I have always lived in the borough of Southend and have been a resident of Leigh for over 40 years. I have a background in running a local Hairdressing business which was established in Leigh in 1984. The business employed and trained numerous apprentices and supported the Project Trident scheme. From 1984 I was one of the original members of the Leigh Traders Association that was responsible for establishing a number of community initiatives as well as founding the Leigh Christmas Lights.

I ran my business for 18 years during which time I went through a divorce and raised my 2 sons as a single Mum. I gained an OU degree and in 2002, at the age of 40, went on to train as a History teacher through the GTP. I have 15 years experience of working in secondary education, hold an MA in Education and am conversant with the politics that go on behind our children’s schooling. I have always supported and voted for the Labour Party but it was during this time as a teacher that I began taking an active interest in government policies. Throughout my teaching career I was an active NASUWT member, including a term as its South East President and supported and acted on behalf of staff to maintain teacher’s pay and conditions. Following the coalition in 2010 this became an ever increasing battle.

I have returned to my hairdressing roots and currently have a small business on the London Road. I understand all too well the pressure that the Covid crisis has imposed on local businesses and I recognise that Leigh has a large number and variety of independent shops and businesses that need support. I pledge to continue to further aid recovery at this difficult time.

Community is very important to me. I have always volunteered for community events as I know how hard it is to set things up e.g. Leigh Christmas Lights, Leigh Regatta, Leigh Road Baptist Church Friday Night Youth Cafe and the Winter Night Shelter.

In 2017 I put myself forward for a position on Leigh Town Council and won 2 consecutive elections. My experience of being a Councillor has given me the drive and passion to get involved in borough issues. Pre-Covid, I established a monthly Youth Forum in Leigh which was the catalyst for collaborating with the YMCA to set up and run two weekly youth clubs. Youngsters can be a vital source of information for development and/or change in the area.

I would say I have Christian values and have a strong sense of justice and believe that we need a more caring society.I am prepared to get my hands dirty to serve the residents. I am extremely pro-active and have already spoken with residents during previous election campaigns and throughout the year, helping local people and promoting policies. I consider myself a team player that wants the best for Southend and the surrounding areas. I understand what it means to represent the interests of a community and that is by understanding the needs of different groups in society, including the young, the elderly and others who are marginalised. One of my main interests is the well-being of our young people, especially during the current climate.

I know that nobody can properly represent the interests of electors without consulting them, and speaking to residents will be a key part of my campaign.

Contact Anita:

Email: anita.forde@southendlabour.com

Tel: 01702 619868 (please leave a message for Anita and include your name, phone number and address)

Post: Leigh Labour, 268 Sutton Road, Southend-on-Sea SS2 5ET

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