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Forest of Dean District Council

Meet the councillors!

My CV

Councillor for:

20 years

Party:

Labour

Council job:

Chair of Diomestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Forum, Health and Well Being Champion, Benefits Champion. I sit as council representative on the Forest Heath Forum and belong to the Youth Health Issues Group.I am a Board member of Two Rivers Housing.

Profession:

Qualified Teacher, Qualified Independant Domestic Violence Advisor. I have a counselling qualification and used to co-ordinate a charity for young and older unemployed/homeless people, which provided hot meals, shower facilities, advice and drugand alcohol advice. We provided a creche for young children whilst their parents were getting help. I have worked in many different jobs and have experience redundancy and unemployment.

Photo:

Di Martin

Final Day!!!I am at work until 4pm. CAB at 6pm and then Forest Youth awards at 7.30pm which is always inspiring. It's FRIDAY. GREAT !!!

Favourite Thing: Having a good time with my friends

Me and my council work

My work as a councillor has become almost addictive, as once one thing has been achieved there is always another cause or issue to campaign and fight for.

I am a mother of two children called Rafe and Zia who I love very much. I also have three grandsons with a granddaughter on the way!!! I do not have enough time to spend with my family as I would like but they do understand about how involved I am in the council and other groups and support me when they can.They are really great at challenging my ideas and do try to keep me in the 21st century as at times they laugh about my ‘old-fashioned’ ideas. I am much better at writing than at using the computer but I am at last emailing instead of sending letters! I am a survivor as I have survived a serious illness which has left me with a disability, have survived a house fire and survived loosing my husband so at times life has been tough, however it has made me value the life I now have and I really love waking up every day.I get passionate about issues that impact upon peoples lives and even though I have been on the council for 20 years I never stop feeling upset when I think that things are not fair or are in just.I believe that society is not fair and will continue to campaign and work to make it more equitable.I also enjoy fun things like music, concerts and festivals, although I find camping harder as I get older!!!

My Typical Day

My days are often chaotic, busy , very stimulating and rewarding.

I get up at about 5.15am as I work in Cheltenham and have to start early to enable me to leave on time to make council meetings and to meet with members of the public.During my break times at work I ring up or email  people who have asked me for information or want to talk about issues, plus I read my council emails and respond to the most urgent ones. I often go straight from work to the council offices to attend a working party or task group. I might then go from there to a meeting with a member of the public or to attend a Town council meeting or an outside organisation such as CANDI( Trustee), eventually getting home at about 10.00pm. I try and eat then but often I am too tired to cook in a Healthy manner and end up getting a take-away!

What I'd do as "Youth Engagement Champion"

I would work hard to ensure that young peoples views are taken more seriously when making decisions

I genuinely believe that young people should gain the right to vote at 16, especially as they can get married and even die for their country at this age.I would continue to express this view to central government.I also believe that we do not engage enough with young people so if I was elected as “Youth Engagement Champion” I would try to listen to as many views as possible and try and visit a cross section of schools, colleges , supported m and as many work places as possible to understand the most pressing issues which are impacting on young peoples lives.I would try not to be judgemental as I have been young myself and would work to relate to as many diverse young people as possible, expressing the their views at the District Council.  it would be good to encourage a “shadow Youth Council ” to enable young  people to understand how their council works, although during these times of “cuts ” I do not know how seriously this idea would be taken by other councillors.l

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Friendly, hardworking and generous.

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Kings of Leon are one of many.

What is the most fun thing you've done?

I went down the world’s largest water shute at Universal studios in Florida with my son!!!!!

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

1.Become young again.Win the lottery. Save the planet from extinction due to Global Warming.

What did you want to be after you left school?

I wanted to be a Dancer- needless to say I did’nt make it!!!!

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Always being told off for talking too much

What's the best thing you've done as a councillor?

Helped to set up a Home for women and children escaping Domestic Violence.

Tell us a joke.

Have you heard about the Magic Tractor? It turned into a Field!!!!

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