Sue has lived and worked in Portsmouth for 25 years. Her background in youth and community work has enabled her to help both disabled and able-bodied young people in school and community settings and learn firsthand of the many problems facing young people today. Her time with the youth counselling charity ‘Off the Record’, both in Portsmouth and Leigh Park, provided her with the opportunity to empower young people and help them learn how to gain confidence, support each other and take on responsibilities to help run the local organisation.
The experience gained in these roles enabled Sue to set up her own company and deliver training programmes in personal, social, health and economic education in the city’s schools. She now also runs courses in the community on developing a social enterprise or community business and is keen to listen to people with small and medium sized businesses to find out which issues concern them.
As a firm advocate of vocational education, Sue says: ‘I believe in developing vocational education and making it of equal standing to academic studies. Young people need good quality apprenticeships to help them improve and develop their skills, both for themselves and potential employers.’
She is particularly concerned about the schools in Portsmouth and says: ‘I believe in raising the standard of education in the city which has been woefully below the national average for many years.’ – Sue Castillon
Only too aware of the budget cuts to schools across the city one of Sue’s aims, if elected, would be to work with schools in Drayton and Farlington and support them in finding ways to deal with the consequences. Sue says: ‘I want to work with parents and head teachers to listen to what the issues are especially in light of proposed new house building developments and possible additional pressure on the availability of school places. Schools are already struggling with budget cuts. If the government go ahead with their proposals, between now and 2021 two of our schools in Drayton and Farlington could lose three teachers between them and see funding per pupil slashed.’
Sue is also concerned about the growing number of commercial vehicles parking on pavements in the ward. The loss of overnight workplace parking in and around the city has contributed to the serious lack of parking spaces on our roads and larger vehicles, such as minibuses, vans and lorries, inevitably take up more room. She believes our streets should be safe environments for everyone to use: ‘These make it difficult and dangerous for children to play outside and it brings unnecessary risks to mobility scooter users.’