Councillor Julia Dockerill

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An Essex girl by birth, Julia has lived in Tower Hamlets for over a decade, renting in Mudchute, Shadwell and Mile End. In 2012 she put down roots in beautiful Wapping and has since become secretary of her local residents’ association, joined a new group hosting tea parties for isolated older people and got involved with the local Conservative action team.

In May 2014 she was a elected as the local councillor for St Katharine’s and Wapping.

Julia works in parliament as a speechwriter and senior researcher to a central London MP. She also works as a freelance writer and co-authored two books on the financial crisis and its aftermath. She is currently working on London in the Noughties, a book exploring economic, social and political change in the capital from 2000 – 2010.

Why Did You Stand For Election?

“While I work in politics, I had never thought about standing for election myself. However in May 2012 I was invited by a former colleague to a full council meeting at Tower Hamlets Town Hall. He said I had to see for myself how the borough is run.

I had been told to expect fireworks between councillors but that meeting eventually descended into what was dubbed a ‘violent fracas’, making the front page of the Evening Standard the next day (read here).

Reflecting on the meeting on the bus home, I  found myself getting increasingly angry about what I had seen – the quality of debate, the divisive rhetoric and vitriolic behaviour, the disregard for what matters to local people. But what was the point of my frustration? If I cared that much, maybe I ought to do something.

At around the same time, my bid for a shared ownership property in Wapping was being processed. After believing I would never get a foot on the London housing ladder, I was set to have a long term home and stake in a community. With those two elements coming together – a pride at living in such a wonderful part of London combined with unhappiness at how our borough was being run – I quietly challenged myself to investigate standing for council.

I talked through the idea with friends and family, who encouraged me to go for it. I decided to get involved with the local Conservative team, leafleting and campaigning at weekends across the borough. I learned more about our ward and got to know a great group of local people. Over a year later, and following interviews, I was selected as one of two Conservative council candidates for St Katharine’s and Wapping ward.

I have built this website both as a tribute to our ward and to give you an idea of what I think some of our shared concerns might be. I hope to  work together over the next four years with neighbours to improve our ward. Please do drop me a line if you have any ideas or concerns you would like to share.

 

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