Labour candidate for Reddish North, Kate Butler was also kind enough to answer our interview. Read her thoughts on why she believes you should vote for her below:
1) Who are you and what is your connection to Reddish?
I’m from Oldham originally and settled in the area with my son four years ago. We both love it here and love our neighbours so much it’ll take a charge of dynamite to get rid of us! I’m a freelance public relations advisor by profession working mainly with public sector organisations, small businesses and colleges. I’m also active in the local community as part of the organising team behind ReddFest and Reddish Business Forum. One thing that impressed me straight away about the people of Reddish is their proud, positive and proactive attitude toward their neighbourhood. I’ve lived in many places over the years but none of them compare with Reddish for sheer community activism. If something needs doing, they’ll make sure it gets done. That’s my kind of attitude!
2) You’re standing in the local elections on May 3rd, why should I vote for you?
People are in touch with me on a daily basis already asking for help with problems they’re having with fly-tipping, dangerous footpaths, worries about tenancies and disputes with neighbours. I’ve done what I can to help so far and if elected I’m really looking forward to getting properly stuck in to fully resolve these issues. In short, I just really like helping people and doing my bit to make the world a slightly better place. I’m passionate about Labour values and desperately want to see an end to the LibDems in Stockport. They’ve failed ordinary people in government and they’ve failed them in Stockport. Labour has a long, proud history of supporting the communities of Reddish and I’d be incredibly honoured to be accepted at the ballot box as part of that team.
3) Reddish currently has a political north and central/south divide but most residents seem to think the divide is more north/central and south. What are your thoughts on this?
Wherever you live, your neighbourhood is simply your neighbourhood. It’s quite irrelevant to most people most of the time where official boundaries are drawn. However, I’ve had countless conversations with residents worried and quite frankly offended by the Tory Party’s proposals to move the constituency boundaries so North Reddish becomes part of Gorton, Manchester. That’s the big issue at the moment. As part of the Labour team in Reddish, I’ll most definitely be doing whatever it takes to make sure the voice of the people is heard and this ridiculous proposal is thrown resolutely in the bin where it belongs.
4) What do you like about Reddish?
The people. Definitely the people. They’re open and friendly and always up for a chat. I love how you always bump into someone you know when you’re out and about. I love Reddish’s rich cultural and industrial history and its many wonderful buildings are a testimony to that. Sadly, much of this architectural heritage is going to waste after years of ruinous council neglect. It’s being left to community groups to do what they can stop the rot and – Reddish people being Reddish people – they’re rising to the challenge.
5) What do you wish to change about Reddish?
Ooh lots! I want to see more stuff for our young people to do. We need a youth club and plenty of activities for the school holidays. Council budget cuts have seen the end of youth services and this just isn’t good enough. Our youngsters deserve better. I want to see the district centre spring back to life. It’s a disgrace that so many shops are empty. Yes, it’s a national problem but sadly Stockport comes out as the absolute worst in the whole country. It’s just a daily reminder of how the LibDems have repeatedly let our neighbourhood down. I want to see our local business sector flourish too. I believe a strong local economy means more jobs and more jobs means a happier, healthier, wealthier community. One change I definitely do not want to see is the loss of the library and it’s just not right that the council refuses to give us any assurances about its future.
6) Reddish has suffered from being the forgotten area within the M60, we’re trying very hard to change that. How would you work to promote Reddish as a locality and a place to visit?
I’m not sure I entirely agree with you about Reddish being a forgotten area. Part of the issue is that it’s a very mixed community with pockets of deprivation nestled alongside better off areas. This means that we don’t always qualify for various pots of funding that other parts of Stockport have access to. But yes, you’re right, we need to do more to promote Reddish. I’m already putting my skills in marketing and public relations to good use with ReddFest and the business forum to get the right kind of attention for Reddish. We have a lot to offer and we need to shout a bit louder. I’m just putting the finishing touches to an online community calendar for Reddish so all our very many interest groups, churches and schools have somewhere to advertise their events. Maybe that’s a project Reddish News can get involved with!
You can contact Kate in the following ways;