Cambridge Labour have announced their candidate in the forthcoming by-election for the vacant city council seat in Newnham – Niamh Sweeney, local teacher, education campaigner, committed Remainer and Newnham resident. Currently teaching Health & Social Care and Criminology at Long Road 6th Form College, she has over twenty years’ experience working with young people and families in education, probation and youth work.
Niamh, a former member of the TUC General Council and president of the National Education Union (ATL) as well as a workplace rep for over 15 years, wasted no time in setting out her vision for Newnham, and the city;
“Education funding is a topic that is very close to my heart, and a key issue here in Newnham where Newnham Croft Primary School has seen a loss of £119 per pupil since 2015. That’s just not good enough, and I will continue to fight for better funding. I’m working at the moment with local parents on the Fund Our Schools Campaign. We recently held a march of over 1000 children, parents and teachers in Cambridge which was supported by many local Councillors, and we have more events planned in the run up to the Autumn Spending Review – so watch this space.
“Like anywhere in Cambridge, traffic and parking are at the forefront here in Newnham. We have to work towards cutting car use and managing commutes better, improving bus services, reducing pollution and ensuring that a focus on sustainability and biodiversity are at the heart of everything we do. I also want to ensure that there are no further delays in implementing the new residents’ parking scheme, which has already taken far too long.
“I’m firmly committed to tackling inequality, and providing more housing (for example, in Clerk Maxwell Road) so that families from Cambridge can continue to live in the city. I’ll be pushing for local employers, such as Robinson College, to pay the Real Living Wage too. Newnham and Cambridge are great places to live, and I want as many people as possible to have that opportunity.”
Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of the City Council, welcomed the announcement;
“We are so lucky to have local Newnham resident Niamh as Labour’s candidate, who if elected will champion Newnham skilfully and provide real support for residents. She has years of experience of campaigning on education and employment rights, and a proven track record of working with local parents to get their voices heard. Niamh Is a real asset to Labour in Newnham and will make an excellent City Councillor for her area.”
Daniel Zeichner MP for Cambridge has also given Niamh’s campaign his full support;
“I’ve known Niamh for a long time. She’s knowledgeable, principled and will get things done. As a former President of Europe’s largest education union, Niamh has campaigned at the very highest level for change. She’s also helped me fight against the closure of the City Centre’s Post Office after the coalition government privatised Royal Mail, to save the magistrates court, and to keep a police station in our city. Newnham needs an enthusiastic campaigning local councillor and Niamh is the right woman for the job.”
The by-election will take place on 8th August.