WE are standing candidates across England in the 2019 local elections.
Only 1 in 3 of England’s local councillors are women. We need your help to make it 1 in 2. Many of our candidates have never stood for election before, but WE are determined to increase equal representation on 2 May.
Basingstoke & Dean (Eastrop): Priya Brown
Passionate about equality for all, Priya Brown is standing in the local elections for WE having recently launched the Basingstoke branch with fellow members, Stacy Hart and Andrea Johnson. Priya is dedicated to raising awareness of the party and is looking to grow a strong local presence to get equality at the forefront and centre of policy and action. Priya is an independent marketing consultant and mum of two, who has returned to Basingstoke after several years away in London, and overseas. She loves music, the outdoors, and crafts.
Brighton & Hove (Hanover & Elm Grove): Beverley Barstow
Beverley has lived in Hanover for 25 years. Originally from Barnsley, she moved to Brighton in 1988 to attend Sussex University, studied sociology, a masters in urban and regional studies, and a CPE in law. Beverley is known in the local area for her painting and decorating business – and for her passion for local politics. She co-founded the Elm Grove Residents’ Action Group, which campaigned for safe parking on Elm Grove. If elected, Beverley aims to be a firm feminist voice on the city council.
Brighton & Hove (Central Hove): Jessie Macneil-Brown
A founding WEP member, Jessie set up the Tower Hamlets branch and following a move to Hove she was elected as branch leader for Hove & Portslade. Experienced in campaigning from the grass roots to the highest decision making levels, Jessie has been leading global campaigns at The Body Shop since 2010 and worked at Amnesty International leading a sexual and reproductive rights campaign. Jessie sits on boards for Global Fund for Women and Ice & Fire human rights theatre group.
Central Bedfordshire (Leighton Buzzard North): Nanci Hogan
Nanci has worked for more than 35 years in the public, private and charitable sectors. For 13 of those years, she lobbied at the United Nations to end all forms of violence against women and girls. Having also worked in the public sector in Bedfordshire, she was able to secure funding for victims of violent crimes, including victims of domestic abuse. This involved liaising with the public, and private sector as well as community leaders from across Central Bedfordshire.
Cheshire East (Congleton East): Kay Wesley
Kay is campaigning to support social infrastructure in Congleton and Cheshire East. The council has been building hundreds of new houses and re-paving the town at a time when nine out of 10 domestic abuse survivors are denied a place in a refuge, there is no childcare strategy, the Minor Injuries Unit is under threat and mental health and social care are failing to meet the needs of the community. Kay lives in Congleton and runs an international digital business in the town. Kay has been a school governor, a scout leader and volunteered for the youth theatre and 'Elizabeth’s Group' - working to commemorate Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy, Congleton’s suffragist.
Exeter (Duryard & St James): Bea Gare
Bea Gare is a former British Diplomat. In mid-career she undertook a PhD in biological sciences and rejoined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) after a short stint running her own Environmental Consultancy. Her work in the FCO concentrated on multilateral arms control including 5 years in Vienna at the British delegation to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Bea joined WEP in 2016. A lifetime of watching Westminster politics led her to the only party with policies on equality and PR as part of their manifesto.
Leeds (Roundhay): Hannah Barham-Brown
Hannah is a Disability and Gender Equity Advocate, GP Registrar, Speaker and Media Commentator. Hannah is a spokesperson for the Eve Appeal, raising awareness and funding research into the five gynaecological cancers. She also founded a local organisation in Roundhay to help combat Period Poverty across Leeds, called Help In Handbags. At last years People’s Vote March Hannah addressed the crowds from the stage, advocating a People’s Vote. She is already an experienced medical politician, on the British Medical Association's Council, Junior Doctors Committee and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group.
Leeds (Headingley & Hyde Park): Caroline Hunt
Caroline is the branch lead in Leeds. A former secondary school teacher, she now puts her time and efforts towards campaigning for feminist causes. She works with Help In Handbags to combat period poverty in Leeds and co-ordinates all the Northern Women's Equality Branches. Caroline also campaigns for gender equality in the world of video games, having brought a motion on the issue to the last Women's Equality Party Conference.
Leeds (Alwoodley): Louise Jennings
Louise is the Women’s Equality Party candidate for Alwoodley because she believes we should not be limited by gender and equality is better for everyone. Louise has worked in STEM and academia in Leeds for the past 20 years, and, after having never been interested in politics before, joined the Women’s Equality Party as soon as she found out about it! Louise is a parent governor of her son’s primary school.
Liverpool (Childwall): Erika Raffle-Currie
Erika Raffle-Currie is a founding member of the Women’s Equality Party, part of the leadership team for the Liverpool branch and an active campaigner for the party and a member of the European Movement. She works for a Higher Education institution and is a lone parent to two teenage daughters. She is passionate about fighting for an open and equal society. She is standing in these elections not only to bring more diversity to politics, but also to ensure that diversity leads to action.
Manchester (Deansgate): Sam Johnson
Sam Johnson is a Founding Member of the Women’s Equality Party and active volunteer. Johnson has lived in Deansgate, Manchester for five years and is standing as a candidate for the second time. She is a qualified Fundraiser, currently nominated as ‘Inspire Women ‘Employee of the Year’ and ‘Volunteer of the Year’’. She has been an activist since being a Student Union Women’s Officer and is particularly passionate about ending violence against women and sexual exploitation. Whilst living in Deansgate she has volunteered including as a Trustee and worked with refugees and asylum seekers, homeless, LGBT+ and disabled communities.
Manchester (Didsbury West): Sarika Paul
Sarika is currently working as a PhD student, and has followed the party since its inception. In 2017 she organised the branch’s first mini conference, “Deeds not Words”, aiming to bring together some of the incredible groups working with, and for, women in Manchester. Following this, she took on the co-lead role throughout 2018. This year she has taken a step back from co-ordinating local election campaigns and is instead standing as a candidate in the Didsbury West ward in Manchester.
Manchester (Crumpsall): Samantha Days
Samantha was born in Manchester, and has lived in Crumpsall for over 20 years. She is the coordinator for Wythenshawe Good Neighbours, working with the over 50s community. Her passion, which grew whilst volunteering and working in the third sector, is for people to have access to the information and advice they need, to live their best life without barriers. She has worked and volunteered in the third sector for almost 25 years (for the LGBT Foundation and as a Trustee for Albert Kennedy Trust).
Manchester (Chorlton): Jo Heathcote
Jo is a founding member of WEP and one of the first founders of Manchester Branch. Jo has taught in and around Manchester for 20 years and is passionate about education issues and how education can change lives. A parent of a son and a daughter, she wants both of them to grow up in a society that is safe, tolerant and respectful so they can be their best and true selves. In turn, Jo believes WEP’s objectives are the only common sense route to achieving that society for all.
Milton Keynes (Campbell Park & Old Woughton): Jane Whild
Jane has lived in the Milton Keynes area for 30 years. She works at the Open University as a senior administrator and equality and diversity champion. She is a founding member of the Milton Keynes branch, and also collaborates with the Fawcett Milton Keynes Group, and supports Citizens:mk's Fair Work Campaign. Jane wants to see equal representation for women in politics and civic life, and is the 50:50 Parliament Campaign's National #AskHerToStand Director for the Women’s Equality Party. She would be honoured to represent residents in Campbell Park & Old Woughton, and would press the Council to engage more with voluntary agencies and residents, and fight for long-term assured funding for the services that support women and families.
Salford (Eccles): Annie Wood
Annie worked as a local authority social worker in Salford for 14 years which gave her an insight into the devastating impact of austerity cuts on women and their families. After undertaking research into domestic abuse against women in the locality, Annie helped to raise funds for refuge provision in the city. Annie teaches at Salford University. She is passionate about ensuring education and training opportunities are available for all, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Sheffield (Ecclesall): Meg Senior
Megan Senior will stand for election as a local councillor in Ecclesall Ward. A fundraiser for a local charity, Meg came to study at the University of Sheffield in 2010 and now lives and works locally. This is the first time that residents in Ecclesall will have the opportunity to vote for the Women’s Equality Party. Meg feels strongly that in Sheffield local people’s voices are not always heard by the council, and wants to help change that. She wants to draw attention to the real-life disadvantages facing women and challenge the council to do more to tackle inequality.
Sheffield (Walkley): Amy Gooding
Amy Gooding will stand for election as a local councillor in Walkley Ward, Sheffield. A mum and Marketing Manager, one of Amy’s motivations is to remove the barriers that inequality puts in front of all young people, stopping them from reaching their potential. The Women’s Equality Party first stood in Walkley ward in 2018. Amy feels strongly that the Women’s Equality Party can make a change and challenge the ideas in politics which get recycled by the traditional parties. An intersectional feminist, she invites all different voices to get involved with the campaign in Sheffield.
Southend-on-Sea (Chalkwell): Vinice Cowell
Stockport (Heatons North): Jen Bryan
Thanet (Cliftonville East): Kanndiss Riley
Kanndiss is standing to be a local councillor because she believes that new voices are needed to rejuvenate Margate. Her priority is to focus on improving the resources that Thanet already has to offer, ensuring that this vibrant town is the best possible home for all local people. As a councillor, Kanndiss would prioritise childcare and adult social care services, as well as pushing for the council to ring-fence services for those fleeing domestic violence - services which have been reduced in recent years. She wants to represent those people who feel disenfranchised and excluded and as a councillor, Kanndiss will listen and endeavour to provide access and opportunity for all.
Tunbridge Wells (Culverden): Liz Orr
Liz has lived in Culverden for 20 years and is married with two children. She worked initially as a recruitment consultant, but more recently teaching children to cook. Liz joined the party in 2016 and stood last year in this ward, where she matched the Labour Party with 15% of the vote. She's a runner, keen cyclist and competes in cyclocross races. She's also a passionate environmentalist, a member of her local Friends of the Earth, where she's campaigning to make Tunbridge Wells plastic free.
Tunbridge Wells (Pantiles & St Mark’s): Celine Thomas
Céline has been campaigning for the Women’s Equality Party since it was founded and stood as one of the first General Election candidates in 2017 with superb results. She’s since been keeping up the pressure on local parties, stakeholders and government by fighting on local issues affecting women’s lives. Céline’s always been an advocate for women in her professional life during 10 years as a lawyer for government and recently as a volunteer for a domestic abuse charity in her community.
Worcester (Bedwardine): Leisa Taylor
Leisa has lived in Worcester for over 25 years. A proud mother, dedicated youth worker and is committed to smashing the patriarchy. She is an active member of the community and is currently working on a Rebellious Women project - bringing the story of women’s suffrage to women’s support groups in Worcester. She is a founding member of WEP, started the Worcester branch and has stood as WEP candidate twice before in local elections. She is excited to be representing the WEP again in 2019.
Wokingham (Evendons): Louise Timlin
Louise is originally from Yorkshire but has lived in Wokingham for 15 years with her husband, John, they have two children aged 10 and 11. Louise has spent the last 27 years working in the pharmaceutical industry in clinical and health outcomes research. In Wokingham only 13 out of 53 local councillors are women. Louise is standing to challenge the homogeneous views of the council. Louise joined WEP shortly after it was set up and this is her first experience standing as a candidate. Lousie hopes her experience will encourage other women to put themselves forward.
York (Heworth): Sally Duffin
Sally has lived in York all her life. She runs her own nutritional therapy practice in the city, and teaches nutrition at a local College. She is proud to be the first ever WEP candidate to stand in York's council elections. Her campaign is focusing on the increasing gender pay gap in York, gender-based violence, and lack of equal representation on the City Council. Only 32% City of York councillors are women, which matches the level of inequality in Westminster.