My Ayrshire born and bred parents emigrated to Sydney, Australia when I was 3. I returned to Scotland in 1999 and I live in South Ayrshire with my husband and children. I am passionate about improving the lives of the people of Ayr, Prestwick and Troon. Being a mother to three children ranging from 4 to 16 years old, nothing is more important to me than trying to improve their lives and the opportunities available for them and our future generations.
Prior to being elected as a local councillor in 2017, I was actively involved with local community issues and charity fundraising. I am currently a councillor and am the portfolio holder for economy, tourism and leisure in South Ayrshire.
My life prior to politics?
I worked in the legal profession for 15 years, initially as a commercial conveyancing paralegal and latterly as office manager for a large local law firm. Before that I was general manager for a fashion retail/manufacturing business in Sydney, Australia. I set up South Ayrshire Babybank in 2016 which I run on a voluntary basis and assist local charities with appeals to help Ayrshire families in need.
Childhood cancer is an issue close to my heart after a friend lost her 5 year old son to DIPG brain tumour in 2010. I have actively fundraised and raised awareness on this issue and I was an integral part of a group of volunteers who campaigned to “Save Malcolm Sargent House” in Prestwick in 2016. Although the house was closed by CLIC Sargent the local charity Whitleys Retreat was founded to provide respite holidays for children suffering from cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
My Ambitions for Scotland
I believe that Scotland should take its place in Europe and the world as an independent country.
I believe in a better future for Scotland – a future where we look after the wellbeing of our people, tackle the climate crisis, tackle child and pension poverty and play a leading role in the European Union and on the world stage as an independent country.
As we emerge from this Covid crisis and embark on our road to recovery, it is important that the people of Scotland have the right to determine how we recover. Do we continue in Boris Johnson's bleak Brexit Britain, where within weeks of leaving the EU the conservatives are already planning to attack workers rights that have been in enshrined in EU law? Or do we choose self determination, where Scotland has full powers to make decisions that will benefit the people of Scotland and our future generations as we start this road to recovery?
My main priorities as your MSP for Ayr Prestwick and Troon
- Economic recovery for our area. The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a sharp increase in job losses in the past year. Our area is not alone but as we start to recover from the global pandemic, I want to maximise opportunities from the Ayrshire Growth Deal which will see £80 million invested into our area and create more than 4000 highly skilled jobs over the next 10 years.
- Continue to tackle local water quality, flooding and litter issues. Since being elected as councillor I have been campaigning for investment to improve the water quality at Ayr Beach. Scottish Water announced last year that they will commit to £10m of improvement works which should be complete by spring 2021. This will bring a significant improvement not only to the water quality at Ayr Beach but also neighbouring beaches in Prestwick, Troon and Barassie.
- Better, Greener public transport
- Mental Health Wellbeing
- Building legislation. The Station Hotel is a prime example but unfortunately many buildings in our towns are imploding due to owner neglect. I would like to see legislation brought in so that owners are legally bound to maintain their buildings.
My political experience combined with my grassroots community work has given me a deep understanding of what is important to the local community. I have a track record of hard work and commitment to the area and as your MSP for the Ayr seat, I will be a strong voice to deliver positive improvements for our area and our communities.