Why should anyone vote for us as councillors and why should you read my 500 words?
Criticism and negative press constantly points out how the council gets everything wrong.
When I stood for council eight years ago I wanted to get elected because I thought exactly the same as many others, and that you would be hard pushed to do any worse. I believed the constant voting in of the same old Labour people, time and time again had made them complacent.
There seemed to be no vision for the city and no urgency in replacing the lost jobs and businesses.
There seemed to be no interest in banging on the governments door for funding to bring inward investment to our city, even though we had three Labour MPs.
I was elected twice in 2003 & 2007 and hope to be re-elected again in 2011 even though the Governance Commission and Boundary Commission have, in my opinion, tried their best to eliminate all but Mainstream parties by going against their own guidelines and dividing established communities and ignoring natural boundaries. We can only hope that it doesn’t decrease people’s choice in this election.
When I was newly elected, I was constantly frustrated at the time it took to get anything done.
This was something I was not used to in my past life when running my own businesses.
I learned how to use the council system to my best advantage, to achieve the best possible.
I have been able to get lots of benefits for my local area of Blurton with new jobs, new shops, new housing, Parking bays and numerous other things to improve the Blurton area.
I have highlighted problem issues and fought for what I believed to be right,
not only for my area, but our city. I have highlighted them on Pits n Pots and have been quoted in the Sentinel now fewer than 368 times in the last two and a half years alone.
I have persevered,
even when I felt that I was getting nowhere on certain issues, but, I never give up and always see things through to make sure I get the best deal available, like setting up the working group that reduced consultants, which has saved us a fortune.
I have been involved in several meetings in London and Birmingham banging the drum for Stoke, which I believe has been neglected in the past. There needs to be more done.
Regeneration will be the key to putting our city back on the map
although I have voiced my views several times where I think that Regeneration has been too slow.
The council needs to push the Government even harder to make sure Stoke-on-Trent gets Enterprise Zone status to improve our situation.
Although this year’s budget settlement has been severe and difficult to manage,
we were able to save Children’s centres, Respite care for disabled children along with many front line services that other councils have reduced. Also put a freeze on council tax.
Incoming councillors will be faced with the stark reality of finding next years £20million savings. This will need some skill and a lot of hard work and I hope I am there to help get the best deal available.
Don’t forget I am a resident and taxpayer and what affects you affects me.
Leader of the City Independents
Blurton Ward Councillor