2021 County Elections - Lindfield & High Weald - Anne-Marie Cooke
I have lived in Lindfield with my husband and children for 23 years, relocating back to Sussex after a gap of 17 years studying and working mainly in London. A geography graduate from UCL I am a Chartered Accountant and through audit and consultancy gained business experience from a wide variety of small and medium sized companies before becoming Finance Director of Clarins UK Ltd in 1992.
Leaving this behind to bring up my family, I started a small retail business in 2013 which has grown steadily and successfully over the last 7 years.
Born and brought up in Brighton this part of Sussex is in my DNA. Preserving the local landscape is important to me and I support our vital open spaces and countryside. As a member of Green Lib Dems I am keen to promote the consideration of environmental issues in decision making, especially following the insight we all had during the Spring Covid-19 lockdown of a World with cleaner air and clearer skies.
An important part of Liberal Democrat policy is the recognition of the value of community. This Autumn I have played an active part in the opposition to the closure of Clair Hall in Haywards Heath. The totally illogical decision to permanently shut it down without the sketchiest plan, timescale or funding for a replacement has left cultural and community groups without a viable alternative venue. This at a time when, as we hopefully move on from Covid-19, we look forward to gathering again for entertainment and interest group meetings so important for well-being and community.
During the Covid-19 lockdown I was pleased to be able to play my part by volunteering with the Haywards Heath and Villages Mutual Aid Support Group. It was a pleasure to speak to so many local people whose bravery cheered me as much as I hopefully did them. Providing practical support to so many people vulnerable due to age, health and circumstance was an illustration of how fragile society and life can be, here within our own communities.
I would be honoured to represent our area on the Eastern edge of West Sussex. To ensure we are heard down in Chichester, help our Mid Sussex villages be the best they can be and speak up for those normally without a voice, in particular adults and children in the care system. There will be huge pressures on finances in the next few years and Liberal Democrats will ensure that money spent is well spent to safeguard vulnerable people, to meet other important existing commitments as well new challenges as potentially thousands of West Sussex residents find themselves in financial difficulties they never imagined pre-covid. I hope with my background in finance and my business experience to have the opportunity to contribute to decisions on support programmes, to budgetary planning and to scrutinise procurement procedures.