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Cooltan Arts CEO stands as independent candidate at council by-elections

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Cooltan Arts CEO stands as independent candidate at council by-elections

Michelle Baharier, currently still suspended CEO of Cooltan Arts, is standing as an independent candidate at the forthcoming by-elections in Newington Ward.

Michelle Baharier, founder and CEO of Cooltan Arts, local mental health charity, has announced she is standing as an independent candidate in the forthcoming by-elections in Newington Ward.

Michelle has lived in Southwark for over three decades and worked in Walworth for over a decade. During those 30 years, she set up Cooltan Arts from scratch and helped thousands of local people with mental distress stay well. She has been a tireless advocate for people with disabilities and has lead change to destigmatise mental health in the local, public and national domain. She says, "I have 25 years track record of de-stigmatising mental distress and people with disabilities. I will bring passion and inspiration, creativity and smiles - a fresh approach to local politics."

Michelle's endeavours won CoolTan Arts the Queen's award for volunteering as well as the GlaxoSmithKline Impact award and the Southwark Civic award. Last year, she raised £500K for the charity she founded. Michelle knows what it takes to run an organisation and she can take that learning into the council and put across your needs and your points.

Her campaign is to:

  • Ensure homes for local people and campaign against the bedroom tax
  • Advocate for the local services that people require and ensure those at risk get access to the services they need
  • Work with clinical commissioners to ensure world class GP support
  • Campaign against cuts to the NHS and all local services
  • Work with public health to decrease health inequality
  • Promote equality and inclusion in our diverse and exciting borough
  • Open up a people's kitchen with healthy food, work with local business to promote healthy and diverse diets
  • The transfer of all council and public assets into the communities' ownership so it stays public not private
  • An overhaul of planning policies, and lets take this government to get the law changed--- including all planning policies must have community free space.
  • Advocate for asset transfers to the local community
  • Increase the monitoring and control air quality take to government and policy level
  • Ensure a strategy to make Southwark's roads safer for all

The voting is scheduled for 5th May 2016. Other candidates for Newington Ward by-elections are (in alphabetical order):

Gawain Towler, UKIP

James Coldwell, Labour

Martin Shapland, Lib Dems

Nick Hooper, Green

Siobhan Aarons, Conservative

Terry Adewale, All People's Party

We will publish information about other candidates if and when we receive it.

For more information about the by-elections (College Ward by-elections taking place on same day) and polling stations, please see council's website.

 

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