My name is Alison Ridley, I am standing in the local election for The Labour Party in the Whiteley and Shedfield ward. I have lived in Hampshire for almost 30 years, working in social care, both as a frontline worker and a manager of services supporting older people and adults with mental health problems. I live in Bishops Waltham, and also run my own small consultancy business.
I believe that the strength of a community is demonstrated not only by how economically successful it is but also by how that community supports those who, for all kinds of reasons, are less able to care for themselves, and for those who do not have a voice. Compassion, equality and inclusivity are values that can and should form the central approach of our national and local Hampshire social policy. Although we are a relatively wealthy area of the country, within the Meon Valley one of our local food banks has recently reported an increase of 60% in the demand on food basics by local families in the past year. Thankfully many of us in the Whiteley and Shedfield ward are in a position to give to food banks, but would you want to see more strategic actions taken at a Hampshire and national level to address inequality and poverty in our society and our local community? Locally there are also un-addressed issues relating to the accessibility of affordable housing and cuts to public transport to rural areas which must be prioritised. Although there are no simple solutions to these issues, if I was elected as your Labour Party councillor I would work to try to achieve change. I hope that you will vote for me.