Councillor for Heworth

Claire Douglas - Councillor for Heworth

Claire grew up in Luton and came to York for work, and has lived in Heworth for 14 years. She has a degree in Physics and began her career teaching Physics and Science in secondary schools. She moved into business and now runs her own international IT company installing large scale billings systems for gas and electric utility companies.

Claire joined the Labour Party in 2016. She had always followed politics and had been troubled by the impact of low incomes, poor working conditions and challenging social issues on children and families since her time as a teacher. Eventually she decided to get active rather than watch from the sidelines. She has been Treasurer, Secretary and Chair of the Heworth branch of York Labour. She is a member of York Labour Party Women’s Forum and leads their campaigning work, standing up for York women. She has been instrumental in the Women’s Forum campaigns ‘Stop and Fix Universal Credit’ and ‘Pay the Living Wage’, both demanding fair treatment for York women at work and through the benefits system.

Claire is chair of the trustees at Tang Hall Community Centre and founder and chair of Big Futures Foundation, both working for the local community to make Heworth a great place to live. Big Futures Foundation works in York schools to close the academic attainment gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged children. She is also involved with Friends of Melrosegate Field, and is supporting the residents of Fifth Avenue, Tang Hall, in getting their voice heard concerning the ongoing development at Derwenthorpe Estate.

“York is a fantastic place to live, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The people are friendly, open and caring, and our city is beautiful. But after living in York for a number of years and learning about my local community, the gap between the haves and the have-nots has really struck me. Too many of my fellow Heworth residents are struggling to make ends meet, and being treated unfairly at work or by the benefits system. This is driving divides, poverty and anti-social behaviour in our communities. I can’t stand by and watch, so I decided to stand for council to try to get Heworth people’s voices better represented. I want to encourage people who feel left out, make them feel included and listened to, and to try and make Heworth a better place to live for everyone.

“My experience as a teacher and in business has allowed me to develop a broad range of skills. People seem to find me approachable, non-judgemental and fair. I listen carefully to everyone and always try to understand opposing viewpoints. If we are going to tackle the inequalities in our city, we must bring people together and get them involved in decision making in their communities. I hope to be able to get people involved, get their voices heard, and improve their communities, all making York a fairer place in the long term for everyone.”

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