Cllr Bryony Goodliffe
County Councillor for Cherry Hinton
My name is Bryony and I have lived in Cambridge for over 22 years, in Cherry Hinton since 2001.
I am a relatively recent member of the Labour Party, joining in 2015 because the country was facing a Tory Government committed to picking a fight with the European Union just to solve an internal party dispute. I felt that my children deserved more than that, Cherry Hinton deserved more than that, Cambridge deserved more than that. I wanted to do my bit to oppose that Government and build an electable alternative. So, I decided I wanted to do more, I wanted to stand up for my community and become the Labour County Councillor for Cherry Hinton.
My passion is education. I have worked in primary schools for the last fourteen years, first as a Teaching Assistant and now as Child and Adolescent Counsellor. I have seen first-hand the effects that poverty, zero hours contracts and a penny pinching Tory establishment that had to be shamed into feeding our children by a football player.
Education is the silver bullet. All that is good in our society, the future of our planet and the wellbeing of our communities start with quality education for all our children as its bedrock. As the fifth biggest economy in the world, even after the myopic folly of Brexit, must surely be able to afford decent schools filled with well-paid and motivated staff, teaching well fed children. It’s not a lot to ask, but it is for this Government and this County Council, because quality education for all, opportunity for all and investment in public services are alien to them.
The impact of this on our children’s mental health is not taken nearly seriously enough. And that was before this pandemic and this Government’s incompetent, ideological response, cut a swathe through the mental health of this generation.
Our children and their families need to better access to early help. Schools work very hard and with considerable limitations to help children and families. The Council needs to recognise it is nearly too late to invest in mental health services for kids in our schools, so I want to look these Tory Councillors in the eye and demand more, demand better, demand they are held to account for their decisions.
I am committed to my community both on a local and county level. Since the first lockdown in March 2020 I have seen the impact this awful virus is having on the people of Cherry Hinton and Cambridgeshire. I have volunteered locally with the food hub; delivering medications and shopping to those who were shielding. I’ve also volunteered with the Red Cross, closely supporting the County and City Councils with provision for people isolating and the distribution of PPE across the county.
I’ve been proud of our response as a community and have worked alongside some amazing people. The last year has shown me just how much people will come together to provide for those in need. It is a founding belief of the Labour Party, that together we can do more than we can alone.
The work of the City Council, investing in tackling the biodiversity and climate emergencies, is truly impressive and as a County Councillor, I aim to further this work and extend it to the entire area.
Another key area across the county are the housing issues we currently face. Whilst the City Council have achieved over 500 new council homes ahead of schedule, working productively with development partners, the same can’t be said at County level. That needs to change.
I have not been a lifelong Labour activist. I don’t know the minute details of Labour policy, or even everything the County Council does. However, I work hard, I believe in helping people, I will stand up for Cherry Hinton division and I will make sure the council consider us when looking at their budgets and plans.
I have been speaking with local residents and am hearing the issues that people see day to day and which impact upon their lives: from dangerous pavements which limit the activity available to elderly residents; to the speeding cars and ‘short-cuts’ used by drivers which put residents both young and old at risk. Already I have been able to connect services and issues and seek remedy for problems within our locality. I look forward to continuing that work.