I want to represent the area I’ve chosen to call my home. I’ll stand up for my friends and neighbours and challenge the Labour council when they get it wrong. I’ll also help residents to navigate the bureaucracy of local government to get problems solved. I have been a Charlton resident since 2010, and am a proud stay-at-home father to a talkative toddler. As a newcomer to the political scene I became more interested in local politics in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. Once I understood the lack of representation that residents had, especially when it came to planning, I decided I had to act.
My four main priorities for Charlton and the wider borough are:
- Improve air quality – No to grid-less Enderby Wharf and polluting Silvertown Tunnel:
Illegal levels of air pollution in the area is a threat to every resident’s health and wellbeing, especially the young and old. I will firmly stand against the proposed development of the polluting Silvertown tunnel as well as the current plans for Enderby Wharf, which the Labour council has approved twice with no shore-side power supply. I will push for the council planning committee to take increased pressure on local roads more into account in future decisions. I will call for continuous air quality monitoring outside all schools in the ward and for the ULEZ in East Greenwich to be expanded to Charlton. I will also push for a resident led review of cycle routes in the borough and how they can be improved. I believe Charlton needs an independent voice; a representative to stand up for our interests and not just toe the Labour council leadership’s line.
- An accessible councillor - Standing up for residents:
I will hold regular, publicised surgeries, moving around the ward to ensure they were accessible to all residents. I will maintain a website and make use of social media to encourage local participation and engagement, as well as posting regular updates on my work. I will listen and act on your concerns, from where you want improvements to public spaces to anti-social behaviour, road safety, social care, planning, the environment, policing, cycling provision and much more.
- Better planning process - No developments without investment in services /infrastructure and meaningful consultations with residents:
I will hold planning committees to account for decisions that have a negative effect on local services and infrastructure. I am very supportive of regeneration of the area, but for too long proposals have been waved through on the promise that improvements and investment will be made, only for these to be reneged on by developers or the council not spending Section 106 money that they are given for enhancements to public spaces and transport links. At other times plans have been waved through with no regard for the views or objections of residents directly affected. With no opposition on the council to represent residents it is hard to see these issues going away.
- Challenging a hard Brexit – Send a message to the two main parties:
Whilst this last one may seem out of place in a local election, I strongly believe that this is not the case. Brexit IS a local issue. From the terrible uncertainty in the future of EU27 citizens who live and work in Charlton, to the inevitable hit to the economy ,particularly in finance, which directly and indirectly employs many local people. There will also be the impact of reduced central Government funding to councils because of the huge cost of delivering Brexit over the next few years. An Anti-Brexit Tactical Vote is the only way to send a message to both of the two main political parties that there are millions of citizens that demand a voice.