Helen Skinner Originally from Luton, I initially came to Nottingham to train as a Modern Languages teacher specialising in French and Russian.  I then stayed in the area, living in Chilwell where I have raised two generations of children.

My previous experience as a Councillor and Borough election candidate has afforded me insights into the most pressing concerns of those living in our community.  I also have considerable knowledge of how the authority works through my past service on different committees responsible for vital services such as housing and refuse collection.  In addition my period on Stapleford Town Council has provided me with an understanding of local government at a neighbourhood level.

I been actively involved in the Neighbourhood Forum covering Chilwell West, taking a keen interest in housing issues and the provision of community facilities. Like many residents I am greatly concerned about the lack of affordable accommodation and believe this makes it increasingly difficult for our young people and families to remain in the area.  I am also clear that Chilwell needs an effective plan for forthcoming developments relating to the HS2 and the future of the barracks.

Although our transport links are reasonably good parking has become more of an issue since the arrival of the tram.  Regrettably the Tory led Council has failed to address the resulting problems.  We are also lacking other local amenities, particularly given the housing development near the tram terminus.  We badly need the kind of proper, fit for purpose community centre and café able to serve various groups with differing needs.

Day to day my life revolves around looking after and bringing up four granddaughters. I have always enjoyed gardening and recently took on an allotment in Inham Nook which has been one of the best things I’ve ever done.  This wonderful community asset could, together with our other green spaces, parks and verges, form part of a ‘green corridor’ in the ward and if elected I would be keen on undertaking an environmental appraisal to explore this possibility.

The allotment gets me outdoors which I love because I used to do long distance walks with my husband, including the Pennine Way, the Alps and the Pyrenees. One year we even decided to just set off from our front door in Chilwell to trek all the way to Scotland in order to watch a group of local children performing in the Edinburgh Fringe.