Downham Market council gets LGBT representation
A new recruit to Downham’s council chamber is breaking the mould as he aims to raise the profile of the town.
At 27, the Green Party’s Robert Shippey is thought to be the only LGBT member of the town council.
And he says he is keen to tackle a range of issues in the role.
Robert said: “I believe I’m the only Downham Market Town Councillor at the moment who is part of the LGBT community.
“I’m certainly the most visible at least, often seen walking around the town with my Pride flag decorated tote bag.
“I think the wider community in Downham Market are reasonably socially liberal already, at least from my experience.
“People in the town generally seem to have a “live and let live” attitude, it would be great to turn that acceptance into pro-active support.
“I’m keen to engage specifically with LGBT people in the town to hear from a wide range of experiences.”
Robert went on to say: “There are certainly more LGBT people in the town than is realised.
“ We are your neighbours, co-workers, family, and friends, but some of us aren’t comfortable being ‘out’ yet – hopefully we will see a Downham Pride event.”
Robert is passionate about the environment and social justice and is keen to raise the profile of the town council where diversity is concerned.
He hopes to make the town greener, as the plastic pollution issue has caused wildlife issues in the Willows Nature Reserve and other areas of the town, as well as focusing on the global climate crisis that affects us all.
He said: “I’m excited! I think there is an appetite for positive change and something new, both in the town and on the council.
“The town is more diverse than it’s ever been, the current set of councillors (new and old) and our new Mayor seem keen to embrace this change, and I’m pleased that I get to be part of that.”