Questions from the MyTunstall Community to Lesley Adams
- What are the biggest problems facing this area?
Some of the bigger problems city wide are lack of inward investment. Low paid jobs for those in work and high unemployment. I also feel that we receive a negative portrayal by the press both nationally and locally. This promotes despondency and apathy, giving an unfair perception of the city as a place to live and work. The area has many positives, a loyal and proven workforce, who would be more than willing to retrain to fit the needs of new companies coming in. At ward level ASB, Bored teenagers, troublesome neighbours. Preventing isolation of elderly by keeping transport links open. The usual maintenance issues and road safety.
- What issues would you tackle first?
The small easily solved ones I think, leaving a clear run for the more difficult and complex issues, without the distraction of tiny niggles.
- Without very much budget how will you implement your ideas?
In these austere times I feel the way forward is with imaginative and innovative thinking. This is one of my strong points as I constantly have to maximise budgets to best effect within my own business.
- How would you generate income for the local area?
By positively encouraging local groups to bid competitively for available funding
- What are your thoughts on Anti Social Behaviour?
Having been on the receiving end on more than one occasion, I can completely empathise with the distress it causes. There are obviously a range of ASB incidents . Bored teenagers, nuisance neighbours, drug & alcohol abuse. There are a number of tools in place to deal with these issues and each much be dealt with appropriately. If elected this will be one of my priorities, working with all agencies to ensure the ASB situation within the ward is dealt with effectively.
- Will you be working full time or part time as a ward councillor?
Full Time, If elected my council duties will be my priority. I work within the wedding industry which is very flexible. Everyone knows we only work on a “Saturday Afternoon” LOL
- Who should be running of the council the Council Officers or the Councilors?
Ultimately the councillors, But the officers are trained in their own area of expertise. A working relationship is paramount to utilise this knowledge and combine it with the representative wishes of the electorate.
- How do you envisage keeping local facilities such as Tunstall Pool Open.
By initially scrutinising proposed cuts carefully to see if all options have been looked at. If so moving forward by supporting any groups that express interest in taking over facilities, by linking them with appropriate networks and assisting them with grant applications and funding bids.
- How would you deal with Anti-Social Behavior. See above.
- How are the council / you going to get Business to move to the area.
As a first time candidate I'm not sure of how this would exactly work...I have done some research and I believe that I can introduce my thoughts to the regeneration team and work with them to implement my ideas. I appreciate that this is a new field for me and one I need to investigate further.
- How will you get money spent in our area in preference to other areas.
Funding can be accessed through many routes, I will be determined as a councillor to fight for any monies available for my ward and the city.
- Will you fight the officers of the council and return the power back to its rightful place (in the hands of the councillor)?
I see no reason to “fight” anyone! I have excellent negotiation skills gained from managerial posts within the property industry. I would hope that these would stand me in good stead for working positively with the officers to reach a satisfactory conclusion to any unresolved issues.
- Will you take steps to have the 106 money (with accrued interest) returned to its rightfull owners. The area that it was designated for? Absolutely.
- Who will be your priority your party, your voters, or the council?
As an independent the voters will be my priority, followed by the city as a whole.
- Will you serve the voters irrespective of political beliefs? Of course.
Questions by Terry Cope, Tunstall, Greenfields
- What past experience do you have that makes you think you are prepared for the responsibly of being a Councillor?
I am a small business owner and I am involved heavily with my local community, a committee member of Tunstall Chamber of Trade, and secretary of TIARA (Tunstall inner area residents association.) Principally I have broad life experience..!! I have children and grandchildren. Have been a single working parent which teaches you a great deal. I also have youth work, elderly care and learning disability experience to bring to the fold.
- What are your major strengths?
I am positive and forward thinking. I thrive on a challenge. I am honest and determined. I have a strong sense of fairness. If I commit to something I give it my all.
- What are your major weaknesses?
Well I wasn't aware I had to have a weakness to be a councillor, but probably that I'm a tough cookie and a drive a hard bargain. Well that's what my kids think anyway
- What is more important, to fix a street light or to install a park bench, and why?
A street light no one like dark unlit places.
- What experience do you have in securing funding?
I have completed several fund bidding training courses including grantnet and big lottery.
- What are your thoughts on keeping a weekly/bi weekly blog on MyTunstall if elected of
- work you are carrying out?
- ongoing ward budget?
- key local news?
I already maintain my own website. I have set up a personal election blog at http://lesleyadams.blogspot.com to record my journey to the election. Obviously I will keep this going should I be fortunate to be elected.
- What green initiatives do you think can benefit all in the ward? I personally am not able to recycle at home as apparently I am not on the correct route. This worries me. I intend to make sure that recycling is easily available to all members of the community.
Education is also important too, as often ignorance of new simple green initiatives prevents maximum use within the community. I often learn about energy saving products available, from my parents.. via information given to the elderly, this informations needs to be cascaded to all age groups.
- Which members of the community are your priority? All of them equally
- What power have you got ?
- Where did it come from ?
- In whose interest do you use it ?
- To whom are you accountable ?
- How do we get rid of you ?
Same old answers here Mick, Obviously the “power” installed in me from the voter's confidence in my ability to represent them for four years leaves me, totally accountable to them in the future. My 'power' is to serve them to the best of my ability and to do all I can for the ward and the city as a whole!!
Questions by Mick Williams, The Internet
- How will you communicate what you plan to do / have done with us? By working with the residents associations and visiting the drop in centre at Fegg Hayes. Holding regular surgeries. Communicating effectively with all residents via telephone, email and home visits. Regular news letters and an up to date blog.
- How will you engage with the electorate? By getting out and speaking to them as above.
- Where do you see the line drawn between community solving their problems and local government doing it?
Interesting question. I would hope that I would be in position to facilitate negotiation on any issues that came down to the line. It is important to all work together for the betterment of the ward.
- What are your own views on a Big Society?
In essence I actually think its a good idea to actively encourage us to take more responsibility for our own communities. But I do have reservations about the way it's structured. From my initial research into the way it will work there a a number of issues that cause concern. The funding issues for instance, I understand are loans instead of grants...the opportunity for the facilities to be taken on by private companies who could then move on to close them if they were not commercially viable. These need to be looked at in greater detail and the consequences thought through. Along with the Localism bill to which this theory is linked it is a massive subject area and one that once elected, any councillor will need to get to grips with carefully.
Questions by Lawrence, Bankeyfields
- In your view, what are the major challenges facing this ward and what do you think a councillor's role is to address them?
As I said previously ASB, Bored teenagers, troublesome neighbours. Preventing isolation of elderly by keeping transport links open. The usual maintenance issues and road safety. I feelthat a councillors role is to ensure that systems are put in place to deal with the matters arising and that these systems are working effectively.
- General question that would probe local knowledge and their interpretation of what they can do/achieve?
My local geographical knowledge is excellent. I am aware of many of the social issues that this ward presents. I will do my level best to alleviate the problems within the area. It will be my duty as a local councillor to provide a link between the city council and the residents, either directly or via resident associations. At City level I realise that we cannot change things overnight, but with a positive outlook we can work together to move the city forward. Whilst shadowing Councillor Ryan for the day I learned that there is a new initiative being worked on to be rolled out after election. It will be more tailored to the individual needs of the specific areas. Although at this moment in time it is still under wraps to be finalised, both Megan and myself were impressed and excited at the proposed plans which should enhance our communities from within.
Questions by Clare White, Burslem
- What are your connection to this ward, why have you chosen to represent this ward?
My connections with the Great Chell and Packmoor ward span my lifetime.. My father was bought up in the area. I lived as a child just over the border in the Furlong road area. I spent my mid teens here, staying in Mellor Street, and living for a while on Turnhurst Road. I still have family connections here. Although I now live/work in the adjoining ward of Tunstall, I continue to spend a good deal of time locally with close friends. It is these friends that asked me to stand to represent them as an independent councillor.
Question by Ian Norris, Tunstall
- Can you explain -in detail- your strategy to bring big business into the area, particularly in sectors such as finance which is a well paid sector and is entirely under represented in Stoke on Trent? (Remember the business rates on office premises is much lower here than in other areas.)
- If you do manage to attract businesses into the area, what will you do to ensure that a high proportion of managerial and supervisory jobs go to local people rather than allowing companies to import their top paid employees from outside the area? (As is the case now)
- What will you do to bring local salary levels up to the National average, or at least the average in the West Midlands?
Andy, As a new candidate I am being totally honest with you. The amount of detail required for me to answer these is at present beyond my knowledge.. I have done some research to see how all of this works, and I will be interested to see how the regeneration team work with us to bring in the new investment that the area so desparately needs.