I moved to London in 2006 and lived in the Barbican but fell in love with Golden Lane Estate and moved to my flat in Hatfield House in 2008. I’m passionate about where we live and since I retired, and have more time, I have been working to try and make it a better place to live and work.
Involved in the community
I’m a keen amateur gardener and am currently the chair of the Golden Lane Baggers, our award-winning allotment group. It was started in 2010 by some tenatious residents who managed to get permission for a temporary allotment on the old nursery playground. It thrived but the builders bags they used were falling to pieces. I spotted the Tesco’s Bags for Help scheme and last spring residents from Golden Lane and the Barbican shopped at Tesco’s picking up voting tokens each time they shopped to vote for us. We were given a £10,000 grant to replace our bags with boxes at the same time increasing to 42 boxes, which means 42 families on the Estate can enjoy home grown vegetables, fruit and flowers. We have also through grants got a shed, water butt, some compost bins so that we can be more self sufficient and our most recent acquisition, constructed this week our ‘kids shed’.
Golden Lane Community Centre
I am working hard to breathe new life into the Golden Lane Community Centre. I got involved with the Community Centre when the City produced plans showing it being taken over as offices and for CoLCEC, the Community Education Centre. We organised a survey and had over 110 responses from residents which initiated a residents meeting and the plans being put on hold. Following discussions with the City officers we formed a joint steering group of residents and officers with the task of transforming it into a social and educational community hub. Throughout 2016 we organised events from photography classes supported by the contractor Keepmoat, to knitting groups, we were open for Open House Weekend and had workshops to make the costumes and bunting for our wonderful float in the Lord Mayor Show.
We now have planning approval and the architects are working on detail design. The residents are being consulted about how the rooms are fitted out and we hope to be opening our refurbished community centre in January 2018
Caring for the environment
I want to see an improvement in our air quality. For years I have tapped on windows of drivers who have their engines running around the estate, not always successfully, and at the beginning of February I trained as avolunteer for ‘Vehicle Idling Action,’ a campaign that seeks to improve the quality of the air we all breathe by asking drivers to switch off their engines when parked. I learned a lot more about the sources of pollution, not just from vehicles but from construction sites, their plant and generators.
Looking after our unique area
Having worked as an architect, I understand building design, budgets, planning and procurement. I know how to ensure quality buildings are built. I have objected to the proposed development of Bernard Morgan House, and the application to demolish it early. I have also commented on and will object to the current proposal for COLPAI: the location
of the school hall badly affects the residents of Basterfield House and the estate allotments; the tower block is simply too tall.
Passionate about education
I’m extremely proud to be a governor of Richard Cloudesley School, a very special Ofsted Outstanding school where I sit on the Curriculum and Outcomes Committee.
I trained as an architect and have worked in the UK and abroad particularly in Papua New Guinea, where I worked on a range of health projects for the Asian Development Bank and the Government of PNG and more recently I had the opportunity to be part of a european team in Southern France working on the ITER project, the world first full size trial project for Nuclear Fusion, which could change the world energy problems and is growing out of the ground as I write. I’ve been involved in front end design but also in delivering major project both as a consultant and as a client so I know the pitfalls, the value of good design, good specification, good procurement, good contract management and overall good project management… something I think the City has a lot to learn.
I like to get things done and I think that working with people, communicating and getting involved is a way to making things happen…… and that’s what I want.