Labour ‘proud’ of ill councillor’s domestic violence work

Councillor Natalie Reeves has stepped down due to ill health (Image: Facebook/Natalie Reeves)
Councillor Natalie Reeves has stepped down due to ill health (Image: Facebook/Natalie Reeves)

A councillor who stepped down from her role – triggering a by-election – said she is proud of her achievements.

Natalie Reeves, who had represented the Bourne ward in Thornton for Labour since being elected in May 2015, said she was forced to resign due to ill health.

She said: “I really enjoyed being a councillor and I did some good work on a domestic violence task group.

“Both sides of the chamber have been really supportive of me leaving.”

Ms Reeves told The Gazette the domestic violence task group has worked to ‘ensure provision in Wyre is both sufficient and efficient’.

As a result, councillors are now advised to undertake domestic violence training, and there are ‘domestic violence champions among both councillors and council employees’, she added.

Coun Ruth Duffy, leader of the Labour group in Wyre, said: “Natalie will be missed.

“She has been really poorly and has struggled at times but she has kept going and is really focused.

“She wanted to see the task group through to the end. It was close to her heart and a lot of recommendations have come out of it.

“I don’t think people realise domestic violence can affect people from all walks of life. If there’s no-one to turn to, it is atrocious.

“As a group, we are really grateful for Natalie’s work, and the borough should be too.”

Labour’s Joanne Cooper, the Conservative party’s Emma Victoria Ellison, and the Green Party’s Barbara Mead-Mason will contest the seat vacated by Ms Reeves on Thursday, May 4.

Polling stations will be advertised after Tuesday, April 25, a spokeswoman for Wyre Council said.

Ms Reeves had been elected to the council at the first time of asking, with 975 votes.

Tory Howard Ballard and Labour man Terry Lees were also elected with 1,133 and 1,017 votes respectively.

Ms Reeves’ foray into politics was inspired by her work at Fylde Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

Speaking in 2015, she said: “Seeing the impact of cuts on people made me want to be involved in politics and do something about it. I’m pleased people have backed me.”