Cllr Hilary Cox Condron
County Councillor for Arbury
My name is Hilary, I’m a Cambridge community artist, educator, creative producer and campaigner and I’m standing for election to Cambridgeshire County Council to represent Arbury ward.
I moved to Cambridge in 1984 to study illustration at CCAT and have lived here ever since, most recently in Abbey where I share a house with my two sons and our dog Zelda Zen. I’ve worked in all sorts of jobs, from tending bar and potato picking to running a design studio and teaching at Cambridge Regional College and Castle School. My activism and passion for social justice and the environment has shaped how I’ve developed as an artist and I now have over 20 years’ experience working with schools, new communities, marginalised groups, museums and cultural venues.
Community is at the heart of everything I do. The chair of Cambridge United once introduced me as ‘community glue’ – I bring people together, and support them to build relationships and bring about long term, positive change. I’ve worked with many diverse groups across the city and have a genuine commitment to equality, diversity, social inclusion, the environment and place-making.
I’ve also worked extensively in North Cambridge, including Arbury.
Projects have included working with pupils at North Cambridge Academy to create puppets for the Arbury Carnival and working with Daily Bread and pupils at Grove School to explore the local environment, vegetables and creativity. I’ve also worked on a project with Kettles Yard at the Meadows Community Centre called ‘Arbury is where we live … NOW’ exploring residents’ connections to the area, and created an archive of memories and the history of Arbury Carnival for the Museum of Cambridge
Like many people, I lost a most my work at the beginning of lockdown and had to change and adapt – over the past year I have been working closely with Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination, Centre 33, Kite Trust and Cambs Youth Panel to devise and deliver ‘creative invitation’ boxes to support people in isolation and crisis during this period. Some years ago I also helped develop the County Council’s Children, Young People and Families strategy – working creatively to involve young people across the county.
I’m absolutely passionate about protecting and nurturing our natural environment and have been working with the Cambridge Canopy Cover project – celebrating, projecting and planting more trees across the city. I also successfully lobbied the City Council to commit to the Tree Charter.
My commitment to equality and diversity is strong, and I’ve worked with the City Council and Capturing Cambridge to create online galleries to tell stories that celebrate and raise awareness of Cambridge Black, South Asian, Disability and Women’s heritage. Most recently I’ve been working with residents around Ironworks on Mill Road to explore how the experience of the past year can help shape a more positive future.
And, like many of us, over the last year I’ve seen how inequality, poverty and prejudice have been exposed both in Arbury and across the city. I’ve seen local communities rally together and our city officers and councillors working so hard to take care of residents.
What happens next is so vital – in tackling poverty and in the face of the climate emergency – and I believe, as a county councillor, I can play my part, drawing on all my years of community experience. With listening ears, warm heart, creative soul and a dedication to social justice and the environment, I am playing my part as we work together for a better future.