Council candidates

Louise Harvey-Quirke (Sturry)

Louise is among the new city council candidates for the local elections in 2019.

Here she talks about why she wants to become a City Councillor, her thoughts on local politics, and what she can do in her local community in Sturry.

Louise Harvey-Quirke

Why do you want to become a City Councillor?

To me, being a Councillor is a privileged position. It’s one that should be both valued and respected.

So having this opportunity to stand up and speak on issues that could improve someone’s life, is incredibly rewarding. And if I am fortunate enough to be elected in May, I’ll work tirelessly to make the changes that people in places like Fordwich, Hersden, Broad Oak, Sturry and Westbere have been asking for.

What are these changes?

I often speak with neighbours and friends across the ward about local issues. The feedback more often than not is that honest and effective representation is really important.

Residents have mentioned to me that they are hoping for ‘new blood’ in the area. Preferably a candidate with family values, transparency and a strong work ethic. I’m hoping I can deliver on those things.

What experience of local politics do you have?

Being a single parent, I simply couldn’t find time to dedicate to community projects when my children were younger. However, five years ago, when my youngest daughter was 12, I became involved with a local Parish Council. The experience totally opened my eyes to what could be done.

When I’m out campaigning, I always make a point of telling people that I am first time candidate. This, to me, is a positive thing. I am not going into this with an agenda other than to help my local community. Think of me as someone looking to put some fresh ideas and local knowledge to use.

How would you encourage young people to become involved in local politics?

I think knowing as much as possible about the young people in my area, is a positive step. It’s important for councillors and everyone to get a better idea of the things young people care about, as well as the issues that affect them.

Having a family of my own, I understand though that some children would rather not engage in face-to-face conversation with a politician! But I look forward to trying. Whether that’s with local youth organisations, or with slightly older teenagers and students.

I do think it is important for children to learn about Politics. There are so many issues right now that will affect their future. Ensuring they get a chance to learn about those and talk about them can only be a positive.

What sort of future do you see for Sturry?

I see an exciting future for Sturry.

The people have a good team in Alan Marsh, Georgina Glover and me. We talk daily and discuss solutions to local issues. We respect each other and understand that each of us bring something different to the table. That is ultimately what people need – colleagues who work well together, for the benefit of others.

I feel it is time for some forward thinking, different approaches to local issues and a respect for our ever changing society.

There will undoubtedly be challenging times ahead. We have several proposed housing developments within the area that will cause debate. But I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do for Sturry, and our district, on that and many other issues.