First of all, thank you for shortlisting me and giving me this opportunity to introduce myself: I’m Helen and I want to be the next Labour Councillor for Mossley Hill.

I’ve been working in the voluntary and community sector for 14 years. In that time I’ve worked with children and young people as a playworker, I’ve taught adult art classes in community centres and I’ve supported charities and community groups with digital marketing.

Before I started working in the voluntary sector, I didn’t pay that much attention to politics, but as I’ve watched the impact of budget cuts on public services, I’ve seen how the sector steps in to provide the support people need.

In 2010 I was facing redundancy from my job as a communications officer and I decided I wanted to start my own social enterprise centred around digital inclusion and community engagement. So I did, and 9 years later it’s still going. Since starting that business I’ve picked up a wide range of skills, such as bookkeeping, bid writing, admin, marketing and project management – all skill that I think will be useful in the role of a Councillor.

I joined the Labour party in 2015 because, after 5 years of the coalition government, for me, Jeremy Corbyn represented that something different the country needed to repair the damage of austerity. And after a few, eventful, years in politics, I felt being a member wasn’t enough. I wanted to do something. So I got involved with my CLP, joined them on marches and protests and helped with leafleting and door knocking in the local election. Now I feel I want to do something more. So here I am.

The most important thing, for me, is community. Creating a safe and vibrant place for people to live, work, and play. I can only do so much through my work, and that’s why I want to be on the city council: to help keep our services going, make sure our libraries stay open, protect people’s jobs and ensure our green spaces are there for future generations to enjoy.

Mossley Hill is a beautiful part of Liverpool. It reminds me a lot of where I grew up in Crosby, Blundellsands ward. Both have high education attainment, low crime rate and long life expectancy. And while, relatively speaking, it is more affluent than other parts of the city, there are pockets of deprivation here that are largely overlooked. Those residents especially, need Labour Councillors to make sure they’re not forgotten, to fight on their behalf and ensure their voice is heard in the town hall.

So if you select me tonight, and I really hope you do, I will work with [the current Labour councillors] to promote Labour values, engage with residents to understand what their priorities are and win the confidence of voters.

The campaign to retain that Labour seat in Mossley Hill starts tonight, and I know it’s not going to be easy, but I can’t wait to get started and I look forward to working with you all to make it happen.

Pleased to say I was selected and will stand for election in May 2020.