I have been a Labour Councillor since 2004 and currently represent Holyhead ward. I took up the position of Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care in May 2015. My interest in politics developed following my active involvement in a number of health projects at a local, regional and national level. I have also held the role of the City’s Mental Health Champion. I am passionate about raising awareness of Mental Health. Outside the Council, I held a number of nursing roles before going on to work at the Royal College of Nursing as a Professional Development Advisor.
As Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care; I will use this position advocate for change to make a positive difference and improve the outcomes for some of the City’s most vulnerable citizens and their families and carers. I am a firm believer in co-production and am actively involved in working with our citizens and our health partners to create a more joined up health and social care system that improves outcome for our citizens with a focus on prevention, early intervention, independence and enablement.
- Chair of Birmingham Health and Wellbeing Board
- Vice Chair of West Midlands Combined Authority Health and Wellbeing Board
- West Midlands Combined Authority Lead for Childhood Obesity
- Chair of Handsworth Association of School Board Member Trustee and a School Governor.
- Vice Chair of the Community Wellbeing Board at the LGA (Local Government Association)
The integration of Health and Social Care into the newly formed Integrated Care System, will provide a place-based seamless health and social care service for our citizens - which in the past has been an area of great confusion.
Tackling health inequalities through early intervention and prevention is one of my key priorities since being appointed to this portfolio. The COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the impact of years of austerity have had a significant impact on our most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.
Being a Health Food City is one of my key priorities, as far too many families, putting a meal on the table each day is a struggle. The work that we are leading on focuses on helping citizens overcome the barriers they face in accessing affordable, healthy and sustainable food.
Eating well underpins much of our physical and mental health. The food economy should be vibrant; it should reflect the diversity of our communities; and it should be financially successful and sustainable. The system should contribute to a circular economy for food which reduces waste, increases valuable employment opportunities for local people, minimises environmental harm and maximises the local assets.