My Local News sat down for a Q and A with St Albans’ new Conservative Parliamentary Spokesperson, Clare de Silva.
Can you tell us about your career up until this point?
When I went to university a friend of mine started a small charity, teaching people from the Asian community English, and I wanted to help. Together we grew a local charity with a £17,000 grant into a £5,000,000 organisation in seven years.
People started coming and asking about how we do what we do. We ended up having conversations with people from Whitehall and in government about how you to help a community, and it got to the point where I realised if I really want to make a difference I’ve got to be on the other side of the table.
I was living in Enfield, and I was approached and asked to see if I wanted to become a councillor. I did that for four years, and then I heard that the seat for St Albans was coming up. As a family we’ve been looking to move to Hertfordshire for ages. St Albans is a great place to bring up kids, so it all just fitted together.
How well do you know the area? What are the best things about St Albans in your opinion?
I’m a bit of a history buff, I really love the backstory. St Albans is a fascinating place culturally, with the Roman influence and the cathedral and it’s a really family-friendly place. I feel at home here, I feel like I’ve won already, just by having the opportunity to be involved is great.
Is there anything in mind that you want to bring to St Albans from the get-go?
I’m deeply concerned about the maternity provisions in Watford General, it’s so important. In St Albans, because there isn’t that facility actually within the constituency, you have to shout even louder and fight even harder. I’ve already been in contact with Dean Russell, Watford MP. Family, health, and small businesses are my three top priorities.
On working with the current Lib Dem council…
To get stuff done you have to be able to work collaboratively, there’s always a place for that. We obviously will have very clear differences in policy and approach. There is no need to pull anyone else down to put your ideas forward.
I’m just really keen to get started, I’ve only just got my toes in the door. Whatever happens in the election, I want to do a really good job and make a difference. I’m in a really privileged position.