Paula Montie, Candidate for Swallowfield
Wokingham has been my home for over 20 years – I love the town and the borough, especially the open spaces where I enjoy walking with my husband, Martin and our rescue dog, Rusty.
Martin and I moved out of London when I took up my first headship in Bracknell. In 2004, I became Head of a school in Wokingham until my retirement in 2011. Education has always been my main passion, with a particular interest in helping children who experience challenges in their learning.
Apart from my keen interest in education and politics, I also enjoy the theatre and am a member of Progress Theatre Company in Reading.
There are many local issues that need to be addressed such as support for children with special educational needs and disabilities, better provision for young people, protection of our green spaces, truly affordable housing, transport etc.
The pandemic highlighted many gaps in our local services. However, it has also shown what can be achieved when people work together. I was amazed and humbled by the response of individuals, shops and businesses to the needs of the community as we faced this unprecedented challenge.
New challenges call for new ways of thinking including innovative ways to involve the community and make local government more responsive to the people it serves.
Without strong opposition and an injection of fresh ideas, our leaders can become complacent and take residents for granted. A strengthened Labour team would be able to inject new energy and deliver fresh, productive, positive local representation on behalf of us all.