Correcting recent public statements by the Green Party
Correcting recent public statements by a former Parish Councillor.
Monthly Saturday Surgery in the VA small room - third Saturday of every month 10-12.
Some of you may have received a political leaflet making a number of statements that need to be corrected:
Contrary to what is heavily implied in this leaflet, I have knocked on something like a thousand doors since being elected in 2019. Having detailed conversations with hundreds of residents that start in exactly this manner has informed my view of many issues. Even more often this has improved the way I represent residents as a whole. If we have talked, I am grateful. Of course, with four and a half thousand (adult) residents in the ward I haven’t been able to speak to everyone. If that’s you then please do drop-in to my surgery on the third Saturday of every month, 10pm-midday at the VA small room. There is no need need to book.
On the matter of the Children’s centre: see here.
i. The village centre. The freehold to the village shops has recently been sold to someone based in the UK. I have had a cordial exchange of correspondence with the controlling agent but they, understandably, would like to complete the purchase and their initial assessments before engaging substantively with local councillors. When I was elected there were two crucial ward-local issues* which I knew (or thought) would take more than one term to crack, because they had both been getting worse for at least 20 years. The most significant of these was, and remains, the village centre. The strategy of the District Council over the last four years has been to seek to encourage the centre into new ownership, because engagement from the previous owner was very poor. This has now come to pass, and I am now asking you to give me the opportunity to see the job though. We must use the planning system, not just to manage the risks, but also to grasp the opportunity which a new and more engaged owner can represent.
*ii. The second issue was fly-tipping on the access road to Barnfield Park. This involved working with County Councillor David Brazier and KCC officers. Just as importantly, it involved dozens of discussions with BP residents, supporting their desire to mount an assertive community response to groups who were driving from far away to dump on their doorstep. Those of you who have known this road over the years will appreciate what has been achieved here. This would not have been the issue to prioritise if I were merely interested in maximising votes. However it was a solvable problem which severely affected a small community of residents and I’m glad we have been able to hugely improve this road.
This leaflet also seeks to imply that Conservatives don't hold the Conservative administration to account. Of course, I have supported my party's position when I agree with it, but a brief enquiry with either Opposition or Conservative Councillors, or any regularly attending meetings, will allow residents to determine that I have not been shy to speak out where I have disagreed - and representations I have made, both in private but also publically, have sometimes lead to policy changes, at least as often as the work of the most active opposition counicllors.
A trawl of this website will throw up areas where I have publically disagreed with Conservative policy. Nonetheless, I am pleased to say that it is on some of our biggest and most important areas of policy where I have found it very easy to actively support this Conservative administration in the council chamber: For example: Over the weekly refuse service, Over the Sevenoaks' local plan principles, On long term budgetary stability and on the Drive to reduce council CO2 emmissions.
What would election time be without a dodgy
bar chartset of rectangles masquerading as a bar chart, from an opposition politician. We don’t do electoral bar charts in election leaflets (not even honest ones) because Claire, Andrew and I all know that this election is not about the last election. However truth matters, and the graph presented in this leaflet bears very limited relation to the truth.
We know, from the national picture, to expect a stronger challenge this time from both Labour and other parties, every vote will count, which is why it is imperative that everyone reading this goes out to vote. I would, of course, be most grateful if you returned me, and your other Conservative candidates on Thursday 4th May. There is work started still to be finished here (see above) and we need to protect District Council services like the full, simple, weekly bin collection, and a sensible, balanced planning policy.