I served the people of Brentwood West for four years between 2007 and 2011, lost by ten votes in 2011 and returned with 1,003 votes and a 336 majority on 3rd May 2012. I am up for election again on 5th May this year.
After a career in marketing, I am now an author and freelance marketer. I have co-written a chldren’s book with my Scottish friend Gill Eastgate and it’s out in Summer 2016 (and you can order it here)!
I’ve always had a lively interest in politics and joined the Liberal Democrats after being a long-time supporter and voter. My real involvement in local politics began when I, by accident rather than design, became the lead campaigner in the “Save Thorndon Park” campaign in Winter 2005. It was through this that I realised that I was capable of standing up for a cause and for others and I felt that standing for council was the right thing to do. I’m glad to say that we won and Thorndon Park is currently safely preserved for future generations due to this campaign.
Born at Rush Green Hospital on 3rd April 1971, I grew up in Upminster, attending Branfil and Gaynes schools, and then moved to North End, Warley, with my mother and sister in 1992. I now live in a garden flat in Brackens Drive, having spent 3 years (1999-2002) in Stondon Massey. My place is a few metres away from the edge of the ward, but I’m in Brentwood West most days as my mother and grandmother both live in the ward.
I started work in 1989 at Selfridges and worked my way from junior secretary to Marketing Executive when I left the store in 1996. I worked on Tesco Clubcard for 18 months, then went to Lakeside Shopping Centre in a senior marketing role and then to the National Gallery as marketing & sales manager. Many people in Brentwood know me from my next role where I was to spend five years as Business Development & Marketing Manager at BUPA Hartswood Hospital in Warley. I left in April 2006 after a wonderful time at Hartswood and being named as one of the top three marketing managers in the country. I then joined the Office of Fair Trading, where I was Head of Marketing for Consumer Direct, the government’s helpline for consumer advice, for four years. The website I managed was named in The Guardian’s Top 100 websites for two years running and was one of the top three consumer sites in 2009! In 2010 I set up my own marketing consultancy.
I have two cats – Dillon & Daisy and there’s my lovely shih tzus Louis and Bailey.
I love spending time with my nephew, Freddie, who was born in 2007. Here he is with me handing in my nomination papers for this year’s election and enjoying the lesson in democracy I gave him that day! He’s a kind hearted and clever fellow, but then the apple never falls far from the tree!
By the way, I have appeared on three TV Quiz Shows (Don’t Forget your Toothbrush in Christmas 1998 where I won a Mini Cooper (!) and The Weakest Link in January 2007 where I finished third, after being tactically voted off in the penultimate round!). In January 2013 I recorded an episode of The Chase and got through to the Final Chase!
I was delighted to be up against Shawn Wallace (swoon), but didn’t come away with a small fortune, just some great memories of a lovely day!
I also appeared in a Channel Five Documentary talking about potholes in Brentwood:
I have achieved a fair bit for Brentwood and Brentwood West, but some of my most notable achievements have been:
After nearly ten years, I suppose it is no surprise that I am the “go to” person for many people in the ward. Mainly because I get things done and report back.
I like keeping people informed – residents on my email list will always be emailed details of planning applications in their road and I have been doing this since 2008…no other councillor of any party does this.
The network I have built up means I can get campaigns mobilised quickly and we can take action, together, as a community.
I was re-elected for a third term on Thursday 5th May 2016.