As Labour’s spokesperson for children’s service and education at Suffolk County Council, I led a number of campaigns on a range of key issues such as health visitors, school exclusions and mental health, as well as SEND, educational standards and school transport. I have also shone a light on poverty, pay and conditions, and workers’ rights.
We showed that, by fighting on the issues that mattered, with strong messages and tireless campaigning, we can change lives for the better, even in opposition. Most importantly, we could fight inequality and injustice, and give a voice to the voiceless.
Nothing typifies this better than the campaign on SEND which has lasted for years. There have been countless stories of children not receiving the support they are entitled to. Dozens of occasions where families have had to go through the tiring, exhaustive, expensive turmoil of tribunal. Repeated failures committed by the Conservative-led Suffolk County Council.
I was proud to be part of the working group which produced the plans to deliver more than 800 new specialist places in Suffolk. But as yet another devastating report showed, the county is a long way from being able to adequately support children and families.
We will keep fighting to right these injustices, so that every child in Suffolk is given the proper education, care and opportunities that they deserve.