CYW Candidate Profile - Harriet Gould
"The work Conservative Young Women and Conservative Women's Organisation do is spot on – and the way they show the world the extraordinary, talented women we already have in politics will inspire the next generation of girls to step up."
Harriet is a Parish Cllr in South Cambridgeshire, she recently set up a support service called “Fill the Gap”, to help keep donations flowing to foodbanks during the pandemic. Harriet is a DCP at her Conservative Association and the Conservative candidate for the Gamlingay division in the Cambridgeshire Country Council election
Why did you get involved in Conservative Young Women?
I was sign-posted to CYW on account of my youthful looks (?!) and despite my comparatively advancing years (38). I hope I’m still considered young though!
How have CYW supported you in standing?
Conservative Young Women have been a phenomenal force in helping me with my pandemic-style campaign. It’s such a boost and quite humbling to know that Conservative colleagues are joining me on dark winter evenings, making phone calls to residents on my behalf. I will be repaying these kindnesses tenfold!
How do you think we can encourage more young women into politics?
I think when we see people we identify with doing things, it breeds confidence that we can do those things ourselves. That means getting more women into politics is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think the work CYW and CWO do is spot on – and the way they show the world the extraordinary, talented women we already have in politics will inspire the next generation of girls to step up.
Why did you decide to get involved in politics?
I grew up in a politically active environment with constant, loud debates around the dinner table – and indeed from room to room – mainly on account of the variety of political allegiances within the family. One of my grandparents was Chairman of his local CA… he’s actually offered to help me on Election Day this year. He’s 94 so I understand him wanting to relive his youth. The rest of my grandparents are happy for me to let them know how I get on the following day.
Why did you decide to stand for council?
I was certain I wanted to experience life away from politics before making the decision to stand. When I did decide to enter politics in my own right, I became a Parish Councillor, to get a sound understanding from the most local layer of government. When the opportunity to stand for the county council arose, I leaped at it.
What would you like to achieve as a councillor?
Where should I begin? As I write, Conservatives have control of the council so I’d like to support my colleagues in the ongoing work they do to make Cambridgeshire such a wonderful place to live. In my division, I’d like to work toward improving the smaller, category c roads, reignite the “Keep Britain Tidy” campaign and contribute to improving digital connections in the rural areas which make up 70% of the county.
How are you going to communicate with your residents?
During the pandemic, I’ve been holding “digital doorstep” appointments which I’ve publicised on my fb page, I’ve written articles in local press and am involved in supporting community activities. Residents have my email address and phone number so there are no shortages of ways to get in touch with me.
What kind of jobs have you had?
I’m an Advertising Executive and I’ve worked at organisations including Global Radio, The Law Society and The Royal Society of Chemistry. Before I entered the corporate world, I was a showjumper and represented Great Britain on the Junior Squad.
Who’s your role model/political hero?
I’ve had so many formidable role models throughout my life. The first person I worked for when I left school put me through my paces and didn’t suffer fools. She taught me to work hard and that anything less wasn’t good enough. I still use the phrase she taught me, “why put off ‘till tomorrow, what can be done today” (it wasn’t a question btw). Politically, I admire Priti Patel – the way that she rises above the criticism and gets on with the job resonates with me. I think she shows how important it is to remember that criticism isn’t personal, it’s based on desire for better outcomes for the greater good. Historically, my real Hero is Margaret Thatcher – she wrote back to me when I sent a letter requesting that she reconsider her resignation. I remember thinking that she and the Queen seemed to be a good team to run the country.
What do you do in your spare time?
I take every opportunity play with my cats, dig up the garden and see my friends. I have a tight-knit group of friends who I cherish. I exercise a lot, mainly cycling and running. I’m in training for the London Marathon 2021 now, please donate here! I’m so into art and design and whenever I retire, I want to be a picture framer and open a picture framing studio.
What’s your current favourite Netflix show?
The Queen’s Gambit is outstanding.
If you went on mastermind, what would your subject be?
Probably show jumping. Although I’m quite knowledgeable about “Friends”. And “Eastenders”. Tough call.
Conservative Young Women are dedicated to encouraging and supporting young women in the Conservative Party. We are on a mission to get more women into public office at every level and we provide support to anyone who wants to stand.