Pooja Mishra Jha was born in India and came to the UK in 2009 with her husband, so he could work as a doctor in the NHS. They moved to Portsmouth in 2013 and live in Drayton. Pooja is a qualified teacher, but is currently on a career break, looking after their two children of 11 and 5, who attend local schools. She previously worked in administrative roles in hospitals in Cambridge and Taunton, and was volunteering at QA Hospital during the pandemic. Recently she has been supporting young children to improve their reading skills in Portsdown primary school.


Pooja has a particular interest in families being able to bring up their children safely. This includes encouraging young women to consider returning to work once their children have started school. Pooja says: “I feel strongly that young mums should have the opportunity to go back to work so they can develop their skills and gain financial independence.”


Pooja likes to resolve local issues and is very concerned about road safety in Drayton and Farlington. Although most roads have speed limits of 20 mph, many motorists drive faster. This is particularly an issue near local schools and accommodation for older people. Pooja says: “I believe that Portsmouth City Council should be carrying out traffic surveys in high risk roads and acting on the findings to reduce accidents and ‘near misses’.”


An additional issue of concern is repeated flooding of low-lying roads in the area such as Station Road. Pooja says: “The Council should be putting more pressure on Southern Water Authority to find a permanent solution to this problem.”


Another aspect of safety that Pooja feels strongly about is street lighting to improve personal safety after dark, especially for women. Portsmouth Labour has already secured a “Safety Audit”, allowing residents to share their views about how public spaces could be improved to be safer for women and girls.


Pooja believes that we need to do our best to protect our environment. Thanks to the efforts of many local people, the Government has decided that the Aquind interconnector cable should not come through Portsmouth, which would have led to significant disruption and the destruction of wildlife habitats in Drayton & Farlington. Pooja says: “I am very worried that Aquind are applying for judicial review of this decision and believe that we need to oppose this very strongly.”


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