Peterborough, a vibrant city-by-the-countryside in Northwest Cambridgeshire has never had a Green City Councillor. My name is Julie Howell. I'm 45, and I live in the beautiful ward of Orton Waterville in Peterborough. I'm a parish councillor here and also in the adjacent ward of Orton Longueville.
It's no secret that I'm more than a little bit in love with Peterborough and the people who live here. I first moved in here in 2003 when I worked for RNIB in Orton Southgate, right here in Orton Waterville ward. I immediately fell in love with this place and its people... so much so, that I have committed my time to serving the community that has been so warm and welcoming to me.
I live here with my partner David, our dog Reggie and our two cats, Derek and Gracie.
I've done a lot of different things in my career. I had a high profile job a few years ago, campaigning very hard for disabled people's right of access to technology (I was the technical author of a very successful British Standards Specification on this subject). More recently, I've run my own business as a confidence coach, helping people from all walks of life to be better public speakers, more successful at job interviews and more polished in front of the media. I've helped a number of people to speak at the funerals of loved ones and this has been incredibly rewarding.
In 2012, I was extremely honoured to be chosen as the inaugural winner of University of Brighton's Alumnus Award. I was selected from 115,000 former students of the University to receive this award in recognition of my work in the community at large.
I'm a writer and an author. My first book is about confidence, and I've written about where to walk your dog in the Nene Valley area for Nene Living magazine! I've written many times for the BBC and other national magazines too. For the past 21 years, I've run an online community of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) called Jooly's Joint. I've been a judge of the prestigious Charity Times Awards for the past 17 years. I'm a volunteer Showmaker at Peterborough Arena and Showground.
As I hope you can tell, I'm all about community and I want everyone in Orton Waterville ward to feel happy about living here, happy about the services that your City Council provides and happy that you know where to turn if you need help or support.
You probably think the Green Party is all about the environment, and it is, but the environment includes people and wildlife too. I care a great deal about people's happiness and believe everyone deserves to live a happy, peaceful life, supported by a community that cares.
In 2016, I stood for the Green Party in the Peterborough City Council elections. While I didn't secure a seat this time, I did secure the support of 565 people in our ward. To honour everyone who voted for me I intend to stand in the next election too, and would really appreciate your help.
To be a successful candidate you must communicate. I already run a popular blog, where I post news and information that is relevant to our community most days. However, not everyone is as keen on the internet as I am. Leaflets delivered through people's doors is still the most effective way to reach everyone in the community.
But leaflets cost money to produce and this is why I need your help. I hope to raise £5000 to cover the costs of the leaflets that I will produce and distribute within Orton Waterville over the next 16 months (until the next local elections). I also need help to fund the hire of venues so I can hold surgeries and hustings where local people can meet me and ask what this Green Party candidate can do for them.
Any amount that you can contribute will help me to help my community.
Thank you. If you have any questions I will be very happy to answer them.