Barnet Labour have selected charity worker Jessica Brayne to stand in the Underhill council by-election on 5th May following the resignation of Cllr Amy Trevethan who has moved to Cambridge for work reasons.
Jessica, who is employed as an Engagement Officer at Equality Challenge Unit, a charity that supports the higher education sector to advance equality and diversity for staff and students, has lived in Chipping Barnet since 2011 and is currently the Secretary of Chipping Barnet Labour Party.
While studying for her degree in Anthropology at the London School of Economics, Jessica was elected as the disability and well-being officer for the student union where she gave advice and support to fellow students, and organised campaigns and events promoting disability awareness on campus. Her first full time job, aged 18, was as a care assistant in an elderly residential home, she has also worked as a chef and a project coordinator on large construction and IT projects.
Jessica's priorities for Underhill are:
- Supporting and working with community groups on local issues including campaigning for environment improvements and against cuts to public services.
- Fighting for more affordable housing and to ensure that new developments consider and meet the needs of residents.
- Ensuring that all residents of the Dollis Valley estate are treated fairly as the new estate is developed.
- Ensuring good value for the council tax payer from council services - particularly contracted out services.
- Protecting the greenbelt.
- Making Underhill safer - working with our Safer Neighbourhood Team to cut crime, reduce anti-social behaviour and make sure elderly people feel secure wherever they live in Underhill.
- Ensuring there are suitable facilities for young people in Underhill.
- Addressing the many parking issues and concerns residents have.
Jessica said: "I am delighted to be selected as the Labour candidate for the forthcoming Underhill by-election.
"I will be focusing my campaign on protecting local services for everyone, and making sure the council listens to residents. These are both things that have been sadly lacking from Conservative-run Barnet.
"My father was a social worker and always encouraged me to be interested in politics and community activism. He clearly had a big impact on me as when I was ten I organised a protest at school to allow girls to use the playing field which was only used for cricket and football - happily, we won, and I have never lost that desire to stand up for equality.
"Getting involved in my local community and the Labour movement was always a given - here was this group of people whose main motivation was creating a better place to live for their communities. These are my values too, and this is why I want to stand as a councillor."
Leader of the Barnet Labour Group, Cllr Barry Rawlings said: "I have known Jessica for several years and know she will be a fine addition to the Labour team in Underhill. Jessica understands the problems facing local residents especially the lack of affordable housing, increasing crime and the state of the local environment. Jessica is a hard working and conscientious woman and will be a great local councillor for Underhill."
For more information contact the Barnet Labour Party: firstname.lastname@example.org