Carla McQueen for East Chesterton
City Candidate for East Chesterton
My name is Carla and I’ve represented East Chesterton on the City Council since being elected in May 2018. Since then I’ve been part of the Planning and Licensing Committees – as well as taking on the role of Lead Councillor for LGBT+ Equalities, Homelessness and Refugees.
I moved to Cambridge over a decade ago with the boys, but I was brought up in Liverpool in a town called Kirkby. It was a very different beginning, but I have many happy memories of being part of a tight-knit community where everyone supported each other. That start in life has not only given me a sense of loyalty and compassion for others, but shown me imaginative ways to improve others’ lives and make a real difference. There wasn’t much money, but people regularly came together in the local community centre. They organised great things for us children – day trips, educational resources, camping trips, drama groups and play writing.
Later on I studied sociology and psychology at university, and I think that’s given me a really good insight into how communities work.
East Chesterton is a truly diverse ward and I’m so proud to live here. We’ve got some really beautiful green open spaces to enjoy, as well as our community centres. 2020 has been an extremely challenging year for us all, but what’s truly amazed me is the great community spirit – both in East Chesterton and across the city. I’m so proud of all our residents who have helped each other, from the mutual aid groups to the regular socially-distanced gatherings in our local park in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
I’ve been involved in a range of campaigns since I was first elected in 2018, from installing CCTV to help prevent dangerous driving to getting more trees planted on East Chesterton’s streets. I’ve also given a voice to the Fen Road railway crossing, and I really want to continue that work after next May’s elections. The most important thing for me as a councillor is to make sure no community is left behind, and everyone’s voice gets heard. I’ll always fight for what is best for our residents.
I’m passionate about preventing further poverty in the most deprived areas of Cambridge, giving the people that live there a voice. Last year I proposed a motion to full council calling on the government to provide a Universal Basic Income (UBI), and I want to do more work in this area. Housing – genuinely affordable, sustainable housing for all – is vital too.
Climate change isn’t going away either. I’m proud of the efforts my colleagues at the city are making towards a cleaner, more sustainable Cambridge, including our recently published Climate Change Strategy, and I’ll continue to play my part in those discussions if I’m re-elected on May 6th. Plus I’ll keep campaigning on behalf of young people locally – they need more activities to combat the rise in anti-social behaviour. There’s loads of potential to build really strong communities by involving young people and collaborating with small, local groups.
I’m re-standing for East Chesterton because I want to continue the work I have been doing on the council ensuring our residents voices are heard. its been an extremely difficult year for all our residents and I am so proud of how our communities have come together to support one another. We’ve been listening to residents at the new online ward surgeries and I want to reach out to more residents to increase community involvement.