So here we have an interesting candidate for you. Just one great example that those standing for Councillors are just like you and me.
Meet Sioux Blair-Jordan, Labour Candidate for Lexden & Braiswick Ward…
“I was born in London but brought up on the North Norfolk coast in the town of Wells-Next-The-Sea where my father’s home town. There are long stretches of beach and pine forest and fabulous countryside where I spent many happy hours wandering around simply enjoying nature.
My passions apart from pop music were horse riding, ballet, ballroom and Latin dance. I learnt the ethic of hard work early and always had a Saturday and holiday job in various local businesses.
After college in Kings Lynn I lived for many years in London working as a Nanny looking after `my children’ who it impossible not to fall in love with. I loved London as it was so vibrant in the 70’s with the emergence of Punk followed by the New Romantics. I was definitely a party animal in those days. I also worked for John Lewis in Oxford Street and Chelsea.
I worked in Wales as a Housekeeper and Nanny on a sheep farm and had a go at most things such as wool rolling at shearing time, riding tractors. As well as looking after the house, child and the dog on my time off I went to the small holding next door and helped with the pigs, milking and horse riding.
Next stop was Portchester, Hampshire. I met my now ex-husband here and was married in 1980 at Porchester Castle. We had our first house in Gosport once again near beaches and countryside. I worked as a Nanny and also in the Council Union office.
I agreed with my husband to go abroad to work – he said Singapore and I couldn’t wait. After a couple of months, he came home and said we were off to Zambia – my response, “Where the hell is that?” Somehow I had missed the Independence of North Rhodesia. It was a scary yet exciting prospect moving so far away.
I could fill pages of my time there and will write it all down at some point. There were so many highlights such as seeing the wildlife not behind bars, the Musi O Tunya (Victoria Falls) at full flood and what was termed empty. The first time I saw an Elephant I cried he just wandered out in front of the jeep and plodded along like we didn’t exist. Game viewing in Zambia was like being the only people there as you didn’t see a dozen vehicles surrounding the animals stressing them out. I was lucky to see black and white rhino and was so close to a leopard that I could have stroked it.
We moved to Essex buying a property on West Mersea and slowly began a new life yet again. I eventually managed to have two sons despite PCOS, miscarriages with medical intervention. My sons are the centre of my world.
My working and voluntary life in Colchester once again evolved around children and young people at St Anne’s Adventure Playground, Greenstead Youth Club, Link Training as an NVQ Assessor, Trainer and Internal Verifier, Philip Morant School as an SEN.
I went to Colchester Art School in 2003 and gained a BA (Hons) in Fine Art in 2009. I have exhibited and performed around UK including Colchester, Portcullis House, Woodstock Arts Festival and the Jerwood Gallery and also the USA.
I love Colchester and have lived here longer than anywhere else, almost 30 years now.”
1 Simple one to get going – what’s your full name and what do you like to be known as?
My full name is Susan Blair-Jordan. I prefer to be known as Sioux.
For my art, writing and poetry I use Sioux Jordan.
2 What do you like most about the Ward you are standing for, and what made you want to stand this time?
I am interested in History and old Architecture Lexden and Braiswick has an interesting history and Lexden was mentioned in the Doomsday Book as well as many beautiful buildings like St Leonards Church. Braiswick is set in glorious countryside, which takes me back to my youth.
I believe everyone should be able to vote for the party of their choice.
3 If you don’t live in the Ward you’re standing for, why did you choose that Ward rather than your own?
I don’t live in Lexden or Braiswick but that does not mean I would not do my best for the residents and businesses within the ward. I think if someone is willing to get to know the residents and their issues it is ok if they do not live in the ward they will represent.
My reason is above.
4 What political party are you aligned with, if any, and why? If Independent, why did you choose to go it alone?
Labour Party. I had only ever voted Labour locally because of the excellent Cllr Dave Harris, who has been influential in my political awareness. In the Spring of 2010 I read every parties Manifesto’s and was truly shocked by some. I found that the Labour Party held many of the same views I did. I joined the Labour Party and voted for Ed Miliband.
5 Do you think your political party’s actions at a national level will have an effect on you locally? If Independent, do you think Westminster politics will affect your votes?
I think National politics does have an influence, however I believe if a Councillor is available and puts the work in with the residents and businesses then national politics may not have too much Influence.
6 Everyone needs a break – what are your favourite hobbies?
Spending time with my sons who are the most important people in my life. I write and perform poetry, write fiction and make multi-media art, which is often influenced by politics. I enjoy watching movies going to the Mercury Theatre and spending time with my friends.
7 When not doing politics, what does your day usually consist of?
A late breakfast as I am a night owl (not always by choice), check my emails, Twitter and Facebook before possibly going to see a friend, or if home writing. I help people with appeals, complaints etc. so I may be doing that instead of my own stuff. In the evening I may attend a meeting, meet friends or watch a movie at home.
8 How do you feel Colchester Borough Council currently performs for Colchester?
I think that taking the government cuts in to consideration the Council are dong a fair job. I do believe things would be worse if we had a Conservative Council.
9 What is the best thing about Colchester and what one thing would you change tomorrow about Colchester if you could?
The history and heritage, which needs more promotion to the rest of UK like London and York. Alongside shopping, sport, the arts, beaches, country parks – you know, the kinds of things visitors like to do after they have been to places of interest.
We also have a great selection of Cafes and Restaurants from around the world. Not forgetting all the events that are held in Colchester Park and outside of town.
10 Who are your heroes?
My heroes are people who overcome injustice, adversity, bullying or help their fellow human beings and all creatures, the sick, disabled and survivors of abuse who are an inspiration to me.
My Nan Gertrude Jordan who sadly died before my sons were born.
11 What would you do to promote disabled rights if you are a Councillor after the election?
I am passionate about the rights of the disabled and chronically sick. The disabled and chronically sick have had an appalling time for the past 6+ years under the Conservative government, which is why I became political.
We have Fair Access to Colchester (FACS) who I would like to see consulted more. We now have Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC) who I would like to see consulted as it is disabled people who know what is needed.
I agree with my colleague that a disabled person’s forum would be a good move.
12 What would you do for women’s rights in the town once election day is passed?
More consultation, election of women and some kind of education maybe, and to promote women’s rights. We have some good female councillors already in my colleagues.
13 What is your view on the spread of fines for the rough sleeping and homeless?
The most ridiculous thing – how are they meant to pay a fine? We need more resources to deal with the problem and to help people get housed. Without an address how do you get a job?
I have been homeless with my children and it is a horrendous place to be in with little support.
14 Do you think the ‘Living Wage’ is truly a living wage?
No I don’t. It is a farce – another of the Chancellors failures.
15 Are you happy to keep promoting Colchester as a welcoming place for refugees?
Absolutely. It must be a terrifying situation to be in a war zone and fearing for your life and that of your loved ones. I think the people of Colchester have been amazing both here and by going to France to help.
16 What is the biggest problem in the Ward you are standing in?
At the moment I am aware of the Lexden Springs:
Quoted with kind permission of Colonel Camulous (https://colonelcamulos.wordpress.com/)
“In Lexden we have a Special Needs school called Lexden Springs which has students of various levels of disability. They have only one safe exit due to being on a shared plot with the Fire and Ambulance Service. This exit leads onto Halstead Road, a busy road with it being a ‘rat run’ to avoid London Road with faster access to the A12.
At school opening and closing, dozens of giant people carriers wait in a parked convoy either side of the road. The issue being that when you exit there are parking issues, as large vans park on the pavement due to the narrow road. This means that a wheelchair cannot use the pavement. Then there are no dropped kerbs and is very difficult to mount a kerb with a heavy wheelchair.
There are no crossings; a school without a crossing is not acceptable. Let alone a special needs school. There are also no signs warning of a school or children, imagine this at any other ‘normal’ school would this be accepted?
Then you attempt to get to London Road and are met with narrow built up kerbs which are near on impossible for a wheelchair to fit through, but present due to the defunct NatWest drive through.”
17 Which green and ecologically-wise policies do you think Colchester borough should instigate?
Green energy, lowering CO2 levels, promoting cycling and walking.
18 Tollgate Village, Northern Gateway… views?
Honestly, I am not sure. I would like to see less empty shops in town before we build more out of town though.
19 Do you think our current government and electoral system is fit for purpose?
No to both. This is the cruellest government and the most self-serving.
20 Are you having second thoughts?
Yes, Sioux was the one who was in the news for her impassioned and controversial speech at the Labour Conference, and she got a big hug off Mr Corbyn.
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