AC Publishing

(Awduresau Cymru Publishing)

My Political Life

I became actively involved in politics in 1992, when I watched the Conservatives win yet another General Election. I watched in disbelief as the results came in, and I sat on the floor of my sitting room and I cried. I knew then that I had to do more than put a cross on the ballot paper every 4 or 5 years. That's when I joined the Labour Party.

The Labour Party has been a family that took me in, gave me friendship and a cause to fight for. It put fire in my belly, and showed me that here was a great mass of individuals who cared, who would fight for fair play, who would stand up for those in need, who would do the right thing whatever the cost. It has been my social life, my community, and sometimes my livelihood. 

In 1993, I became a Governor of Porthcawl Primary School, where I remained for many years, and eventually I became Chair of Governors. I was elected unopposed on a By-election to the East Central ward on Porthcawl Town Council in 1994. By 1997 I was elected Deputy Mayor, and I was elected Town Mayor - for the first time - in 1998. I proposed twinning Porthcawl with a town in France, and eventually persuaded the Town Council to support the idea.

During a family holiday to Brittany, I was able to arrange a visit by the Mayor of St Sebastien sur Loire, and a delegation of residents and Councillors, to Porthcawl in December. We signed a Twinning Charter in Porthcawl in March of the following year, and in St Sebastien in April, before my Mayoral year ended. The Twinning is still going strong 20 years later. We made some great friends in our twinned town, and some of us re-named our houses in its honour - St Sebastian House over here, Porthcawl House in France!

In 1999 I was elected to the new Bridgend County Borough Council, and re-elected to Porthcawl Town Council, representing Porthcawl East Central ward. I also became a Governor on Porthcawl Comprehensive School, later to be Chair of Governors.

In 2005 I was elected Chair of the Education Scrutiny Committee  on BCBC, as well as Chair of the Audit Committee. In 2008 I was elected Bridgend Council's Cabinet Member for Children & Young People, the only woman on the cabinet.

In 2005 I became Madeleine Moon's election agent when she stood as the Parliamentary candidate for Bridgend in the General Election. To our delight, she won the election, and I went on to set up, and run, her constituency office. It was a wonderfully exciting time.

In 2010 I was selected to stand as the Parliamentary candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan. I have rarely worked so hard! My wonderful agent Chris Elmore, now the MP for Ogmore, was a hard task master, but taught me a great deal. 

Taking a Seat at the Top Table,

Welsh Labour Party Conference 2010

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I met the great and the good from the world of politics, and everyone was incredibly supportive, but it wasn't to be. After 13 years in government, the country as a whole shifted away from the Labour party, and sadly the small majority we had in the Vale couldn't stand up to the changing times. But I wouldn't have missed it for the world - and we held our own - the vote wasn't a landslide for the Conservatives by any means!

In 2012 I lost my seat on BCBC, but I kept my integrity. Since then, I have continued to be as involved as I was able, given that my husband was very ill. I was elected Mayor of Porthcawl for two further years; I have attended conferences, taken as active a role as I could in both my local branch and my CLP, and stood as a candidate in elections and by-elections, despite the continued rise of the Independents. The fight goes on!