I grew up down in Brighton with my sister, and my widowed mother. I went on to study down in Brighton and have a degree in Humanities, where I specialised in Holocaust Studies, and the Frankfurt School & advertising. I was at University during the Iraq War, and helped organise anti-war protests in the City. Finishing University I got a modern apprenticeship working for Brighton Council.
I moved up to Yorkshire in 2007, getting a job at the University of Leeds as an administrator. By that time I was heavily involved in the NO2ID campaign fighting the introduction of Identity Cards. I went on to work for NO2ID as their campaign manager, and in the campaign against ID cards I got the opportunity to appear on various radio, television shows and write several articles about civil liberties, surveillance and the data base state. I continue to campaign passionately for Human Rights, Civil Liberties and Freedom. One of the reasons I feel so strongly about these issues, I think stems from having studied periods of history where those rights and freedoms were denied to people.
I got involved in party politics in 2010, helping out Greg Mulholland MPs general election campaign. I thought the Liberal Democrats were the best out of a bad bunch of political parties, and always admired their stance on civil liberties. In 2011 I was elected onto Hebden Royd Council, where I led the Liberal Democrat group for a few years. I now live in Mytholmroyd, and work for the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors as a development officer. This job can best be described as training people on how to create change in their communities. I am still NO2IDs campaign manager, and do some privacy campaigning, but mostly it’s just local politics these days. In 2012 I won a by-election in Warley Ward and got elected as a Councillor to Calderdale Council. I am now the Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the Council. If there is a snap general election I will also contest Halifax as the parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats.
In addition to numerous bits of individual casework, since being elected I’ve run several successful campaigns these include a Campaign to Save Calderdale’s pubs; a Campaign to Save the Pellon Network Centre; a new park being built on Sand Hall Green; getting Super fast Broadband to Fountainhead village; bringing forward proposals so every ward forum gets a budget of £5K to spend on local community groups; ensuring a petition of more than 1,000 residents triggers a Council debate; cutting off Brow Foot Gate Lane to through traffic; getting the Council to clear up derelict sites using legal powers available to it; getting extra money for businesses to boost their exports; an anti-frackin motion , and a host of Green Economy measures. All of this work has been driven by a desire to work with the community to improve the area I represent. I am on a mission to try and reform Calderdale Council to be both more democratic, and to decentralise power down to local residents
In terms of positions on the Council. I am currently the Chair of the Economy and Environment Scrutiny panel, a member of the West Yorkshire Combined authority Scrutiny Panel, and the Council’s affordable warmth champion.