I am pleased to say I was born and raised in the heart of Bootle into a large working class family. I was educated at local primary and secondary schools, Hugh Baird College and I went to Liverpool University where I gained a degree. I have worked in health and social care for over 35 years and I am a qualified social worker having worked in Bootle and Litherland, local hospitals and in Liverpool.
I was a Merseyside County Councillor between 1981 and 1986 and was elected to Sefton Council in 1991. I am proud to represent St Oswald ward (it covers parts of Netherton, Ford and the Sefton estate) which was the area I was mainly brought up when my family moved from Marsh Lane, Bootle.
I became Leader of Sefton Labour Group of Councillors in 2008 and prior to that I had been Deputy Leader. Between May 2013 and May 2015 I was Leader of Sefton’s first ever Labour controlled Council. Previously, I was Chair and Deputy Chair of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.
My roots are deep within our community and I intend them to remain that way. I believe that my experiences of working within health and social care and having been a councillor, working at a national and local level, for almost 30 years in total have given me an insight into the pressures, challenges and issues affecting our people and our communities.
In May 2015 I was elected as MP for Bootle on a large mandate following a campaign in Bootle, for the people of Bootle and about the people and future of Bootle.