Cornwall Council – St Ives West & Towednack
Starting out as a performer, I quickly discovered the limitations on women in the Industry and joined my local Equity branch, becoming its secretary and a trade union activist. I was elected to the Women’s Committee and became the founding chair of Equity’s LGBT+ Committee.
After re-training at Bournemouth film school, I joined WAVES, London’s leading women’s media training organisation before moving to Brighton and establishing an educational charity that enabled the LGBT+ community to tackle issues through arts and media, such as homophobic bullying of young people and same-sex domestic abuse.
Having moved to Cornwall, nearly 20 years ago, my experience of European funded projects led to my working for Creative Kernow and Cornwall Film. I then took a career break to care for my mother, and late aunt.
Unfortunately, after years of working in the voluntary sector without pension provision, I had insufficient NI contributions for a full State Pension, so I had to get a “real” job. My interest in local politics led to my becoming a Parish Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer, working 30 hours a week. Over two years, I learnt “on the job”, gaining qualifications in everything from Planning to Cemetery Management. So, whilst I haven’t been a Councillor, I do know exactly what the job entails, and have already acquired many of the skills and knowledge required.
Most Councils, as they stand, do not reflect their local communities. The average Councillor is retired, over 70, white and male. I want Councils to be more diverse, work more effectively and be more relevant to ordinary people.
In the meantime, if you wish to ask Joan any questions, you can email her here.