Labour and Cooperative candidate for Pin Green
Hello, I am Maureen McKay and I am proud to have been chosen to stand as your Labour & Co-operative candidate for Pin Green. I have lived in Pin Green for over 50 years and really feel part of this community. Originally from Scotland and the eldest of four, I married at 19 and moved to London with my husband Gerard and I worked for IBM. Unemployment rates were high in Port Glasgow where we grew up. We moved to Pin Green, Stevenage in 1964 as part of the London overspill and I had 3 daughters all born at home. The Lister Hospital wasn’t built then but all the doctors were obstetricians and we had great midwifery services.
Stevenage offered great facilities for families: good schools, local churches, play schemes, adventure playgrounds, Bowes Lyon etc. The large companies we worked for (BAE and Kodak) both offered great social facilities for employees and their families.
I retrained to be a teacher in 1974 and taught Maths at The John Henry Newman school in Stevenage for 25 years. I was the NUT (now NEU) representative and took part in many demonstrations in London fighting for an increase in teachers’ pay. I really enjoyed my years of teaching. Even now after years of retirement I constantly come across ex pupils and it is always a pleasure to chat to them about what has happened since they left school.
In my retirement, I have enjoyed being a local councillor for nearly 9 years. I am very grateful to the Stevenage Borough Council and our wonderful community for the support that we as a family have enjoyed over the years. I now feel that I can continue help to pay some of this back by supporting and helping others improve their quality of life in our town during this most difficult time.
I am a Labour and Cooperative councillor, and a member of the Labour Women’ s Forum which supports the Co-operative principles of equality and collaborative work. I look forward to supporting all residents, small businesses and schools/playgroups and nurseries in the Pin Green area. I am particularly interested in young people and would like to help enable young people to take part in leisure and cultural activities as well as encouraging them to secure future career opportunities.
I have been involved in many projects to help improve our area, which I have highlighted below. I am also very keen to hear the voices of residents in Pin Green about any issues that are important to you and your families and promise to work hard to support you if you elect me to be a Pin Green councillor.
■ I helped local residents resolve many issues such as housing problems and repairs, parking issues, noise problems, anti-social behaviour, lighting, potholes and drugs issues etc… and reported them to the appropriate officers in our Council/ Hertfordshire County Council. I attend meetings with the Police to discuss many of these issues.
■ I worked with a County Councillor and Herts Highways to organise the laying of a dropped kerb for mobility scooters in a path to the Oval from Arthur Gibbens Court and Martins Wood House. This was paid for from our local community budgets and the County Councillor’s local budget.
■ The Oval Community Garden was reinstated and run by a local resident and her volunteer team including local councillors. The garden is used by young people, local schools and nurseries and often local residents. A new path, gate and fencing has been installed to enable pushchairs, wheelchairs and mobility scooters access to the garden and two other councillors supported this from our local community budgets.
■ I helped to install a defibrillator at the Times Club and a CCTV camera at the Oval Shopping Centre.
■ I also supported setting up of Youth Activities at The Oval Community Centre in conjunction with Local Youth Workers.
■ I organised the clean up at the Oval Shopping centre involving the paving stones, cleaning and painting of the pillar supports, lighting and fascia above the shops. Planting of bulbs etc is now taking place in the grassy banks near the underpass and plans will be going ahead after consultation with residents to have a mural painted on the underpass walls leading into Oval Shops.
■ I worked with our Labour Action team to clear and remove all the rubbish in front of the Jessop Road town houses leading through the underpass to the Oval shops.
■ I took part in litter picks involving residents and their children with councillors and community wardens.
■ I helped to provide masks to the people of Stevenage and also supported the Stevenage Community Trust with their great work in providing help with local food banks.
■ I have also been involved with the Irish Network, the Credit Union, supporting people experiencing domestic abuse and many other voluntary groups who do so much work to support the residents of Stevenage.
■ I’ve been involved with the Friends of Hampson Park Group to help support the many excellent social activities held there. Great fun for all the family. I am also looking forward to supporting the new Community Orchard being organised by Friends of Hampson Park and councillors.
■ As part of my role as a councillor, I feel very proud to have been asked to join the board of Trustees at the Larwood Academy situated on Webb Rise. This school provides an excellent nurturing environment for children with social, emotional and mental health issues. It was a pleasure to visit the school and see for myself the outstanding education the children are receiving from all the dedicated staff.
■ I have been involved with the Stevenage Community Food Bank for the last 8 years. I have always been impressed by the residents, schools, churches, businesses and organisations in Stevenage and Knebworth for their generous contributions to the Food Bank.
■ I lead walks with the Leisure 50 walking group (I have been a member of this group for 20 years). We often walk all around Hertfordshire and other neighbouring counties. Annually, I take part in group (30/40) walking holidays to Eastbourne (Beachy Head) and also The Isle of Wight. I have also enjoyed walking further afield in Portugal and Italy with the Ramblers.
I hope that my interests and experience will assure you that I am dedicated to serving the people of Stevenage and the community of Pin Green.