I am a local business-woman, Prospective MP for Harrogate & Knaresborough (Lib Dem) and a former elected Harrogate Borough Councillor for Nidd Valley ward (2012-2016). I also have lots of other “hats” locally and nationally! You can read more about these roles below.
As a Harrogate Councillor, I led on the campaign to preserve the council offices at Crescent Gardens, and developed the first alternative budget at HBC that proposed and costed the possibility of the council building social housing in Harrogate District again, to relieve the pressure on housing waiting lists. In addition, I have led campaigns on various issues from: bringing back a shop and post office to Darley village; better rural bus services and community transport in Harrogate District and the Dales; and introducing a hyper-local version of a meals on wheels service for elderly and vulnerable people that has the potential to be a blueprint for other parts of the country, as adult social care budgets are tightened.
Nationally, I am Chair of the Social Liberal Forum. You can find out more about the work and campaigns of the SLF here. and an executive member of the Lib Dem Education Association. I am a elected member of the Federal Board of the Liberal Democrats and have served on the Lib Dem Federal Policy Committee, the body that formulates national policy papers for party member approval. I stood as a candidate for the Liberal Democrats in the 2015 General election in Harrogate & Knaresborough and in the 2010 General Election in the constituency of Skipton & Ripon.
I live on a smallholding in Darley with my husband. My two sons are now in tertiary education. My husband and I own and run a business in Harrogate and my children attended Harrogate Grammar School (a 1,800-pupil comprehensive school). The smallholding we have includes: pigs, chickens, guinea fowl and peafowl, as well as cats and dogs. It’s my main passion when I am not doing politics!
My other roles are:
Chair of the Dales Integrated Transport Alliance (DITA) based at Harrogate CVS. We are a charitable company trying to get better transport in the Yorkshire Dales. To find out more about our work and current initiatives, click here.
Chair of Governors at Hookstone Chase Community Primary School, Harrogate. A 220-pupil primary school with an enhanced mainstream unit for children with communication and interaction difficulties.
Elected Member of North Yorks Schools Forum (primary governor representative). Schools Forums were established under the Education Act 2002 to provide schools with greater involvement in the distribution of funding within their local authority and to act as a consultative and advisory body in relation to schools’ funding.