A new Dawn for women councillors

Newly elected councillor  Dawn Poole
Newly elected councillor Dawn Poole

THE LABOUR Party in Hastings is boasting more women councillors than ever before following the local elections.

The election of Judy Rogers and Dawn Poole to the council has seen the party’s numbers rise to the most they have had sitting on the authority.

The Conservatives only sitting female councillor defended her seat in Maze Hill by just 44 votes against 22-year-old James Bacon.

Joy Waite and Eve Martin will defend their seats in 2014.

Cllr Poole, 37, lives in Hollington and is a mother of two. She works as a civil servant and is an active trade union member.

It was while she was working as a vote counter at the 2010 General Election that she decided to get involved.

“I could see that Michael Foster was losing,” said Cllr Poole. “I could see that he was not going to win.

“I thought there was no point moaning about it. The only way I was going to be able to change things was by getting involved and becoming a politican myself.

“I was inspired by people like Jay Kramer and Emily Westley, strong women not afraid to make their voices heard.

“Emily works so hard to balance a family and doing her studies for a degree with her political work.

“I am a mother on her own myself and I know how hard it can be for single parents.

“Women bring different qualities to the table and I can empathise with them.

“There are not a lot of well paid jobs for them in this town and we need to create more opportunities.

“I have been born and raised in this town and understand people’s concerns.

“More women in politics is a step in the right direction. I have a lot to learn but am sure I will get the right support and backing from everyone in the party.”

Longstanding Labour councillor Godfrey Daniel said: “We want candidates like Dawn who are going to stand up and do the work and connect with communities.

“We need more women on the council and more representatives of ethnic communities.

“It’s good to have a mix of young and old, men and women and different backgrounds. We want more. We have a woman candidate for MP we always want good candidates to come forward. Let’s hope Dawn and Judy inspire more women to get involved.”