Helen McDonald has been selected by Labour Party members in Southend to contest Kursaal ward at the 2016 local elections. Ms McDonald will take up the resident-focused campaigns of Cllr Anne Jones, and work alongside Cllr Judith McMahon.
Ms McDonald was a secondary school teacher for 15 years and is now conducting PhD research into social class differences in experiences of school. She is passionate about education and young people being given chances to succeed in life, evidenced by the voluntary work she does with young women who have experienced sexual violence and with the Young Offender Panel.
Ms McDonald said, "I am absolutely thrilled to have been selected by residents of Kursaal ward to stand as their candidate in next year’s council elections. I am keen to meet more residents and further developing the connections I have with individuals and organisations in the area. I am especially looking forward to continuing the excellent work Anne Jones has done in the ward and building upon the foundations she has created."
Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of the Labour Group on the council, said, "We are delighted to have Helen as our candidate. Kursaal is a part of Southend which very much needs the sort of policies which Labour are pushing as part of the administration. I know that Helen will continue the hard work of Cllr Jones, and along with the rest of the Labour councillors in Southend will play her part in making Kursaal and Southend a better place to live and work."
Anne Jones has opted to fight to win the third seat for Labour in Westborough. Anne said: "As much as I am looking forward to my new challenge I am looking forward to seeing Helen join me in the council chamber. Helen is a great campaigner and will be a wonderful champion for both Kursaal and Southend."