I am standing in the West Suffolk Council by-election for the Clare, Hundon and Kedington ward (also includes Stadishall, Cavendish, Barnadiston, Poslingford and Wixoe).
I have been asked a few questions during the last three weeks and thought I would share them with everyone. All my answers are my genuine feelings and not modified by anyone else (can be dangerous but here goes).
My views on housing developments. I understand things must change and improve and sometimes grow. Houses must be built, I guess, as the population seems to grow year on year. BUT the number of additional housing and their location is key. I can live with some infill in our villages or the odd 4 house development in sensible places. I will struggle to support plans for large housing estates in villages unless an extremely good case is made for the benefit of the village and the villagers want it. People choose to live in villages for a reason. I am much more relaxed about additional housing in towns, except very small towns!!!!!
Boardband A working high speed internet connection is nearly as important as water, sewage and electricity. Too many folk in rural areas suffer poor connections. Effective broadband needs to be included in all new developments and be enforced. West Suffolk Council must ensure this is going to happen before planning permission is granted. I will be checking. In a past life I had a major row with David Wilson Homes and won.
My views on rural policing and country pursuits I believe rural policing has been under resourced for some time. Whilst the stats indicate we are living in a relatively safe county what they don’t show is the distress to those of us living in remote areas crime causes. The numbers of crimes may not be large but the impact is huge. The rural community needs looking after in a different way to the urban.
The stats also don’t show the number of unreported crimes because folk don’t believe anything will be done.
Hare coursing is a violent and destructive crime and needs stopping. Shooting vermin and controlling populations I’m ok with. I’m happy with drag hunting but have a certain sympathy for the fox.
I believe the criminals need to run a reasonable risk of getting caught. They don’t at the moment.
Of course this is the responsibility of the Police and Crime Commissioner but I’m sure I can get my views heard.
Speeding through villages – I was told about horrific cases of cars speeding at up to 95mph through our villages. This must be brought under control. The advice I gave was multithreaded. Firstly, the police must do much better at catching these idiots. To that end more ANPR devices and training needs to be given to any village that requests it. This will save lives. Secondly, traffic calming measures have mixed blessings. They tend to split villages. A measured approach should be taken and all options explored. Full consultation with villagers and then involve highways, police and all the councillors. Clare is a great example of cars parking on roads acting as traffic calming. Great for villagers, not so good for people travelling through.
Road repairs in Stradishall I am disappointed that the roads around the old married patch at Stradishall are in such a bad state of repair. It is a complex matter but one that can surely be resolved. If I get elected it is one for my list, although technically highways is a county matter.
Allotments in Hundon I have been made aware that the 6 acre allotment field (flood plain, wildlife, community orchard) has just been included in the SHELAA which seeks to map potential development land. These allotments are used, are being improved year on year and have an active community around them. Mty thoughts on developments, above, apply here. This land needs removing from the SHELAA!!!
Parking in Clare This seems to be a long running problem. I am developing my own views having listened to a number of people. Probably best if I keep them private until and if I get elected.
Potholes in Clare I was made aware of lots of potholes near the school. I passed this on to the county councillor who is on the case.
Hope this helps.