Wednesday, 15 April 2009


Well, this snowball beats the odds in May 2003, when I took the Gerrards Cross East/Denham Southwest seat. The 'snowball' reference is what was said about my chances of taking the seat.

It was a hard campaign on all fronts, the Parish Council elections were at the same time, but we got there.

I sat on the Licensing Committee and attended seminars. It was a Committee that had its' brief enlarged when the District Councils took on the granting of 'liquor licenses', formerly the domain of the Magistrates courts. Plus, we had to contend with the new '24 hour' opening laws.

Community, Safety and Liesure Policy Advisory Group was just that, and Advisory Group. The Portfolio Holder made the final decisions after recieving the views of the Group members. We covered grants to local groups, CCTV, public toilets etc.

Environment Policy Advisory Group - looking at tenders for waste disposal, doing the whole walk that is under threat by Heathrow expansion plans, anything that helps, conserves and serve our community best.

I also assisted Council Officers in identifying land that was under threat from potential development - land in the Green Belt being sold off in plots. The sellers agents were not always totally truthful in their descriptions of the land use.

A traffic calming measure - pinch point - came up a number of times while I was canvassing and I promised that if I was elected I would compile a questionnaire to gather the views from the residents affected and act as the majority requested. This was a contentious issue, but once I was elected it was my first task to honour the promise.

With assistance I compiled, delivered, and collated all the results from this exercise and met with the relevant County Council Portfolio Holder. The result was that the pinch point was replaced. It was lovely receiving a note from a constituent thanking me for honouring a 'doorstep promise'.

Fly tipping is illegal and a costly problem in many areas. I brokered a deal between District and County Officers to save money and prevent fly tipping. I contacted a contractor who had supplied and installed such a measure and obtained a quote. In a meeting with the County Officer I asked how much he had in the budget for this. I then asked if the District went 50% would he match it, he replied 'yes'.

With the promise of 50% I went to the Officer at District and asked how much we spent in removing fly tipped rubbish from this particular lane. The Officer couldn't tell me an exact figure off the top of his head but agreed that it could be 'thousands'. When I asked how he would like to solve this problem for around £1500, he welcomed the joint venture. Hence, problem solved in less than six months.

Unfortunately I didn't retain the seat in 2007. One comment that came up a great number of times was my meeting attendance record. It would appear that someone had taken the previous six month period and used the figures to say that I wasn't representing my consitituents properly.

It was sad that only half the tale was told. No-one was told that I had attended many unminuted meetings with Officers and constituents, or that I was no a stranger to both Gerrards Cross and Denham Parish clerks, or that if I couldn't make a meeting but wished to comment on an agenda item, that I would call or email the Chairman and make my comments. That's Party Politics for you!

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