Edward Mundy: Oxford City Council Candidate Profile

Hello, I am Edward Mundy. I am running for Labour in the Holywell ward for the City Council Elections in May 2021 along with Imogen Thomas.

I first moved to Oxford over ten years ago and before this it was my father’s hometown whilst I was growing up. Over this time, like other residents I have come to understand the City more closely and the issues it faces. My knowledge of the interesting dynamics of our City has only been enhanced by experience working across a diverse rage sectors from catering to health care before now working for Royal Mail. It is this knowledge and passion about my community that led me to stand.

I first got into politics through my Trade Union at Royal Mail, the Communication Workers Union, where I have now been an industrial relations rep for around two years.

Trade Unions are critical to giving a voice to working people – protecting our welfare, pay and conditions. Organising in our workplace through the Labour Movement is how we build a fairer society from the bottom up – one workplace at a time.

It is through my union that I also started campaigning for Labour – the political voice of the Labour movement, starting with campaigning in the last two general elections on the street, leafleting and through telephone canvassing. A Labour Government and Councils working hand in hand with Trade Unions and workers on the shop floor makes sure that working people’s priorities are at the heart of decision making and we can build a City and wider County that works for everyone, where no one is left behind.

A Labour majority on the City Council ensures a local focus on protecting frontline services from austerity, that we tackle the climate crisis locally and prioritise the welfare of the most vulnerable. There is nothing inevitable about this – we only have a pioneering Labour City Council because people voted for one. Not voting or voting for another parties puts this valuable work at risk.

Your City Council in Oxford is responsible for: housing and multiple occupancy licensing, leisure and other community centres, environmental health, planning policy and much else in between. It is vital that in May we return councillors who value our public services, our health and environment and understand the needs of workers and their families.

Equality, fairness, and human dignity are paramount to me. If elected as a councillor, I would bring these principles into practice to address some of the most pressing issues that need to be addressed in Oxford.

Our city has a housing security problem. We must ensure that safe and secure accommodation is available to those at risk of rough sleeping by continuing the pioneering ‘Housing First’ approach of our Labour City Council which means no-one has to sleep rough on our streets and more people are supported into long-term accommodation. Private landlords must also be licensed and properly regulated to prevent the scourge of cramped and poorly maintained 21st Century slums. I will advocate more new houses for council rent and other homes that are affordable for our City’s key workers. Over 1,000 new council homes are in the works – but we need to go further and be bolder.

I will also campaign for the Oxford Living Wage (rising from £10.21 to £10.31 in April) to be adopted by as many businesses as we can. I would like to encourage all University of Oxford students to keep up the pressure on College Principals to follow the University’s lead and pay all staff the local minimum – that reflect the cost pressures of living in an expensive city like ours.

One of the great strengths of Oxford is that it is a truly industrial working-class city as well as being home to two highly renowned universities. The city thrives while all are strong. We need to call upon this strength now more than ever before and ensure we maintain the strong bridges between all our communities. These are challenging and troubling times for all of us. I can only imagine what it is like to be locked down as a student, and key workers are under more pressure than ever.

Due to COVID these days campaigning will be different, not least in our ward, as meeting voters on the doorstep can’t happen for the foreseeable. Our campaign will have to be largely online and on social media, both for the student community and for other residents in Holywell.

Holywell is in the centre of Oxford and is currently held by two Labour councillors with a tiny majority – so residents’ choices here will be critical to deciding whether we continue to have a world-leading Labour-led City Council.

The ward borders Parks Road and Catte Street at the west, St Aldates and Christchurch Meadow at the south and south west, The Plain and the Angel and Greyhound Meadow to the east, and Keble Road and University Parks to the north. The colleges within the ward boundaries are: Queens College, Christ Church, Merton, Corpus Christi, Magdalen, University College, St Edmund Hall, New College, St Catherine’s, All Souls, Hertford, Wadham, Mansfield, Keble, Linacre, Oriel and Harris Manchester.

If you are a resident of the ward, it will be crucial to get registered for a postal vote – so you can keep safe during COVID – and to encourage others to do the same.

Thank you and stay safe.

Edward

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