Katesgrove voters can choose between four candidates at the election on 5 May. The Whitley Pump invited all of them to a personal interview. Louise Keane is standing as the Green Party candidate.
What do you think is Reading’s greatest challenge?
As a town, it is pressure on community resources. My biggest concern is around health and social care, and also housing and school placements. How do we provide those services with reducing budgets?
What are the main problems in Katesgrove and how would you tackle them?
The cost of housing in terms of purchase price and rents. I’ve been in Katesgrove for about 13 years and it has changed from being a stable community to more transient. People are commuting to London, working very long hours and having little time to contribute to the community.
The solution is not building more houses; those new houses are advertised as affordable, but they are anything but. Tackling high rents through letting agencies and through the council, maybe ACORN is a good place to start.
What is your experience of working with the community?
I’ve lived here for quite a while. I was involved with Katesgrove Residents Association and was very unhappy with some of the attitudes. I appreciate things have changed now, and it is Katesgrove Community Association, but it was racist and hated young people. I became very disillusioned and angry. I worked with the Neighbour Action Group on environmental studies and community clean-ups.
I am qualified social worker and have worked in the south Reading area for years. I am currently based at the Alzheimer’s Society on London Street, working as a dementia care advisor for people with dementia.
What are your links to the area?
I have lived and worked in Katesgrove for 13 years.
How many hours a week do you think a councillor needs to spend on council affairs?
All the hours that god sends! I expect to have to give up my social life to do the job.
Are you prepared to publish your tax return?
Yes, you can see my P60. The real issue is that the rich and powerful are robbing us blind.
What chance do you think you have of winning?
National factors may influence outcome, the effect Jeremy Corbyn has had on the Labour party, protest votes against the current government. This will be the fifth time I have stood in the council elections and I came third last year and got more than UKIP and the Lib Dems together.
What will you do if you don’t win?
Carry on with the things I do.