Carina O’Reilly for Arbury
City Candidate for Arbury
I’m a lecturer, specialising in criminology and policing, and I’ve been a councillor for Arbury ward since 2012. I’ve lived in Cambridge since I came here to do my first degree in 1997 at Lucy Cavendish College – just round the corner from where I live now in Victoria Road. I’ve lived there for 18 years and have come to get to know many of my neighbours and consider them friends.
Being a councillor for me has always been a way to give back. I feel like I’ve been very lucky to live in Cambridge and to have a decent life, and the capacity to do more, so I’ve tried to do that to the best of my ability. The first campaign I was involved in was the successful one to keep the Wessex Place footpath open between Magrath Avenue and Castle Hill – I remember standing in the cold tallying the number of people using the path to show how needed it was.
The most rewarding work I’ve done as a councillor was to serve as Executive for the City Centre and Public Spaces. I learned so much about the work that the council do to support our range of nature reserves, and the tree canopy; our stewardship of the city’s commons and parks; and our contribution to managing the river. Though it was a bit strange to be stopped in the street and asked about moorhens. I had to give that up when I took on a full-time lecturing post but I’ve remained interested in the issues, and I currently serve on the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee among other responsibilities. I’m a keen allotment gardener, with a plot on the New Chesterton site just off Histon Road. In the little spare time I have left, I am a keen cyclist and I enjoy (extremely slow) swimming in the city’s impressive range of pools. I also helped run Arbury’s Mutual Aid group during the first lockdown.
I’m restanding as a councillor in May to continue being a voice for my neighbours and all residents of Arbury on the City Council – it’s so important to have a way to have your voice heard. I also know that the policies Labour’s been implementing over the last few years are crucial to trying to minimise the inequality that’s the worst aspect of the city and to help the least advantaged get the best access possible to the services we provide – that’s something no other party is really interested in, and it’s why I’m a Labour councillor.