County Councillor for Abbey

Cllr Alex Bulat - County Councillor for Abbey
Contact Cllr Alex Bulat

I’m Alex Bulat and I am your County Councillor for Abbey.

I never thought or planned to be a local politician. But my experiences as a migrant in the UK, facing various difficulties myself and seeing injustices others faced, changed me from a non-voter to a local council candidate within a few years.

When I moved to the UK from Romania in 2012, I was 18 years old and I remember struggling to understand my flatmates speaking in English. Eight years later, I had a PhD in Political Sociology and became a British citizen.

During my first few years in the UK, I did not even know I had the right to vote, let alone stand, in local elections as an EU migrant. I became engaged in politics in 2017, after realising how decisions made in politics affect my rights directly. Since then, I have been a vocal migrants’ rights campaigner. I worked in a variety of part-time and temporary jobs in the charitable sector, university teaching, academic and non-academic research and more.

I joined the Labour Party in 2017, the same year I got involved in migrants’ rights campaigning. I joined as a migrant who wants to see local politics better reflect the communities it represents. In 2021, I was proud to become the first Romanian-born Labour County Councillor representing a part of the city I call home.

I also joined the party as a young-ish woman who struggled for quite a while to have a good standard of living. I moved to Cambridge in 2015 and worked throughout my studies. I still work long hours alongside my council duties and live in a small studio, but I know I am very privileged, compared to many of friends who are much worse hit by the cost of living crisis. I joined Labour to contribute to a fairer society, where no one should be forced to choose between heating their flat or buying food.

As a migrants’ rights campaigner, I want to ensure that all residents’ rights are protected, regardless of where they come from. Even before I decided to stand for election, I worked closely with Councillors to inform EU citizens about the EU Settlement Scheme and co-organised informative events in the city. I campaign for all residents to have the right to vote in local council elections – no taxation without representation!

I’m also passionate about ensuring access to education at all levels and for everyone, regardless of age or immigration status. I believe fair access to education starts with good early years provision and I will campaign for proper funding for state-funded nursery schools. In Abbey, one in five children live in poverty and this is not acceptable anywhere, let alone in one of the wealthiest cities on earth.

What I enjoy most about local politics is listening to residents and being able to support positive change. Local politicians are representatives of an area – they are not there because they know better, but to listen to residents and represent their views. I am very grateful to be able to listen, learn and then act. Since being elected, I door knock every week on a different street – not just at election time. Even if I speak with just a handful of residents in an evening, that is invaluable for me, as I can get direct feedback on consultations that are live, thoughts on my plans as councillor and pick up casework that makes the difference to residents’ everyday life.

Labour has real power now in the County Council after Tory control ended following the May 2021 elections. Part of the Joint Administration, Labour is implementing many of our manifesto promises: we extended free school meals for all eligible Cambridgeshire children, we put £20 straight into the pocked of every benefit claimant in the County, we committed more funding for libraries, we adopted a climate strategy for a net zero council by 2030 and we implemented a council tax exemption for care leavers. These are just a few of the many achievements in the first year alone.

I’m also proud to see positive changes in Abbey since being elected. And yes, this includes potholes. Many residents will notice Highways repairs are more visible, quicker and many previously reported footpaths are now resurfaced or on the list to be fixed. I think the biggest win for the community in my first year as Abbey County Councillor is reversing the previous Tory decision to take out the nursery plans from the East Barnwell Community Centre development. The nursery is now back in the plans and we’re calling for no more delays in the project so Abbey can finally have the modern community centre it deserves.

Please do get in touch if you are a resident and have any feedback or issues, I am always keen to have a call or visit!

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