Councillor & Leader of Harlow District Council
After a lifetime of supporting trade unionism and the Labour Party, Mark first stood for public office in 2016 and was successful in being elected as a Councillor for Bush Fair. After a short spell as Deputy Leader of the Council and the Portfolio Holder for Communities, Mark was elected by the Harlow Labour Party and Labour Councillors to lead the Council in May of 2018 and re-elected to that office in May of 2019.
Mark is a teacher and has worked in secondary schools across the country and in Kenya. His experience as a Pastoral Lead teacher ingrained in him the importance that adequate support can play in levelling the playing field and ensuring that all children enjoy opportunities to succeed. Mark said, “Social inequalities have historically resulted in children from deprived backgrounds all too often failing to achieve their potential in schools and then go on to repeat the cycle. For a brief while, from 1997, a Labour Government addressed this tragedy, introducing sure start centres and investing properly in schools. As a result there was a tangible difference in outcomes for disadvantaged pupils. That has all been trashed by subsequent Conservative governments that have cut real terms investments in schools and other essential community support services.” It is Mark‘s passion to address the growing inequalities brought about by austerity wherever he can, by building strong communities, by championing Harlow and by challenging government policies that benefit the richest at the expense of the many.
Mark believes one of his greatest achievements as Leader of the Council is to reinvigorate Council House building, with ambitious plans for new Council houses for Harlow that number in the hundreds over the next few years. He is also proud that under his leadership the Council is addressing the climate change emergency by introducing a range of green measures that will enhance and protect Harlow’s environment into the future. He is keen however to stay in contact with residents in his ward, Mark regularly attends the meetings of a number of residents associations and actively canvasses to listen to residents’ concerns. He also works hard with his outstanding fellow Councillors Eugenie Harvey and Jodi Dunne to support community events such as the Bush Fair Fayre and the Bush Fair Christmas celebrations, although Mark is mysteriously absent every time Santa visits the celebrations.
Outside of being a Councillor and a teacher, Mark is a keen supporter of local and national football, often seen at Harlow Town Football Club, he is a lifelong supporter of the Spurs but admits to only doing so from his armchair.