I’d like to thank Susan van de Ven and Jose Hales for introducing me to the idea of putting my name forward to be selected as the Lib Dem candidate for my local ward – I feel both honoured and excited to have the opportunity to work together to make even more of a difference for the people living in Melbourn, Meldreth, Shepreth & Waddon. I’ve worked alongside Susan and Jose for many years wearing my Melbourn Parish Councillor hat and I’m looking forward to getting to know Peter McDonald too – Shepreth is another one of my favourite places to explore on foot and The Plough and Teacake do a great job of keeping me fed and watered.
I’d like to reassure everyone that, as far as I’m aware, my beliefs and opinions are not at all the same as the Sally-Ann Hart who happens to be current Tory MP for Hastings & Rye! The surname ‘Hart’ is not an uncommon one locally too and I’ve met quite a few while volunteering at The Hub. 😊
For those of you who don’t know me I was co-opted to Melbourn Parish Council in 2016 – which I now feel safe enough to describe as an ‘interesting’ time – and went on to be elected in 2018. Currently I am MPC’s longest serving Councillor and am a member of Planning, Finance and Good Governance Committees. I am also Chair of the HR Panel and sit on both Melbourn Area Youth Development and Melbourn Futures working parties. I particularly enjoy working alongside my Parish Councillor colleagues and connecting with our parishioners to develop a greater understanding of the things important to the people of Melbourn. Since joining Melbourn Parish Council I feel really pleased to see there are more members of the public attending and contributing to our meetings than there were back in 2016.
My background is in education: I qualified to teach in 1985 (pre-National Curriculum). I left the teaching profession for a short time to work for the Royal Mail as a ‘Postal Sales Executive’ covering one of the smallest geographical, yet most concentrated business areas of London: EC1 – EC4 trying to sell letter and parcel contracts – skills I could well be drawing on in the next few months. When I returned to teaching, I chose to specialise in the field of Special Educational Needs and have worked with children and young people in every key stage. I firmly believe in ‘Inclusion’ and feel particularly pleased to hear the term ‘Neuro-Diversity’ being used more and more alongside the drive to non-medicalise people who have and continue to experience trauma. I also feel passionate about listening to our young people and helping them recognise their strengths and realise their dreams.
I feel extremely grateful to now be fully self-employed – just over nine and a half years ago I left my role within the Children, Young People and Families team for Northamptonshire County Council after almost twenty years to work as free-lance trainer. This enabled me to concentrate on teaching people who work with children, young people and families to use a process known as Protective Behaviours – this focusses on personal empowerment that works toward creating non-violent individual, families and communities. I try to use a ‘Language of Safety’ in all my interactions and look forward to seeing this introduced into the rhetoric of politics and political debate.
In terms of responding to the question of ‘Why now?’…well, I definitely have more time available as I’m no longer leaving the house at an extremely early hour to travel miles to work – my commute downstairs is less than 2 minutes now! Also, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so upset, disappointed, frustrated and angry about the direction of travel our Government is heading. So, I’m keeping everything crossed and hoping both are good enough reasons for me to ‘Risk on Purpose’, feel the fear and choose to do something because the outcome will be worth it.
I’m looking forward to finding creative ways to speak with and listen to people in the Whaddon, Shepreth, Meldreth and Melbourn ward with a view to doing my best to represent them should I be elected.