Catherine Rae for Castle
County Candidate for Castle
I’m very excited to be the Labour Candidate for Castle with its unique blend of established communities and an innovative new community in development in Eddington. I stood as the Labour Party candidate for Fen Ditton (where I live) in 2018 and have campaigned extensively for the Labour Party in South Cambridgeshire and in the City. Every day I cycle to work through Castle on my way to West Cambridge past one of my favourite places, Kettles Yard.
I have particular interests in sustainable transport, listening to and understanding the real science involved, rather than the hype. The environment has to be at the heart of the decisions we make, not only in transport but also in our homes, communities and open spaces. Equality is just as important, and I have worked to give opportunities to adults to develop and continue their education, but this experience underlines the importance of early years in enabling every child to achieve the very best they can and also in equipping them with the resilience we have found so essential over the last year. I am interested in the innovation in teaching which is an integral part of the Cambridge University Primary School in Eddington.
I have lived in Cambridge for 20 years and work in the University as a Professor in the Materials Science Department on the West Cambridge site. My work involves understanding and developing alloys to improve the efficiency of gas turbines used for airplanes and in power generation. I fought my way back into research at the highest level following caring for my three children. Firstly, at the University of East Anglia helping set up an access course for adults wanting to study for science degrees but without science A levels, and then re-entering research by taking a junior research post at the age of 41. To do this I set up and ran an after-school club as none existed and was also chair of the PTA at my kid’s primary school.
After five years re-establishing my research record, I was appointed to the academic staff in Cambridge working closely with Rolls-Royce. As a researcher I have sat on several committees on the relationship between science and industry focussing on how we translate science research into industrial prosperity. So, I have a wide variety of experience in industrial innovation with several patents, in higher education giving opportunities for young people to access higher education and I am also a keen cyclist and park runner.
I joined the Labour Party because I believe passionately that together we can achieve more than we can achieve alone. We are living in a world where inequality is growing and it is increasingly difficult for everyone to reach their potential as access to opportunity becomes limited by income. I am standing for the County Council because it deals with the issues at the centre of our lives, schools, social services, transport, infrastructure and the environment.
Post Covid will be a time of radical change and it is vital that a critical but constructive Labour voice is heard. We can do this through supporting sustainable transport, improved education chances for all and properly funded care for the elderly. After 30 years of privatised so-called ‘competition’ the last year has proved that privatisation does not provide value for money for the local community but maximises profit for the private provider. We need to seize this opportunity to direct these changes to create a happier, healthier and kinder community.