500 words from Ross Ward

Firstly may I add my thanks to Pits n Pots for affording me this opportunity to talk about why I would like the chance to represent my ward of Meir Hay.

I would like to start out by pointing out that I am not a politician. I am a member of the Conservative party, but I am not a politician. I work full time, come from a traditional working class background, I live with my partner I am a proud father of three children. The point I am making is that I have a centre right leaning in my politics but I am not standing for the sake of politics, I am standing because I care about my community and the future it offers for my family and the people we share this City with.

I am not here to bat blame and accusations back and forward ad infinitum as this resolves nothing. We all know the arguments, we all know where we stand and it is unlikely that my 500 words will alter this.

I stood for the first time in the 2010 local elections so I am a relative newcomer. I won’t pretend to know the inner machinations of the Civic Centre or Local Government but I do understand the economics of running a business and maximising the limited resources available through difficult times.

I believe that a large part of the problems we face are derived from our former success. The “ËœPotteries’ were world leaders in much of what we produced and the local politics were on the whole unchallenged; this lead to complacency in local industry and in those who represented us. The world is an ever changing place but we rested on our laurels and let the competition pass us by.

More than ever this City now needs proactive, forward thinkers to help us regain our competitive edge. We need to be ahead of the game and have competent, enthusiastic, driven councillors who can find, bid and win investment back into Stoke on Trent whilst spending our very limited resources wisely. It’s time to balance the books.

At ward level I will continue the fight against EMR’s dreadful treatment of their Parkhall and Meir Hay neighbours and the council’s apparent support for a development that is blighting people’s lives. The development is welcome but not at all costs. Residents should be allowed to sit in their homes and gardens without ceaseless noise, dust, vibration, 24 hour high level floodlights and intrusive cameras looking over them. I will work to broker a compromise that will be agreeable to all.

I will work with my local community groups and associations to ensure their voice is heard in the council chamber. I will support the residents of Meir Hay and Adderley Green who feel they are constantly overlooked in their attempts to get some local investment (play areas, highway repair, council house maintenance) into their community. I will support their vigilance in preventing the Springfield site from inappropriate development. I don’t believe in NIMBYism but I do believe in common sense.

I am a great believer in accountability and responsibility for your actions but at the Civic Centre I see little evidence of either. I hate to see waste and bad management but I read about it across the City everyday. With your vote I will work hard to represent you and will tirelessly work for a fair deal for our ward and our City.

500 Words From Ross Ward Conservative Candidate Weston and Meir North

**Archive Story From 2010 Election**

My name is Ross Ward and as a first time candidate for the Weston and Meir North Ward election I thought it important to take advantage of this forum to lay down some of my core beliefs.

I am 38 years old and live on Linacre Way, Parkhall with my partner and three children (18, 5 and 3 years old). I became a member of the Conservative Party as I believe in a small, efficient Government that allows and encourages personal freedom to manage our own lives. The Conservative Party is about empowering individuals to achieve their full potential whilst supporting those with genuine needs and difficulties so that we can all enjoy a decent standard of living.

If I was fortunate enough to be elected I would spend my time as a councillor working to the following principles;

To listen to the people of my ward and act to resolve individual issues and problems;
Ensure our ward has a loud voice in the Council on issues that directly affect our area. There are many issues within our ward and I will make sure that the council faces its responsibility in helping improve our community and the facilities and amenities therein;
Educational investment is out there, we cannot afford to lose it while the Council dithers on how and where it is best targeted. Difficult decisions need to be made based on what is best for our children. I want my two young children to have the best start in life and a good education is central to this;
We should not have to tolerate vandalism, violence, intimidation, bullying or alcohol/drug abuse on our streets. It is not sufficient to slap an ASBO on someone and hope they go away. I accept that these behaviours are often manifestations of much deeper problems that must also be tackled, but this does not mean they should be allowed to persist in ruining people’s lives;
I would work towards cross party consensus behind initiatives that are patently good for our community and not allow tit for tat politicking to continue to undermine progress. The Council needs shaking up and invigorating to foster a new approach to running this City;
To persistently look for efficiencies in the running of the Council and highlight wastage of our money;
I will work with our local MPs to ensure that our City is receiving their full attention in representing our City on the national stage. We have three Westminster representatives that should focus their efforts on regenerating our City and not furthering their own political careers. Ambition is not a bad thing but should not be garnered at our expense. They need to be local MPs first and foremost;
I will also work with our local MPs to drive capital and commercial investment into the region to stimulate our local economy and get Stoke-on-Trent working again. Unemployment lies at the heart of many of our problems and must be tackled as a matter of urgency.
This list is far from exhaustive and focuses only on broad strokes of my political philosophy, but hopefully it gives an overview of some of the issues that I consider critical in our local area. Through drive, enthusiasm and inclusion, together we can start to deal with our problems. There is still a vibrant multi-cultural community at the heart of Stoke-on-Trent and by working together with dedication and commitment we can turn the corner and put Stoke-on-Trent back on the map.