Cllr. Mary Sherwood
Councillor, City & County of Swansea
I was a depressed, isolated new mother when I found a wonderful playgroup in Brynmill community centre. After two years of travelling across Swansea, I was delighted when we finally beat the cash-waving landlords and bought a home in Uplands. I feel lucky every day to live here and I’m very humbled and proud to have been elected to serve Uplands.
Before working for Swansea Council on tackling poverty I worked for 12 years in various voluntary organisations, mainly as a community development worker, supporting people struggling with a problem to have their voices and views heard by decision makers. Poverty is not an attitude problem or a lifestyle choice, but a trap created by wealthy people. Minimum wage is not enough to live on. Benefit system failures mean people don’t get what they’re entitled to, then have less cash available to spend locally – it causes problems for all of us. I have seen how much more efficient and effective services are when designed with the involvement of those they’re meant to support.
For many years I didn’t feel drawn to any political party. They all seemed dominated by privileged people, supportive of exploitative economics and more concerned about men’s interests as workers and citizens than women’s. I joined Labour when I realised that members change the party from within. At Welsh Labour conference this March, I saw policymaking happen from the ground up. History in the making: Cllr June Burtonshaw and I are the first job-sharing Cabinet position in Wales and I supported the recent election of the first female Leader of the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) Council. I’m glad to have found my political home in the Uplands Labour branch and grateful for the opportunity to work for what I believe in.
May Sherwood has been a local Councillor for Uplands since May 2017. She is Cabinet Member for Future Generations, and also serves on the Swansea Public Services Board Partnership Group. and is joint spokesperson for Anti-Poverty, Welfare Reform and Equalities for the WLGA Council. Mary’s surgeries are held on the last Saturday of the month at Uplands Market, Gwydr Square, 10am till 12 Noon.
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Research undertaken at different points in history has demonstrated that in the UK, poverty is not caused by fecklessness or poor housekeeping but policy failure. Benefit recipients have always faced abject poverty, humiliation and judgement as wealth is deliberately...read more
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