I live on a small farm in Westray, one of Orkney’s North Isles. I spent twelve years as full time carer for my husband and my father, both with dementia and multiple other health issues. During this time I had much to do with the health, social care and welfare systems.
Prior to that I was a lecturer in further education, and a veterinary nurse; now I work at the Bakehouse and part-time as a lifeguard and with the ambulance team.
I am a member of Scottish Labour’s Policy Forum, and its Health and Care Commission, where I have raised issues important to isles and remote communities in several policy areas.
Locally I have been involved with a campaign on Orkney Ferries fares, with protests against Donald Trump’s visit, against climate change, and recently spoke at a protest against the prorogation of Parliament.
I have particular interests in health, social care, education, environment and agriculture. I am anti austerity and pro investment in our people, industries, councils and infrastructure; I support devolution of power to our nations and regions.
I believe we need a welfare system that is a true safety net, which it isn’t at present, having had personal experience of dealing with the DWP [Department for Work and Pensions] for my husband,my father and myself.
Since my husband passed I have had experience of claiming JSA [Jobseeker’s Allowance], the worry of the threat of sanctions, the fear of not being able to pay for heating, so not turning it on in the middle of winter, and low paid, insecure work.
Labour has an array of policies that will see investment flow into Scotland to improve our infrastructure, create jobs, tackle the climate emergency, improve our NHS and public services.
Labour’s vision sees meeting climate change targets go hand in hand with improving people’s lives and homes. At the heart of this are Labour’s Green New Deal policies investing in renewable energy such as on and offshore wind, marine and solar energy; bringing the national grid back into public ownership; improving the insulation and energy efficiency of new and existing homes, starting with areas of high fuel poverty such as Orkney and Shetland; a just transition for workers in areas affected, such as the fossil fuel industry; investment in and public ownership of public transport.
What this could mean for us:
- Public ownership of the national grid would remove the pressure being placed on Orkney and Shetland to agree to mega wind farm projects such as Viking, giving us more say and control over now our islands’ renewable potential is developed;
- The ‘Warm Homes’ initiative would see improved standards for new homes and retrofitting of existing homes receive a massive boost. Allowing us to be warm in our homes in a more efficient, environmentally friendly way, saving us money;
- Good jobs for islanders.
I believe we need people with experience of life as it is for ordinary working people in government. Vote for hope for the future and real change now, vote for me on 12 December.