Wigan council election candidate speaks of being a role model for her daughters
Laura Flynn, the Labour candidate for Aspull New Springs Whelley ward, is looking to increase the number of female elected representatives in Wigan and Leigh.
The mum and trade unionist is campaigning on issues including supporting volunteers and community groups, especially those providing services for residents hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
But she says one of the most important things for her is for her daughters Jessica, nine, and Grace, six, to see their mum taking part in politics.
Laura, 36, said: “It’s really difficult standing for election, putting yourself forward.
“I’m a mum, I work full time and I do lots of volunteering.
“I think it’s really important to have that representation and different viewpoints. It’s about role models and seeing people in those positions.
“The best thing is my two little girls seeing their mum standing in the election and being on the ballot paper. That’s amazing and pretty priceless.”
If she gets elected Laura will be one of the youngest women in the Wigan Council chamber.
She admits she took a couple of years of persuading to run and credits the support and encouragement of Wigan MP Lisa Nandy and female Labour representatives like Coun Sheila Ramsdale for finally convincing her to stand.
This is Laura’s first attempt at getting elected, although she would have stood in the ward last year had coronavirus not temporarily put the democratic process on hold.
She also runs a youth group and is a school governor and said she would bring those experiences into the chamber if voters back her.
She spoke of her grassroots approach to politics and said she would be encouraging this as Wigan attempts to recover from the impact of Covid-19.
She said: “The main thing for me is the recovery from the pandemic. That starts with communities on a really local level.
“I’ve seen the mental health impact of being locked down on my own kids and my youth group.
“Keeping it going on Zoom just isn’t the same, children need to be able to see their friends and pursue their hobbies.
“I keep thinking about people who’ve had babies in the last year, not being able to go to mums and babies’ groups. When I had mine I was in Aspull Library every week.
“The pandemic has shattered people’s confidence and children have missed out on huge chunks of their childhood.
“My other thing is ensuring we have facilities and the environment people live in is kept clean and tidy.
“Supporting local businesses is absolutely crucial too.”
Laura said she was impressed by how Wigan Council has responded to the demands of the pandemic and backed policies such as creating 100 new apprenticeships or graduate jobs in-house.
The local elections are on May 6, with the full list of candidates due to be published on April 8.
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