Doina Cornell

"Politics isn't just about grand causes, but also working with people in communities to help make their lives better."

Doina Cornell speaking to the Cooperative Party Conference 2018

My achievements

I have kept local Labour united and trusted

I put collaboration and consensus at the heart of local politics, in our local Labour party, and at the council in the Cooperative Alliance, which in 2022 celebrates ten years of pioneering cross-party work. The council's "strong and purposeful leadership" was noted in this year's Local Government Association independent peer review. Resident and business satisfaction with the council remains well above national trends year on year. Under my leadership council finances remain in good order, investing not cutting services and preserving support for those most in need such as council tax support for working age households.

I led our district through the pandemic, building our community resilience

Through the pandemic I worked to ensure no household was left behind, that support was there for everyone who needed it, that workplaces were safe, and businesses were supported. I advocated for the council to invest in building community resilience across our district, inspired by the powerful voluntary and community sector that shone during the pandemic, and in my role as chair of GL11 Community Hub, which organised volunteers for one of UK's most successful community vaccination programmes.

I have taken action on the climate emergency

When I became council leader in 2018 we became the second council in the UK to declare a climate emergency, and we have now adopted an ambitious strategy for the district to be carbon neutral by 2030. I have worked to put community voice at the heart of this work, as well as building partnerships to bring in funds for investment into green skills, retrofit, and regeneration. In 2021 SDC was recognised nationally as showing “outstanding leadership in responding to the climate emergency”.

I am a leading campaigner

I have won my own ward three times, defeating the incumbent Tory and increasing votes for Labour, and I led for Labour in our district's successful campaign to Remain in the EU. I've led local campaigns on health, transport, education and climate change, and I've challenged Siobhan Baillie repeatedly on her failure to speak out against pandemic cronyism, and her voting record against the universal credit cut and the Nationality and Borders Bill. I brought together an election team that ran a focussed, positive, election campaign in 2021, holding our own against national trends and electing more younger, working class councillors.

I am helping build a fairer more equal local economy

I led the district's economic recovery plan coming out of the pandemic, securing new funding for economic development, supporting our high streets, and creating a new economic strategy with community wealth building and wellbeing at its heart, to meet the challenges of rising inequality and the climate emergency.

I have always stood strong against hate and discrimination

I and my family have been victims of discrimination and hate and I have consistently spoken out condemning hate crime. Under my leadership Stroud District Council adopted theIHRA definition of antisemitism in 2020 and I lead the council's participation in the commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day. I responded to the challenge of Black Lives Matter to do more to put anti-racism, equality and diversity at the heart of the council's work and instigated a community-led review of street names and monuments including the Blackboy statue.

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