Indira Vadhia for Queen Edith’s
City Candidate for Queen Edith's
I’m Indira Vadhia – known as Indy to most – and I’m proud to be standing as your City Council candidate for Queen Edith’s.
I grew up predominantly in Bottisham, a village about 6 miles outside of Cambridge. I have strong ties to the city that go back for many years; my grandparents lived in Coleridge for over 40 years, starting their family in a prefab on Golding Road. They then lived in Cherry Hinton for 25 years.
I grew up poor within a middle-class area. We were a working household who needed housing benefit to afford rent in the private sector and spent 12 years on the social housing waiting list. I lived my teenage years in a time of austerity and Tory cuts, experiencing first-hand how families and young people were being squeezed from every possible angle.
Fortunately, I had access to a fantastic education at Bottisham Village College and later at Hills Road Sixth Form College, where I studied maths and sciences. I am now studying for a degree through The Open University whilst working full-time at Cambridge Assessment. I chair the BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) Network at Cambridge Assessment and recently founded a new Young Employees Network. I am a passionate advocate for equality and inclusion and it is this value that connects me most with the Labour Party.
I became a Labour member at 18. I think it’s quite common for young people like me to feel stifled by feelings of anger and hopelessness when it comes to politics. We see inequality, injustice and suffering all around us and it can be difficult to see how we can ever make a difference. The advice I have given myself is to start local; identify the issues on your doorstep and work on solving these first.
In keeping with Labour values, I strongly believe in the power of community to drive positive change. My experience in running networks has taught me not to underestimate the value of connection and shared experience. Change happens when people come together on a topic that matters to them.
I lived within the city boundaries of Queen Edith’s until quite recently, when a housing issue forced me to move to neighbouring Coleridge. Housing issues such as no-fault evictions, unaffordable rents and landlords not meeting their legal requirements have followed me for my entire life. Secure, safe housing should not be a luxury only some can afford. Our Labour-led council have done an amazing job of tackling homelessness in the city, including the setup of several modular homes across the city in collaboration with homelessness charity Jimmy’s. However, more must be done to ensure that each family unit in the city is given access to high-quality housing, creating homes that are affordable, with long-term security and that do not compromise on green space and community facilities. The private rented sector must be tackled properly; I’m pleased to see that our City Council is pledging to stand up for private renters, offering support and continuing to lobby for better national protections.
Our Labour-led City Council has demonstrated a real commitment to tackling climate change and protecting our environment. This is an area that people across the city, including in Queen Edith’s, are concerned about. I would like to support this work in making Queen Edith’s as sustainable as possible, both for people and planet. As your City Councillor I will be committed to ensuring everyone’s voice is heard, including those whose voices are often marginalised, as we build for a fairer, safer, greener community.