: Joanne Raywood: jeraywood@gmail.com: Planning, Environment and Amenities, Severn Ham

I moved to Tewkesbury from northern England with my husband and elder son, drawn here by the attractiveness of the town, its excellent location and transport connections and also the Abbey. My younger son was born here.  As a young mum I found plenty of scope to get involved in my new local community, through the Girl Guides, the Abbey and the Family Centre where I helped to set up the Toy Library. It wasn’t easy to move so far from family and friends and become part of a new community but I was lucky because houses weren’t so expensive then and I didn’t have to juggle parenthood with a job, like many mothers do now.  I had time to get to know Tewkesbury and its people.  As a councillor I want to ensure that Tewkesbury provides a warm welcome to new residents, both in the centre and the new developments on the outskirts of town.  I want Tewkesbury to be the destination of choice, for shopping, leisure and social life.

Before my children were born I worked in an architectural practice, focusing mainly on the development of public buildings and the renovation of existing properties.  Here in Tewkesbury we have a wonderful architectural heritage but we can’t just preserve it as it is.  Tewkesbury is not a museum.  It has a 21st century population, so we have to find sensitive ways of developing our old buildings so that they can continue to work well for us now and in the future.  I believe that my background may help with this.

Once my children had started school I retrained as a teacher in Design and I enjoyed twenty years in nurturing the creativity and problem-solving skills of Gloucestershire teenagers.  I am interested in exploring other strategies for keeping our teenagers challenged, safe and engaged in their local community – a community which will be theirs to safeguard one day.

Since retiring from teaching, I have looked for ways in which I can be useful to the town which I now call home.  I have been able to give more of my time and skills to the Abbey in various ways, particularly as co-ordinator of the recently-formed Young Friends of Tewkesbury Abbey.  I’ve also joined the volunteers at the Town Museum and thus I am learning so much more about the context of the local area, its history, its heritage and its people.

As a councillor, my particular interests are in heritage and community and you, the people of Tewkesbury have a vital role to play in that.  You are the inheritors of what has gone before and you have the opportunity to influence the way in which things develop in the future.  I really want to know what you think about the issues which affect our parish and the direction in which we should drive the town forward.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Joanne Raywood Register of Members’ Interests

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