Sian Reid: Personal statement

In the statement below, Sian Reid sets out what she believes she could offer as a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Cambridge:

My commitment to winning the seat

I am committed and energetic. Nothing exhilarates me more than focusing in a single minded way on a clear goal. I would give my all to retain this seat for the Liberal Democrats. I would approach the campaign in the spirit of fighting for it all the way, taking nothing for granted.

My professional and personal responsibilities are now such that I would be able to devote myself unreservedly to the election campaign, and, if successful, to making a significant contribution as an MP.

Leadership skills

I believe I can offer proven leadership skills. I have led many entrepreneurial business teams in fast paced, complex and international telecommunications markets. 

I took over as chair of Newnham ward in 2003.  We identified new candidates, and built a harmonious and well organised team. We have delivered strong electoral results, with the highest Lib Dem share of vote in the city in 2008 and 2009, despite the team’s having spent the election periods campaigning outside the ward.

Effective leadership in volunteer teams requires the establishment of shared goals and plans, the encouragement of a culture of optimism and success, recognition of each individual’s contribution, and ensuring that the right resources - funds and people - are in place.  

Interpersonal skills

I enjoy meeting and listening to residents across the city, and I find canvassing a source of energy and ideas. 

In my nine years in Cambridge I have built relationships at all levels, including in minority communities.  As a co-founder of the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, which commissioned a study of local need, I am aware of the needs of disadvantaged groups. I lead the climate change agenda in the City Council, and co-founded the award winning Close the Door campaign, so am known to the green activists and groups of the city. I am known in the design community as a passionate sustainable design advocate, well as by residents in areas of the city affected by growth. 

Communication skills

I believe I am an effective communicator and enjoy public speaking. I have spoken successfully to Residents Associations, in the Council Chamber and at the Liberal Democrat conference. 

I have training in media skills, and have experience on national media including television.  I regularly generate press releases and achieve good coverage in Cambridge.  A search of the Cambridge News website for 'sian reid' produces more than 200 news stories over the last six years. 

I have edited the Newnham Democrat for several years. The role of the PPC’s website is crucial, and the local party’s campaign approach needs development to embrace contemporary campaigning techniques.

Key issues affecting the constituency

Cambridge is an unusual and special city, with a fluid and questioning electorate. They expect a strong understanding of its complexity and its opportunities.

Key issues here include:

Local issues

- The future of Cambridge including house building, transport policy and the enhancement of the City. Its local authority structure is inadequate to the task and needs reform.

- The reduction of Cambridge's carbon footprint and adaptation to climate change needs championing.

- Funding of higher education and research.

- Fostering of Cambridge's knowledge industry clusters.

- The significant pockets of disadvantage, in economic and health terms, including mental health, need recognition and advocacy.

- Changing national policy and legislation on issues affecting Cambridge need consideration, scrutiny and opposition by the city’s MP.

National and international issues

Cambridge expects its MP to debate and promote its views on national and international issues such as economic policy, civil liberties and foreign policy.

Cambridge’s experts can influence national policy and I would facilitate links between the Lib Dems, government and Cambridge.  I have organised visits by the Liberal Democrat Leader and spokes to Cambridge. I have a good academic network and have hosted with the University a 450 attendee event on global climate change policy. I have developed links with the University’s recently launched Centre for Science and Policy.

The importance of knowledge based enterprises

I have an MBA from London Business School and have had a successful career in telecomms enterprises across Europe.  In Cambridge I have been a University mentor to enterprises. I have contacts within enterprise networks, and stay close to their needs.  I teach management to students from many local companies.  I am very confident that I can form strong bonds with this community and demonstrate to them Liberal Democrat support.

The Cambridge clusters need a strong higher education sector, with high research funding, as well as the right physical environment for economic growth.

Teamwork between PPC and Council groups

As a prospective parliamentary candidate and as an MP I would work to identify shared areas of agreement with the City and County Lib Dem groups, for example over growth strategies, transport governance, the A14 and school design.  

Fundraising

The City party needs a sustainable financial footing in order to sustain its campaigns.   

My fundraising track record includes the following:

- As treasurer of the City Council group, securing resources for the city party, enabling it to employ an organiser

- Organising fund raising Christmas parties, raising funds for the 2005 campaign.

 - Initiating and organising the Leader's visit which raised money and delivered fundraising leads.

- Fund raising for the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, raising tens of thousands of pounds from entrepreneurs.  I use contacts to make contacts, and enjoy the challenge of face to face persuasion. 

I would expect as PPC and MP to work as an integral part of a fundraising team at the city party to achieve single large or campaign based donations and a regular flow of steady income. 

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This website is published by Alex Reid, 27 Millington Road, Cambridge CB3 9HW. Telephone: +44 1223 319733. Email: aalreid(at)gmail.com. It is an electronic scrap book, containing family life stories, casual articles, and family memorabilia.

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