong commitment to protecting public services.
Labour’s candidate in Minster, where the party is bidding to take the one remaining Tory seat, will be retired teacher Marian Livingston. Marian is a governor of her local children’s centre – which she says is making a huge impact - and a chair of governors and has played an active part in her local Neighbourhood Action Group.
Peter Jones, who has represented Norcot on the Borough Council since 1997 and on the County Council before that, is standing for the ward again. Peter has been very involved with the plans to regenerate the Dee Park estate and is a Governor or Wilson School.
Changes to Shirley Merriot’s full time career mean further demands upon her time and she has reluctantly decided to step down as Councillor for Park, where the Labour candidate will be former Councillor Richard McKenzie. Richard has lived in the area for 25 years, founded the local residents’ association, and is a Governor of Alfred Sutton Primary (which his children attend) and volunteer lollipopman, and active member of the NAG.
Labour’s candidate in Redlands this time will be Kelly Edwards, who as a Parliamentary candidate in 2005 achieved a big increase in Labour’s vote. Operations director of a local company, she lives in the town centre and is very familiar with the planning and environmental issues that affect the ward’s terraced streets.
John Ennis will be standing again for Labour in Southcote, where he was first elected in 2003 and has been a very active local Councillor. A passionate defender of Kennet Meadows, John was previously Lead Councillor for Housing and is now Lead Councillor for Children’s Services.
In Whitley, Mary Singleton-White is standing down to care for her second child, and the new candidate is another woman, Rachel Eden, who is Women’s Officer for Reading Labour Party. Rachel is a qualified accountant working in the town centre, and also a school governor.
Cllr. Jo Lovelock, Leader of the Labour Group, says: “I am very impressed with the calibre of the candidates Labour is putting forward in these crucial elections. Reading has done well with Labour: it has a great community spirit and is facing up well to the challenges of the world economic downturn. We’ll be working hard to show we have the team to continue to take the town forward – with a good mix of experience and some excellent young candidates.”