I’m standing to be a City Councillor in Newnham because I care deeply about improving people’s lives and building a fairer, kinder society. I am committed to social justice and climate justice, and will work tirelessly with and for residents.
As a Robinson College graduate, and now living on Northampton Street, I feel I am well-placed to represent the concerns of both residents and students in the ward.
I love the opportunity that local politics gives me to listen to so many people’s stories, to hear what you really want for our city, and to play a role in bringing it to fruition. Since last year’s elections, where I narrowly missed out on being elected, I’ve been knocking on doors across Newnham, listening to your priorities. It’s why I’ve been hard at work campaigning – setting up the petition to stop the proposed West Fields development, getting the County Council to map mental health support for young people, getting street lights and potholes fixed.
I know that seemingly small things, like mending roads or clearing drains, really make a difference. And at the other end of the spectrum, there is so much to be done to tackle inequality and the climate crisis, and we need to involve you, the residents, as much as possible in our response to these huge challenges.
Tackling inequality is particularly close to my heart – I work in prison education, and am passionate about helping our communities’ most disadvantaged people. I want to make our city fairer and safer for everyone. I would love to use my knowledge of working with disadvantaged groups to contribute to the Council’s community wellbeing work, as well as to support the Council’s work with homeless people and rough sleepers.
I’ve been campaigning with The Children’s Society on issues from better support for care leavers to greater involvement of young people in democracy, and I was delighted to help secure £425,000 in the County Council budget for additional financial support for care leavers. It would be fantastic to have the chance to continue and expand that work as a councillor, collaborating with the County Council. And I share residents’ concerns for our local workers, and will support Cambridge Labour’s efforts to encourage more employers and colleges to pay the Real Living Wage.
I’m also excited to support Cambridge Labour’s environmental plans. I’m personally committed to climate justice – I’m vegetarian, I don’t drive, and I donate 15 percent of my income to charities supporting some of those most affected by the climate crisis.
We have ambitious plans regarding development in the city. We are pledging to ensure that the next Local Plan includes a requirement that no development uses gas connections and that the total energy demand for heating/cooling in all new buildings must be equivalent to Passivhaus standards of 15-20 kWh/m2 /yr. And – one of my favourite pledges – we will include a requirement in the Local Plan that developments should generate as much renewable energy as they use over the year. We will also insist that no development will take place within the new draft Local Plan without clear assurances from water companies that there is a truly sustainable water supply.
There’s so much we can do here in Newnham, including expanding the bus network, so that we have more regular, reliable, affordable buses, and promoting walking and cycling, particularly on key routes such as Madingley Road and Barton Road. I look forward to continuing work on protecting and restoring the River Cam, and supporting a herbicide-free trial in Newnham as we work towards a herbicide-free city. I also want to push colleges to divest from fossil fuels.
While canvassing, I have been hearing that many people are dissatisfied with the condition of roads and pavements in Newnham. I am working with Cambridge Living Streets, who are campaigning for cleaner, greener and more accessible pavements, and I regularly flag specific problem areas with the County Council. Improving the state of our roads and pavements is an essential part of the push to reduce car traffic and emissions.
I love the diversity of activities, cultures, and languages that thrives in Newnham, and in Cambridge as a whole. My degree is in German and Russian, and I have also studied some Polish, French and Italian. As a linguist, I am keen to ensure that Cambridge retains and enhances its reputation as a welcoming, internationalist city.
This includes opening our arms to some of the world’s most desperate people. I was in Munich during the 2015 refugee crisis, and volunteered regularly at reception centres. The extraordinary response of the German people and my conversations with refugees had a profound effect on me, so I’m delighted that Cambridge will welcome 200 refugees over the next five years.
Most importantly, I want as many people as possible to be actively engaged in our local democracy. I want to listen to you, and involve as many of you as possible in the City Council’s decision making. We need to give people the opportunity to play an active role in politics, in order to harness some of the amazing knowledge and expertise we have in Newnham and across the city.
So, on the 5th of May, vote Cameron Holloway, vote Labour, and let’s work together to build a city that really is fair for all.