The election rally for Catherine West had that extra level of excitement about it yesterday when Labour leader Ed Miliband came to the constituency. Miliband spoke to a gathered crowd and greeted voters in Crouch End.
His visit was covered by the Haringey Independent.
I am glad Ed came to show his support for Catherine because she is the right voice for Hornsey and Wood Green.
Professor Richard Wilkinson, co-author of the famous study of inequality, The Spirit Level, says this about her: ‘When she established the first Fairness Commission, Catherine made a brave and astute political judgment. Fairness Commissions have not only changed political thinking but also increased the wages of hundreds of thousands of the lowest paid. But her achievement was not only the idea: it was also how she did it – involving people across the community and across political parties. If we are to revive progressive politics, we depend on rare politicians like her who lead by example, practise what they preach and combine idealism with an ability to get things done.’
Catherine was Leader of Islington Council from 2010 to 2013.
- She and her colleagues have implemented policies to build 2000 more council homes.
- In 2010, Catherine worked with Richard Wilkinson, to establish the Islington Fairness Commission. This led to award-winning work on:
- the London Living Wage
- the Islington student bursary scheme for young people affected by cuts to Educational Maintenance Allowance
- innovative and effective routes to getting young people into jobs and apprenticeships
- There have been eight further Fairness Commissions around the country and Haringey Council has used the model successfully in its Education and Carbon Commissions.
- The Local Government Information Unit awarded Catherine the ‘Local Authority Leader of the Year 2013’ award for her work on the Islington Fairness Commission.
- Catherine West lives in Archway. Her two children attend (and have attended) local schools. Her husband works at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, researching malaria in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Catherine speaks five languages, has a degree in Social Science and Languages and a Masters Degree in Chinese Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies; she has taught English as a second language, including a year in Nanjing, China.
- She used her language skills to help many in Haringey resolve individual and community problems when she worked for David Lammy MP before becoming Leader of Islington Council.