Reasons for standing
Why did you decide to stand for Cornwall Council in Redruth South division?
I was born on Falmouth Rd and grew up around the streets of Redruth. My children all attend Trewigie School as I did. I am passionate about the people and the town of Redrtuh. I want to see this Town get the best out of its council.
What qualifies you to be a good Cornwall Councillor for Redruth South?
Having been on the Town council for 2 years I have good insight into the issues that affect the people of Redruth. I walk daily through the town and talk to town traders and parents at the school gate.
I am passionate about Redruth and have the drive to ensure that these voices are heard at county level.
Views on Local Government & Democracy
Do you believe that Councillors’ allowances are too high, too low or about right?
I believe that councillors should be remuneration for work they put in, (its important that people of working age should not be excluded from the local demographic process councillor allowances go some way to offset the loss of income. However under no circumstances should this rate be set by councillors. If elected I would abide by the recommendations of an independent remuneration panel. However it is wholly inappropriate to increase councillor’s allowances at a time when cuts are being made to front line services.
Usually there is a low turn out at Local elections in Redruth. How do you think you could engage people more to get involved in local politics?
I believe that all politics is local and low turn out is a consequence of our representatives failing to engage with local people. Local residents deserve to know where you stand on important local issues. But it is a two way process that is why, in addition to producing quartley newsletters and holding regular surgeries, I will consult people on local issues and hold public meetings when necessary. I want local residents to feel valued and more inclined to take part in the democratic process.
The Government is reducing welfare benefits and the Council has decided to charge people who previously received Council Tax benefit. Do you agree with what they are doing? How do you think this will impact the community in Redruth South? What are your ideas for dealing with these impacts?
Most people agree that the deficit needs to be reduced but it is wrong that central government has chosen to target the least well off whilst giving massive tax cuts to millionaires. This isn’t about making tough choices its about making the wrong choices.
Priorities for Cornwall & Redruth
Are you satisfied with the way Redruth Town Centre is developing? What do you think could and should be done to invigorate the town?
The town council as a team effort has been working hard in Redruth centre to promote the heritage industries as well as our more traditional shops. We are all very excited about the development of the brewery site and it’s potential to invigorate the town. Also with a new wave of convergence money available now is the time to be looking for new projects and this is something I would encourage the residents to consider. Projects that Redruth could bid for funding on. However it’s important that a town council is able to work closely with Cornwall Council that is equally committed to Redruth.
What do you see as Cornwall’s main priorities over the next 4 years and how can Cornwall Council help to address them?
My main priorities for Cornwall are;
- Promote a strong local economy.
- Keep Cornwall moving by protecting and improving public transport.
- Protect the elderly and vulnerable.
- Safeguard public services; Education, Libraries, social and youth services.
- Fight for Carn Brea Leisure centre.
- Support the National Health Service and Treliske Hospital.
Cornwall Council has frozen Council Tax again for next year and is planning to make some budget cuts in order to balance the books. This looks likely to mean reductions in some Council services and result in some job losses. Do you agree with the decision to freeze Council Tax for another year?
Make no mistake, the funding formula from central government means that that saving will have to be made. I will do my upmost best to ensure that front line services are protected particularly those for the elderly and vulnerable.
What do you consider should be the main principles underpinning financial strategy for 2014/15 and beyond?
Cornwall councillors should never forget that the authority exists to deliver local services to local people and therefore financial principles should reflect this.
Health and Social Services
There is a policy agenda to bring Social Care and Health services together. What do you see as the main risks and opportunities for Cornwall arising from this?
A close and effective working relationship between social services and the health care provider is essential for a smooth running experience for the service user and should be encouraged. However I do have concerns that any changes should not cost jobs, services or be outsourced to companies that take the services out of Cornwall.
Law & Order / Public Safety
What are your views on how policing works in Redruth South? How could it be improved?
Cornwall is one of the safest areas in the UK however the fear of crime is ever present. The police personnel we have do an excellent job often under very difficult circumstances. Some of this fear would be allayed if facts were regularly made available to residents and an opportunity for any feedback made also available.