It’s local election day this Thursday and as you might expect I am out campaigning for the Labour Party candidates.
The people telling you that ‘all politicians are the same’ are often the ones who don’t want you to look too closely at the people and policies involved before you vote, or better still, stay at home altogether.
It has never been true, and particularly at the local level, where many people standing in council elections are doing so because they are already active in the community, already involved in the issues local people face and want to be able to make a bigger and better difference to local people’s lives as a councillor.
We are so lucky in this constituency to have six such dedicated Labour candidates and I would like to take this opportunity to tell you more about the people behind the names on your voting slips this Thursday.
Leanne Fudge – St Andrew’s and Docklands
As the late councillor and Lord Mayor Nadine Fudge’s daughter, Leanne grew up understanding exactly what public service means and what the people and the place of Hull need at the local level. She has been totally dedicated to her role as councillor since her election in 2019, working tirelessly for the area, and I know whenever I need to contact her over any issues in her ward I can expect an immediate response.
Paul Harper – Boothferry
As a retired teacher who spent his entire career teaching in Hull primary schools, Paul understands the people of Hull from the inside out. Since his retirement he has continued to support the community through his work for the Hull Active School Sports programme and as a blue-coat for HEY! Volunteering. A former Deputy Headmaster, Paul understands what responsibility means and the hard work needed to discharge it. He would make an excellent representative on the council.
Aneesa Akbar – Central
If you wanted a definition of ‘the heart and soul of the community’ you couldn’t go wrong with Aneesa. I love being out campaigning with Aneesa – there’s hardly a door we knock on or a passer-by in the street who doesn’t know her. Her work with the Peel Street Project is making a huge difference to the area and Aneesa is a fierce campaigner for equality and inclusion. With Aneesa on your side, you will always have have a powerful voice and a loyal friend.
Sarah Hicks – Derringham
Before she joined the NHS Mental Health Service, Sarah organised community events for local residents with dementia. Despite her demanding job and being a single parent, Sarah remains committed to improving her local area and as a committee member of The Bank is helping create a community space which will provide much-needed facilities and support for the people of Derringham. She is a resourceful and courageous woman, and I would back her to put the community first every time.
Lynn Petrini – Newington and Gypsyville
The current Lord Mayor might need little introduction, but she has always been prepared to go the extra mile to involve herself in the lives of others. I still remember how keen she was to come to the Primary school I taught at with her husband Graham to share their stories of life on the trawlers and in the fishing community of Hessle Road, and what an impression she made on the children. Lynn is Hull through and through and there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for the city.
Terry Sullivan – Pickering ward
Terry is the definition of someone who sees a need and then gets on with finding solutions. Together with his wife Dawn, Terry founded the HU4 community group which has now opened HU4 Hub – a space for local residents to go for support, socialise or take part in community events. They have arranged craft sessions for children at Dragon Park, deliver food parcels to families in need, and Terry even dressed at Father Christmas and gave out Christmas hampers to families across Pickering. Terry wears his heart on his sleeve, and what a good heart it is.
I am confident that every one of these candidates will do an excellent job if elected and I hope you will be supporting them at the ballot-box on Thursday.