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Question to council: William Marshal

Richard Stainthorp to ask the Lead Councillor for Culture Heritage and Recreation: William Marshal As I am sure the Lead Councillor is awar...

26 Jul 2013

On the picket line today!

Today I joined my first ever picket line.  I have been a member of Unite (formerly MSF and Amicus) for over 10 years but we have never called a strike at my work place until now.

It was a very civilised affair and we got lots of support from passers by - both on foot and in cars/lorries/buses.

I believe strongly in a workers right to protest against their treatment.  We should stand up for ourselves or the 'race to the bottom' will continue with our rights at work being eroded to nothing.  We should also support each other.  Very few employers put their staff first, in my opinion.  The shareholders and chief execs usually get first dibs of the profits while those working hard to achieve those profits get a poor share. 

We also shouldn't allow the economic climate to be used as an excuse for terms and conditions worsening or pay falling behind inflation.  Costs are going up but the everyday workers wage packet is not.  If our spending power is squeezed less is spent which can only harm the economic recovery.  Give people a fair wage!

21 Jul 2013

Ran the Race for Life today - boy was it tough!

Well I did it.  I actually ran (or jogged) the Race for Life.  I've been training for months but the recent hot weather made me retreat indoors.  I usually set off down Alma Street, along the Oxford Road then along Portman Road then loop home via various local roads depending on the length of the run but the most I managed recently was to my allotment on Scours lane and back via my Pilates class.

I wasn't expecting today to be so overwhelming.  I was nervous about the run but had no idea how emotional it would be.  Firstly you are surrounded by hundreds of women, each with a message on their back: I RACE FOR LIFE FOR..... mothers, fathers, grandparents, children, friends the list goes on.  Each person was racing to raise money for Cancer Research hoping an end to cancer is found.  Here's why I was running:

Then you're off.  Running in a big group around Prospect Park.  Each kilometre marker was a surprise to me and I blew a kiss to the 4 km marker.  You then see the end and I must admit to a lump in my throat.  I gave my husband a wave then was done - finished!  I was handed my medal and wandered off to find my family and have an ice-cream (well deserved I reckon).

I have so far raised £253 thanks to friends, family, other Labour councillors and my colleagues at work.  I hope to get a few more pounds before I submit my sponsor money.

Will I do it again?  Maybe.  I absolutely hate running but it wasn't as horrible as I thought.  If I can raise over £250 for charity doing a half hour run then it may be too big an opportunity to miss next year!


14 Jul 2013

Proud to be standing in Battle in 2014! Our candidates have been selected.

I'm delighted to say I have been selected to stand as the Labour candidate in Battle ward in the 2014 local elections.  Labour party members have given me their 'seal of approval' by selecting me again.  All our other candidates across the town have also been selected and it's a very strong team!

I have enjoyed the last 3 years as a Labour councillor for Battle ward.  It's hard work but worth it when I see changes in our community or someone pops into our advice surgery to say thank you.  You can see a snapshot of my work here:

In The Press
Into Battle 2013
Into Battle 2012
Into Battle 2011
Into Battle 2010

Looking forward we still have lots or work to do.
  • We await the publication of the results from the consultation on the £1.5 million secured for local residents. 
  • We have the Oxford Road to look at and how the opening of the Cow Lanes bridges will change its character.
  • We have fly-tipping to tackle.
  • We have residents to work with to prevent Anti Social Behaviour (ASB) in various sites.
  • We have to work with the Police & Neighbourhood Action Group (NAG) to work with to find a solution to streetworkers in and around Lorne Street.
Please continue to get in touch with any issues you have within Battle ward. You can visit me at one of our regular advice surgeries, tell us when we knock on your door or contact me using any of the details in the Get In Touch page.

I can promise I'll be working hard for residents in the next year, and if elected again, for many years after.

5 Jul 2013

Oxford Road Fun Day & the NHS's 65th Anniversary!

My what a busy few weeks!  It doesn't get any less busy with our regular advice surgery 10.30-12 at Battle Library tomorrow morning and the Oxford Road Fun Day 12-4 tomorrow in Kensington Park

We will be there to hear what you have to say about living in Battle Ward. We'll also be handing out the now famous Battle Councillor pens and will have helium balloons for the kids (while we still have helium).

Victoria Groulef, our parliamentary candidate for Reading West will be with us celebrating 65 years of the NHS with a giant paper chain!  We have already had a couple of rather famous people sign links.  Visit the stall to find out who and add your message to the chain.  More info here: https://donation.labour.org.uk/page/event/detail/streetstall/jrl

The weather looks set to be brilliant with no repeat of last year where we had to hold on the gazebo to stop is blowing away.  There'll also be food, drink and loads of things to do.

Cllr Chris Maskell at last years fun day.  This years will look about the same but add balloons and, apparently, a bubble machine!