I would like to introduce myself to those of you who don’t already know me, I am Colleen Walker married to Brian a mother and grandmother. I was born and raised in Great Yarmouth and have lived most of my adult life in Gorleston. I have been your Labour County Councillor since 1997 and have always done my utmost to represent you to the best of my ability.
Having lived all of my life in the borough I am only too aware of the problems residents face in their everyday lives and have always been at the other end of a phone ready to help whatever the problem is. I think this last year has been the worst I can remember in my lifetime with the COVID-19 pandemic. People struggled especially the elderly in lockdown, workers who are furloughed or lost their jobs and the school children out of classes. Loneliness has been suffered by all ages and the pain of the loss of loved ones. I have done everything I can within the guidelines to support residents during this awful period.
I was able to assist at the Mary Magdalen food bank when I was not Shielding and I was also in a position to help out financially by donating my excess councillor allowances. This money was an increased payment brought in by Tories that the labour group thought was wrong at a time of cuts and an inflationary rise of 2% to staff yet they decided to give themselves a 11% increase, We decided to give it back to good causes for this year and the previous years.
The next four years will bring challenges and difficulties however we cannot let the Conservatives back in to control of the County Council to go on making cuts to the most vulnerable in our town. Cuts to adult social services, children services, very little progress in equality for all especially disabled people with the cuts to MIG and the free school meals debacle. The A47 is one of our priorities and the success of the 3rd river crossing infrastructure with jobs and freeing up traffic so important.
We will look to reinstate the wardens in our sheltered housing as can be seen by the impact loneliness has had during these testing times they are a lifeline to our elderly and infirm residents. Also a must for the economy is Apprenticeships for the school leavers and those who wish a change in career with the option of a degree at university level after three years .The economy must grow to see our town back thriving again and we are ready to achieve these aims.