My name is Mark Farwell the Labour Party candidate for the Paulsgrove Ward 2021. I am the second eldest of six (also nine half brothers and sisters), father of one (son), and I have lived in the Portsmouth area for most of my life. I grew up on the Leigh Park estate and Waterlooville (Paulsgrove as a teenager) where I attended local state schools. I left Cowplain Secondary School aged fifteen and trained as an engineer in Portsmouth before studying A Levels at Havant and South Downs College. I subsequently read Government & Sociology at the University of Essex; and started my teaching career at Highbury College in 1984 and then moved to Portsmouth Polytechnic in 1986.
Since that time, I have taught public policy to Bavarian civil servants at University of Hof (Germany); urban sociology at San Diego State University (USA); and housing, public policy and social work at Solent University since 1993. As an academic and a life-long activist in the labour movement (human rights campaigner, trade unionist and community volunteer), both home and abroad, I have stood as Labour Party parliamentary candidate twice, polling 13,411 votes in one of the safest conservative seats in 2017 (best result for the Labour Party in that constituency since 1966) and worked tirelessly as a community volunteer throughout the covid-19 pandemic.
I am currently the Chair of Solent University UCU (University and College Union); UCU Regional Secretary (UCU South) and Secretary of Portsmouth Supporters’ Society Limited – Pompey Supporters’ Trust (PST) (former major shareholder in Portsmouth Football Club) which helped to secure the future of Portsmouth Football Club in 2013. Hence, I have spent my entire career documenting ‘stories of everyday life’ through public engagement to inform public policy. Especially, health, housing, social care and the social inequalities (social mobility) associated with the rise in European mobility opportunities in the 1990’s, which eventually influenced the outcome of the 2016 European Union Referendum. I have a strong knowledge and a good understanding, as well as a true commitment to the city, of the pressing issues and problems arising from social and personal inequalities. Hence, I am passionate about challenging inequality, discrimination and injustice of all kinds.