I’m Maxine, a local community campaigner and mum of two. I’m standing as a candidate because watching from the sidelines is no longer enough. I’ve been so shocked by the shameful way the Tories have treated Norfolk people since they took control at County Hall, I knew I needed to do something. So I got involved in my community. I’ve campaigned with others against the savage cuts to services for children, families and vulnerable people, speaking out about our personal experiences of how vital these services are. The Tories’ dismissive and ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude though, has been disgusting.
My youngest son is disabled and we’ve experienced first-hand the disappearance of one service after another and through my voluntary work with families I hear similar from them. People are on 2 year-plus-long waiting lists for diagnoses and support and left with little or no help.
I’ve lived in Norwich all my life and grew up in a council house so I know the importance of good quality social housing and the challenges faced by families on low incomes – with the differences in opportunities this can bring. Norfolk Labour have consistently stood up for people during the pandemic by proposing policy changes to feed children in the school holidays and to provide laptops for children to access learning from home. But both of these proposals were voted down by the Tories.
It’s outrageous that over the last 4 years, Norfolk’s Tory councillors have awarded themselves huge increases to their own allowances of nearly 17%! At the same time as cutting our services and raising our council tax! They slashed the incomes of Norfolk’s disabled people and refused to back down until the High Court ruled that they had breached their Human Rights. This lack of fundamental and human decency has driven me to take action. It’s critical that we address the climate emergency too – and plans to build the damaging and costly western link road should be scrapped. However, despite evidence of the environmental impact, sustainable alternatives put forward have so far been dismissed by the Tories.
I’ve been involved in many of the Labour campaigns and protests to stop these cuts, to give everyone in Norfolk a fair chance in life and for services to be restored. I’ve also worked alongside my community to provide practical help to solve problems and if the Tories keep getting their way, the brilliant work already being done by communities in Wensum and elsewhere will be more vital than ever. Elect me and I promise to work hard every day with you, to speak up for you on the issues affecting your lives and to get your voice heard at County Hall.
Charity Trustee, Member of UNITE