Kate Onions has been a Braintree District resident for the last 15 years, working until recently as a primary school teacher, specialising in working with children with special needs. Kate has worked as an education ranger in the Essex country parks, teaching park users about nature connection and environmental protection. For several years she volunteered for the Essex Library service, running children and toddler story and rhyme sessions in local libraries. When Kate is not busy caring for her family, she can be found on her allotment.
Kate stands on a platform of making Essex greener, fairer and more caring.
Environment- As a former park ranger she is keen to see the council declare a climate change emergency and prioritise the environment at all levels of council activity. This includes preserving green and open spaces and fending off speculative over development in the area. She wants to see ambitious schemes for improving cycling and public transport in Braintree, easing traffic in some of the key traffic hot spots.
Community services- Her voluntary background in Essex libraries means Kate is determined to keep all libraries open and staffed at the current levels, knowing just how vital these places are as hubs for community support.
Education- As a teacher Kate wants to see children with special needs provided for as a priority group, rather than an after-thought in council planning and provision. The support for children with special needs in Essex schools has been dramatically reduced over the last five years, including the closure of the specialist teacher service. Kate would like to see the building of new schools for children with special needs alongside adequate funding to support those in mainstream schools.