Arran Parry Davies for Trumpington
City Candidate for Trumpington
I’m Arran, a third year sociology and politics student at Cambridge University. I’ve had the chance to experience the wonderful, welcoming community that Cambridge offers first-hand over the last three years – a city that prides itself on embracing the best and brightest from all over the world. However, I’ve also seen the challenges we face here with unaffordable housing costs for families and young people, cuts to our frontline services and rising inequality. Addressing these issues at the local level is why I’m standing to represent Trumpington on Cambridge City Council.
Since joining the Labour Party at 16 and being a proud trade union member, I’ve campaigned on issues ranging from fair pay at work to the punitive benefit sanctions regime. I additionally served as Youth Officer for my branch Labour Party, ensuring the voices of young people were heard at the local level.
In Cambridge, I was Chair of the University’s Labour Club during the 2019 General Election. This gave me a crash course in campaigning in the city and understanding the challenges facing Trumpington residents. I’m proud of the work we did to register student voters and ensure that Cambridge continued to be represented by a fantastic and diligent Labour MP.
I’ve also worked in the public policy and think tank field. This means finding practical policy solutions to the challenges we face in local government will always be at the forefront of my mind. For instance, I’ve co-authored a report with the Fabian society on improving migrant integration through strengthening local youth clubs and community engagement.
The last decade saw the greatest assault on working people in a generation. I joined the Labour Party after seeing the impact that welfare reforms were having on my dad and many other families like mine – from the ‘bedroom tax’, pushing them to rely on food banks to the cruel Work Capabilities Assessment that sought to exploit our most vulnerable disabled citizens. Things were different under Labour. The last Labour government changed the lives of millions of families like mine, giving us tax credits, a national poverty strategy and properly funded public services from upgraded schools to record NHS investment.
I’m deeply passionate about ending child poverty in Cambridge. Child poverty rates in the city have increased 17% since 2015 with the introduction of Universal Credit and the high living costs in the city. This has disastrous impacts for families, which have only been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Children growing up in poverty face a lifetime of lower economic opportunities, poorer mental health and are more vulnerable to exploitation. The last Labour government took 1 million children out of poverty nationally and Cambridge City Council in the face of severe cuts has assisted struggling families with food insecurity and supporting those on Universal Credit.
Cambridge Labour has done its best to mitigate the impacts of the disastrous Universal Credit roll out by providing support to those affected, including seconding council staff to the Cambridge JobCentre Plus and working with the local Citizens’ Advice Bureau.
Cambridge is an increasingly diverse city. In Trumpington, 3 in 10 residents are from ethnic minority backgrounds and 1 in 5 are born outside the UK. My experience in the policy sector on issues of migrant integration and at the grassroots means I will be an effective and practical voice to build up strong and resilient communities in Trumpington.
Cambridge Council has been a pioneer among local authorities by setting a net zero target of 2030, showing we are a city and a council that takes the threat of the climate catastrophe seriously and are taking action. At the local level, community green space has been a priority with a sole Trumpington Labour councillor leading the way here with the creation of two community gardens for local people at Clay Farm and Empty Common. Three quarters of Cambridge’s 100+ hectares of new green space is in Trumpington.
Cambridge has amongst the highest housing costs in the UK but wages have not kept up. This increasingly means that owning a house in Cambridge is out of reach not just for young people but families with good jobs and incomes. For young people in the rented sector, exploitation practices are all too common. As a councillor, I would make it my priority to support young people and families in the rented sector and ensure they have a voice championing them at the local level. I will also continue to support our really strong local action in Trumpington on this area with 40% of housing in Clay Farm and Trumpington Meadows being social or affordable.