Upon the resignation of Councillor Colin Sargeant, there is a by-election in the County Council seat of Clacton East. In this election, 6 candidates are vying for your vote to represent the community at Essex County Council.
The Conservatives are running Councillor Chris Amos, Labour are running Geoff Ely, the Greens are running Chris Southall, Mark Stephenson is running as an independent, KT King is running for the Holland Residents Association.
Finally, I am delighted to have been selected by the local Liberal Democrats to run as our candidate.
From my professional dealings with Essex County Council, I am frustrated at the distance between them and us, we seem to be excluded from decision making. The decisions are being made in Chelmsford, which is 40 miles away and has no clue to the needs and desires of our community.
The Liberal Democrats have always been a party of the community and community politics. Standing up for everyone and ensuring everyone has a voice at every level. I want to bring decision making back to Clacton, because I think local people are best placed to make local decisions.
What we are standing for in this election:
Fight for an accountable children’s services department.
For too long, we have faced cuts to front line services, this means that younger and vulnerable parents lose the initial support they would previously have. Consequently, too many children are ending up in care despite it being avoidable
Fight to ensure our library services are protected
Essex County is trying to save money, one of the ways they are doing this is reducing library costs by handing libraries over to volunteers and hoping for the best. I don’t think that this is good enough. I recognise that we need to transform how we deliver the service, but that cannot come at the cost of a professional service.
Therefore my plan is as follows:
Get the libraries signed up to renewable energy sources (short term investment, long term makes money)
Get every library to have a community cafe where it brings in some vital funds to help meet the cost of running the libraries
Transform the buildings into not just libraries, but community hubs where the community is championed
Fight to get Essex County Council to take our pothole situation seriously
Over 400 people have been killed or seriously injured by potholes in the past ten years, the state of these roads is an accident waiting to happen.