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Lara Chaplin

Lara Chaplin

Personal Statement

I moved to Gloucestershire for work purposes and quickly fell in love with the people and the surrounding area. I have been a Labour member all of my adult life when I can afford it and an activist when I cannot. I feel that the values that the Labour Party hold match my own. I come from a traditional working-class family, and as such have seen the benefits that a Labour government can bring to those who need a bit of a helping hand. 
I am proud to have represented Tewkesbury as prospective Parliamentary candidate in the 2019 General Election. 
Raised on the West Marsh in Grimsby, with the poorest, the best and brightest of people, I wasn’t told by teachers that I couldn’t achieve, achievement wasn’t considered for a child like me. Thatcher at the helm, a time of desperation, of a decimated dock and fishing industry, of no hope, of watching my dad cry because the Tories took his dockers job. My sister, who is incredibly bright, should have gone to Oxbridge, denied though as she was a poor kid, and a university education simply wasn’t considered for people like us. I was homeless at 16, pregnant with my daughter at 18, despite this, I managed to achieve a great career and financial stability. Both my background and career give me a wealth of understanding about the barriers of lifting others out of poverty or improving business. I achieved despite a broken system; created by a Tory government, with help from my union, the local Labour Party, and an excellent Labour government. My background gives me resilience, drive, determination, and an understanding of social mobility. 
I am union to the core. My dedication to the principles of solidarity, fairness, and justice runs deep in my veins. As a representative of the University and College Union (UCU), I am privileged to advocate for the rights and well-being of educators and academic staff as a workplace rep. I am also a member of Unite the Union.
My political interests are: 
The rural community has been forgotten and taken for granted by the Tories. As a member of NFU I am fully aware of the issues that places that surround Cheltenham are impacted by rural crime, fly tipping and expensive housing that the local community cannot afford. 
Higher education, often neglected in parliamentary discourse, really needs a friend in parliament. A university education provided by a great Labour government and their Widening Participation scheme allowed be to escape poverty. Higher Education is a right and not a privilege and can help provide our doctors and nurses, teachers, dentists etc that our country is so desperately needed. 
The Tories voting for sewage to be pumped into our rivers and seas is a stark reminder of the Tories' disregard for the environment and public health and to the beauty of our area. I used to swim in the Severn and Avon during the pandemic, wouldn’t dare now! 

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