“The feeling of fighting for the greater good is electrifying”

By Fay Hough

My name is Fay Hough and I have recently been selected as a prospective Labour candidate for the 2022 London Local Elections. This will be my second time running, as I previously ran in 2018 and was only 72 votes away from being elected. This was disappointing as you can imagine, but gave me the inspiration to run again, but this time to win!

I was raised in a grassroots socialist family. My grandad was a chef and always supplied bacon butties at various picket lines throughout his time working in London. My mum has been on some of the biggest picket lines for an educational setting in my home borough – the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. I was raised to believe in my community and to always help others.

I joined the Labour Party in 2015, the year Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour Party Leader. I also spoke at the Labour Conference that year in Brighton for The National Autistic Society, sharing my experiences as an Autism Parent – my son was diagnosed at the age of three. The atmosphere was electric and I knew I had joined the party at one of the most exciting times.

From this point, I started volunteering for my Local MP, Jon Cruddas, and after a year of volunteering for him I was offered a job! I had a great working relationship with Jon as he has always championed autism campaigns and spoken on autism in Parliament. I have worked for Jon ever since and am lucky to be part of such a fantastic team.

I knew I wanted to run for Local Government due to local protests I had held against cuts to special educational needs funding. The feeling of fighting for the greater good and having 60 to 70 people attend, agreeing with the same principles, was electrifying. I knew this was where I was meant to be. I am an activist first and foremost and always will be.

I am standing in Rainham & Wennington Ward which is where I previously stood and was so close to becoming a councillor. This ward is close to my heart as it was the first ward I moved to when I moved to Rainham.

The main issue we are facing in this ward is the lack of social housing. Lots of housing is being built, but no social housing! There are also environmental issues due to a new waste incinerator being built across the river in Belvedere, Kent. It’s being built right next to an existing incinerator, so double the fumes! There is also a lack of CCTV in our ward which allows for anti-social behaviour and local flooding, which the council has failed to act upon to protect residents.

We will continue to campaign on various local issues showing residents that we have been working all year round and not just during election time. We are very active on the doorstep and are always present at community events. We like to speak to residents on the ground so we are always at the heart of what is happening within our community.

If elected, I would be an effective opposition to the Tory-run Havering Council, along with my other Labour comrades. I say this with confidence because Rainham has been terribly neglected by the current sitting independent councillors, who have failed to act on huge local issues, and one of whom believes COVID-19 is a conspiracy and spreads his hate speech across various platforms as an elected representative! Two of the current sitting councillors come from National Front/BNP backgrounds and there is no room for this mentality in our borough.

The people of Rainham deserve elected representatives who fight for their issues. Rainham has always been at the bottom of the pile when it comes to Havering Council and we always get the raw deal. Tory-run wards receive the most attention and other wards receive leftovers.

I am running alongside fantastic Labour comrades and I believe that we can see an increase of Labour councillors in the 2022 elections. It’s time for change, and Havering Labour is the Party that can bring that change.

Fay Hough is Women’s Officer for Dagenham and Rainham Labour Party and a prospective Labour candidate for Rainham & Wennington Ward.

Labour Hub is running a series of articles about why socialist candidates are standing locally and what difference they want to make. Get in touch if this applies to you!

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