Councillor for Guildhall
Janet has been representing the Guildhall ward since the City of York Council was set up in 1996 and has said that representing the city centre and the local residential neighbourhoods has been a privilege and over the years she has come to know the ward very well. Until 2002 she was also working full time in the city centre, but is now retired (at least from the day job), and her main occupation is acting as a busy and committed local councillor. She has held a number of senior council positions; for many years she was heavily involved in the Education and Children’s Services, regularly visiting schools and Children’s Centres, and always enthusiastic about the importance of good education opportunities for all our children with a lot of emphasis on the importance of the Early Years experience. A quality first start for all our children is a key to their future success.
As well as the Education brief, Janet has had a long involvement with the Planning Process and watched over a lot of changes to the City. She has expressed that planning is interesting, but sometimes frustrating as you are very ruled by planning law, and councillors have nothing like the free hand that residents sometimes think they have. But she enjoys it and states that it is satisfying sometimes to support a local resident through a process that can seem very complicated and off-putting.
For the last three years she has been Leader of the Labour Group as they mount an opposition to the current Lib-Dem/Tory administration. A busy job, but again one that gives her a lot of opportunities to get about and meet a wide selection of people. It is a particularly exciting time to be a Guildhall Councillor, as she prepares for the new developments round the Castle which will, it is hoped, open up the rather run down car park to a new city centre park for all to enjoy.
In her spare time Janet reads widely; anything from Detective fiction to history, visits the Theatre, both professional and amateur, and tries to keep up with her three children and four grandchildren. A social meal out with her husband is always really valued.