500 Words From Shaun Bennett

I have the honour and the privilege of being able to stand as the
Independent candidate for my own home ward of Hollybush and Longton West.

I have lived in Hollybush for the past 20 years. My friends and family
live in and around the ward, and for the past six years I have also worked
in the ward. So I have such a lot of personal interest invested in this
ward. I understand the problems that local people face because they affect
me too. Some other candidates have tried to get people to believe that
they live in the Hollybush area when they do not. But both the Labour and
Tory candidates live as far away as Weston Coyney. We need someone living
‘above the shop’, in the local community, listening to local people and
who is just around the corner when people need them.

Whilst the Labour candidate has relied upon nationally drawn up leaflets
printed outside the city and not talking about the local community at all,
I have being focussing on local issues and local people. For example,
buses are a big issue in the ward and I have pledged to work to restore
the number 40 Copelands bus to the Hollybush estate which local pensioners
have relied upon for the past 12 years. Parking is another big
issue-residents bays in Hollybush were planned incorrectly by the Labour
controlled City council and encourage double parking so that emergency
vehicles and buses cannot get full access to the estate. Housing and
anti-social behaviour are other big priorities for the ward and I will
always work to ensure that the system is on the side of the ordinary
decent citizen rather than the ‘neighbours from hell’ or the hooligan on
the street corner.

500 words is nowhere near enough to present a full plan for the ward and
the problems that we face. I shall therefore end by saying that as well as
the local issues I have spoken about above I believe that it is time for a
complete new broom in our town hall. We must work harder to encourage
business and investment into the city. We are ideally placed
geographically for business and of course we now need to be designated as
an enterprise zone to prevent investment from slipping away. I want a
reversal in the ever increasing city parking charges-including the
restoration of free evening and Sunday parking-to bring more shoppers into
the city. And I want to work towards actually being able to REDUCE the tax
burden on the overtaxed residents of the city.

Under Labour, we have paid some of the highest taxes for some of the worst
services in the country. But other authorities have shown that you CAN
reduce the tax burden whilst also getting better value and more efficient
local services. Its time for Stoke-on-Trent to change and reform the way
in which we do business. Its time for a common-sense revolution in the
town hall.

Shaun Bennett
Independent Candidate, Hollybush and Longton West

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