Amanda Hawkes for Trumpington
City Candidate for Trumpington
I’m Amanda Hawkes and I’m standing as a candidate to represent Trumpington on Cambridge City Council. I’m originally from the North East, from an old mining village in County Durham. After working for a few years, I went to university in Glasgow and I’ve worked for charities, at Addenbrooke’s and in social care at Cambridgeshire County Council. I left the Council because of endless cuts to services and budgets and I now work as a Librarian at the University.
I first began volunteering in my late teens, when I was unsure of what direction to take in my career and then continued when I was a student, getting involved with the local community. After university I volunteered then worked in voluntary organisations for many years – in international development, community development, homelessness, and social care. I also served on the board of a Women’s Aid charity.
For me, Labour values are rooted in the community, they’re about saying we have a responsibility to each other, that we do better working together than we do alone. They are about caring, compassion and trying to build a better community and world. I’ve always tried to do that through my work in charities and supporting and giving opportunity to others.
I worked in homeless charities in London between 1997 – 2004, when a Labour government virtually ended homelessness, with comprehensive services, funding and an evidence based approach. I’m so saddened to see its return after 10 years of cuts to services, lack of housing, insecure jobs and low pay, but encouraged to see the extensive work done by our Labour-run City Council to reduce homelessness in the city. I’m also concerned about poverty and inequality, and about cuts to public services such as libraries, youth services and education, which are so needed for opportunity, social mobility and community cohesion.
Politics is rooted in the practical things you can do to help. We’ve asked local schools how we can help, supported the food hub, helped people during the pandemic. It is about making a positive difference locally. I said I grew up in the North East and community is very important. Trumpington’s a mix of the old and the new and I’d like to build on the existing sense of community. Local politics is a really good way of engaging with people about their priorities and problems, and how we can help.
I’m so proud of the Council’s response to the pandemic, and the setting up of the food project. When lockdown first happened I worried about people losing jobs and how they’d eat and look after their families. I asked around and learned of the food project and volunteered there each week, putting together food parcels and meals for those in needed. The numbers went up each week but there were also a lovely bunch of people volunteering and firms who gave their time and skills. Without the council’s engagement and bringing in businesses, people would have been left in desperate circumstances.
Trumpington has beautiful green spaces, is bordered by a country park and nature reserve, has community allotments and garden and children’s play areas – over a hundred hectares in Trumpington Meadows and Clay Farm. .As well as being great for our wellbeing they increase biodiversity and benefit the environment. Katie, as Labour councillor, has done huge amounts of work locally to develop wildflower meadows, plant trees, and support chalk streams.
A Labour city council has led to council housing being built here for the first time in years, and their commitment and innovation in addressing housing needs is great. The new council housing in Anstey Way in Trumpington enabled older people living in the location in less suitable housing to move back into brand new, accessible flats, alongside families and individuals on the waiting list. The development of ‘pods’, portable, self contained housing for homeless people, in partnership with Jimmy’s, has also been a great innovation.
As a city councillor I would welcome the opportunity to continue this work, supporting my local community here in Trumpington, and helping to develop the City Council’s ongoing response to the impact of Covid.