Meri O’Connell is proud of the area that she grew up in and its people. She studied for her degree in Cultural Studies in East London and worked for The Boys Club of New York before returning to Reading and moving to Tilehurst, where she lives with her family.

Meri was elected to Reading Borough Council for Tilehurst Ward in 2012 and re-elected with an increased majority in 2016. She is the Liberal Democrat Lead for Adult and Children’s Social Care and Education. She’s active within the local community and has been a governor at her children’s primary school for eight years.

Meri’s career has focused on supporting vulnerable children and their families to turn their lives around. She’s worked in and around the Reading area for Social Services, as an Education Welfare Officer and as a Youth Justice Worker. Her experiences in these fields have fuelled her view that we need urgent reform of our prisons and an expansion of mental health provision within the NHS.

She joined the Lib Dems because they are the only party that shares her commitment to giving everyone equality of opportunity. She shares their vision of an open, tolerant, and united Britain and is strongly opposed to the hard Brexit that is currently being pursued by the Conservatives.

Commenting, Meri said “The EU withdrawal will play a large role in this General Election and I want to represent the majority of Reading West voters that cast their ballot to Remain, as well as those that did not vote for the extreme form of Brexit that Theresa May, backed by Labour, are gunning for”.