Claire was born and raised in Portsmouth and has spent most of her life growing up in the city. Her previous work has involved engaging with members of the public as part of a team within the hospitality industry, working her way up to manage a team of her own.
Now with a young family, she has returned to education and is currently a mature student at Portsmouth University working hard towards a degree in Media Studies. Alongside her studying she spends time getting involved in local issues and has already demonstrated a commitment to campaigning for the community on a variety of them; one notable focus for her is the need for sprinklers to be fitted to all tower blocks in the city. She is particularly concerned that there are residential blocks within the ward which are still not safeguarded with this protection and has been petitioning for their installation.
Claire’s commitment also extends to helping all the communities that lie in the heart of the city, an area she believes that has experienced massive deprivation. She says: ‘I want Portsmouth to be a better place for all the people who live in these key areas of the city centre.’
Since having a family of her own, Claire has become more involved with family issues herself. She knows that for some in the ward there are difficulties which may seem impossible to overcome: ‘As a young mum, I particularly want to deal with the kind of issues that families in this part of the city are facing.’
One of the areas where there is already an urgent need is housing. A record number of homeless people in Portsmouth at the moment means some are on ever increasing waiting lists, some in temporary accommodation waiting for a chance to get a home and others actually living on the streets. When there are developments going up in the city, Claire asks why there is such a shortage of housing for these people?
‘I’ve been in Charles Dickens ward talking to residents about their concerns. They are asking why there aren’t any homes for their children, who now have children of their own. They also wonder why there are veterans on the streets. Developers who are only keen on maximising their profits, do not care about the housing provision of the most vulnerable in this city.’
Claire has already been working with other local campaigners to seek cross-party agreement to back changes to affordable housing planning policy.