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Sarah portrait

Sarah Freeman

Stood in the 2024 local election

Lincoln City Council

Park Ward

She received 83 votes, coming just 9 votes behind the Reform Party candidate, taking just under 6% of all votes!

 

Introduction

 

My name is Sarah and I have lived in Park Ward for 14 years. Park Ward is an amazing place to live, diverse in both people and environment. Lincoln is a beautiful city with much to offer residents, however, the current City of Lincoln Council is stagnant and lacks vision. Those of us living in the ‘downhill’ wards often feel the brunt of this, coupled with a transient population that can lead to a feeling of social isolation for those who make this area our home. I believe in fostering a greater sense of community amongst residents and standing against the fracturing of society into identity politics. 

 

Prior to moving to Lincoln I served for 13 years in the Army, and left as a Captain. The values and standards of the British Army stay with me today, especially moral courage, integrity, selfless commitment and respect for others. In the Army I helped to build teams from recruits who came from all over the UK and Commonwealth all working together to achieve a common aim. When I moved to Lincoln I set up a wool shop on Clasketgate and now work in accounts. 

 

I hosted a Ukrainian family fleeing the war and I am a member of a local sports club, regularly helping with events. 

 

Like most residents I am frustrated by the poor parking for residents and local businesses which cannot be addressed without the whole transport infrastructure being reviewed. With the introduction of a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2035 the City Council needs to be planning for the impact this will have on the residents of Park Ward, many of whom lack off road parking and private charging facilities. 

 

I joined Party Of Women after realising that none of the main political parties care about women’s rights and needs. When I was serving in the Army I represented both my Corps and the Army at netball, this gave me amazing opportunities to travel to Cyprus, Barbados and South Africa. I was shocked to find out in 2020 that a man was allowed to compete in the women’s weight lifting category at the Tokyo Olympics, at this point I realised that those who had the power to stop this blatant unfairness were (to coin an Army term) missing in action. When I reflected on the opportunities that sport has given me, I could not stand by as the same opportunities were being taken from young sportswomen. I know that by centering women Party of Women will ensure all budding female athletes will be afforded the same opportunities I had, and women as a whole can be sure their rights are protected. 

 

This is a local election for who will represent Park Ward and be trusted to ensure the residents’ voices are heard and amplified at City level, which, if elected, I plan to do. 

 

One of the benefits of standing for a smaller political party is that I will not be beholden to national political ideology and can forge alliances to ensure the best outcomes for Park Ward.

 

Overall it was great experience running to be local counsellor. Whilst, and as with all political parties, there will be people who are not interested in your message, many are. Many people were surprised at the bluntness of the leaflet, however, once their initial shock had abated there were in agreement.

 

I would recommend to any woman who has thought "Should I do this?", the answer is yes. Don't be daunted by the thought of confrontation, there is not as much as you think, and realise there is much to be gained by stating the truth and breaking the silence around this. It is quite liberating to hand a leaflet to a stranger in the street, for them to read it and then shake your hand.

The litmus test of how I found the process, which was rushed, confusing, and hard work, would be whether or not I would do it again. I can say, even with being a guinea pig, I would whole heartedly stand for public office gain for Party Of Women. 

The best bits:

 

Seeing one of my leaflets in a window, knocking to say thank you, and being told "you’ve got 3 votes from us".

 

Being chased down the street by someone who asked "Is this you?". When I said yes he shook my hand and said "well done", he couldn’t believe the terrible things happening to children.

Having someone spoil their ballot with the word “horrible” by my name rather than vote, this is how annoyed some people are by Party Of Women.

 

Meeting all the lovely volunteers who came out in grim weather to assist.

 

Feeling that you are doing something positive that can’t be ignored by the mainstream rather than having the agenda set for you, you are the agenda.

 

The hilarity of being told how hateful I was, "you don't think I exist/you think my friend isn't a woman" - it really made me laugh (this didn’t happen very often).

 

Seeing what the other candidates achieved and the shift in conversation.

 

Having a Green Party volunteer say that she wished she was in my ward to vote for me.

 

Having the Lib Dem's agent be quite rude saying "You won't get any votes" and getting 1 less than they did last year, and this year they had put in an inordinate amount of effort.

Being the first person in to the polling station, which was staffed by women, and saying "I'm Sarah Freeman", giving my address, and pointing to my name on the ballot and saying "I'm a candidate, that's me". Then going to the booth and saying (the station was empty apart from the staff) "I'm just voting for myself".

 

I often wonder if I'm a bit too online and am in a bubble/echo chamber. I had 3 volunteers from within my ward, if I deduct them from the total votes, and one's partner and me, I received 78 votes to end this nonsense. That's 5% of the vote, enough to not lose a deposit in the General Election, although you can't extrapolate out from local elections to the General Election.

 

Campaign experience

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