500 Words From Mike Barnes

This year’s local elections are more important than ever for the City, as well as for Dresden and Florence. My priority is to protect and continue the great improvements in Dresden and Florence that have been achieved over the last few years by the hard working community groups, Dresden Residents Association, Florence Residents Association and the Queens Park Partnership working alongside myself.

I am extremely pleased that Lilian Dodd, from Dresden Res Assoc and Queens Park Partnership has proposed my nomination in the election along with many others including Sue Walley, chair of Queens Park Partnership and Steve Mallam who plans and organises many of the events in Longton Park.

There have been many successes, top of the list is the transformation of Longton Park, which only a couple of years ago was in a terrible state, but working together it is once again becoming the Park I certainly remember as a boy growing up in the area.

Whilst I do take a prominent and active role in the council itself, my ward and community work has always been my first priority. Working with the local volunteers we have a new community hall opening shortly as well as a new community garden designed by pupils from a local high school. Notice boards have been erected to keep residents informed, new fencing in many areas to deal with anti social behaviour. We authorised £8,000 for extra policing in our area as well as £36,000 for 4 part time youth workers. The Park has had new fishing pegs, a fountain, a new playground, bridge repaired, a new adult gym, path improvements, bandstand has been painted and a bid has gone in for a cafe. Through ward funding I’ve paid for Florence Bowling Club to have a new lawn mower, the scout hall has had a new heating system and the local luncheon club for the elderly has had a new potato peeler. Three local volunteer youth clubs have been given £12,000 between them for equipment. There is lots, lots more I could list.

As your councillor I don’t claim to have made a difference to Dresden and Florence on my own. We are extremely lucky to have 3 hard working community groups without whom none of the improvements would have been possible, and its a privilege to see people who care, get up and do stuff, instead of just moaning about it. We’ve done it together and I want the chance to carry on being a part of that and hope that you will vote for me on May 5th.

I have lived all of my life in and around Dresden and Florence and would love to continue to help maintain what I think is a great place to live.

On a City level my priority will be to continue to passionately fight to protect the services that mean the most to people, particularly those that affect the most vulnerable ““ the elderly, disabled and children, which seem to be easy targets for the cuts and constantly under threat.

My no nonsense, “say it how it is” work in the council has seen plans for posh offices for officers and senior councillors costing £800,000 scrapped; the number of consultants slashed as well as countless wrongdoing and mismanagement exposed. Hopefully this means we can start to move forward in a positive way. It doesn’t always win me too many friends at the council but I never give up on an issue and this has paid dividends time and again in helping local residents with issues and changing the council’s mind on important matters that affect every one of us.

I am also very proud to have led the campaign that got rid of the Elected Mayor system, the only successful campaign of its kind in the country.

My aim is to continue to represent you, Dresden and Florence as well as the City with the same passion and commitment I have shown since last being elected in 2007.

Please consider voting for me, Mike Barnes, on May 5th. I won’t let you down.

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