- What are the biggest problems facing this area?
Antisocial behaviour, environmental issues, domestic violence, alcohol related offences and unemployment issues.
- What issues would you tackle first?
I am working on all of them at the moment.
- Without very much budget how will you implement your ideas?
- How would you generate income for the local area?
3+4 By working with the relevant council department and Community groups to raise funding.
- What are your thoughts on Anti Social Behaviour?
Anti social behaviour of any form is a blight on peoples lives and I will use everything in my power to eliminate this problem.
- Will you be working full time or part time as a ward councillor?
If re-elected I intend to reduce my working hours with the intention to give up altogether, there are things I want to work on to give our young people a better chance in life and this will take up more time than I have at the moment.
Questions by Jon Morgan, Bankeyfields
- Who should be running of the council the Council Officers or the Councilors.
I think that the Councillors should work with the officers to run the council. Officers have a level of expertise that I don't, but the Councillors can bring the thoughts of the community forward and make sure that things are run properly.
- How do you envisage keeping local facilities such as Tunstall Pool Open.
I already do and will work with any group that wants to keep the facilities open, by helping them to liaise with the relevant people or department within the Council. And also with my knowledge of raising funds, help to submit funding bids.
- How would you deal with Anti-Social Behavior.
Antisocial behaviour needs to be looked at not only as an immediate problem but also a long term solution needs to be found.
Any present issues need to be addressed by working together with the police, youth workers, safer city partnership, Councillors and communities.
It has shown that working with and giving the young people something to do and occupy them improves their behaviour, I would want to carry on with Street Games etc for the present but I also want to look at a long term solution, with this in mind I have instigated and paid for from ward budget, a hard hitting DVD aimed at pre teens, that will go out to schools to try and stop teenagers from abusing alcohol, so hopefully cutting back on ASB in the future.
- How are the council / you going to get Business to move to the area.
I am working with the regeneration team at the moment with regards to moving the current ward of Tunstall along with a 10 point plan to improve the area and bring business in. If re-elected I hope to work with the other two Councillors, that will cover the area under the new boundaries, and really move this on.
- How will you get money spent in our area in preference to other areas.
By working with the regeneration team and also working along side communities to link into the funding available from 'The Big Society'.
Questions by Richard Hawthorn, Bankeyfields
- What past experience do you have that makes you think you are prepared for the responsibly of being a Councillor?
I am already a Councillor and I have learned a lot in the last 3 years and still have a lot to learn, each day brings fresh challenges with it, but I have made a lot of contacts and there is always someone to help and point you in the right direction.
- What are your major strengths?
My major strengths are my forward thinking, organisational skills, being able to converse with people from all walks of life and my willingness to help people.
- What are your major weaknesses?
My weakness is that I would quite often push my own ideas on to people, I have learned to kerb this problem and let people bring their own thoughts and ideas forward.
- What is more important, to fix a street light or to install a park bench, and why?
To fix a street light because of the safety aspect of being in the dark.
- What experience do you have in securing funding?
I have previously raised £140.000 to install a children's play area in Nash Peake Street. I have also done grant net training and worked with the Councils external funding team.
- 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 am in the process of setting up a blog at the moment and have every intention which will give me the opportunity to communicate with my constituents.
- What green initiatives do you think can benefit all in the ward?
We need to look at increased recycling for terraced properties. We must educate our children to look after the world to ensure a greener world for their children.
- Which members of the community are your priority?
I look upon all of them as my major concern.
Questions by Matt Burke, Bankeyfields
- Will you fight the officers of the council and return the power back to its rightful place (in the hands of the councillor)?
I would hope to work with the officers and not too fight them, if in the past I have not agreed with what an officer has done or what they were going to do I have managed to work with them to come to a mutual agreement. I have never found it helpful to alienate people.
- Will you take steps to have the 106 money (with acrued interest) returned to its rightfull owners. The area that it was designated for? Yes
- Who will be your priority your party, your voters, or the council?
My priority would be the people whether or not they have voted for me and The City as a whole.
- Will you serve the voters irrespective of political beliefs?
Yes, I already do.
Questions by Terry Cope, Tunstall, Greenfields
- What are your connection to this ward, why have you chosen to represent this ward?
I live here and want to make this a better place to live in for not only myself but also for my constituents.
Question by Ian Norris, Tunstall
- What power have you got ? I have as much power as any other Councillor and I use this for the good of the community
- Where did it come from ? From the voters
- In whose interest do you use it ?
For the community and the city
- To whom are you accountable ?
To the voters
- How do we get rid of you ?
You vote me out in four years time.
Questions by Mick Williams, The Internet
- How will you communicate what you plan to do / have done with us?
By a weekly blog and via resident association meetings.
- How will you engage the electorate?
Resident association meetings, surgeries and I am always at the end of a phone.
- Where do you see the line being drawn between the community solving their problems and the local government doing it?
It has no relevance where I think the line should be drawn it is down to the individuals that I work with where they want to draw the line.
- What are your views on a Big Society?
As this project is in its infancy stage I would hesitate to make a view without having had the opportunity to work on it. My first thoughts are if we are willing to take control of our areas it could work.
Questions by Lawrence, Bankeyfields
- 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?
1,2 & 3.Our regeneration Department already has tools in place to generate business into The City
I have checked out that The Council is going about it correctly by speaking to the
current Property Operational Manager of British Airways who looked into coming into Stoke-on-Trent when he was Head of Property Management for O2.
He said that Stoke-on-Trent has good dermalogics and is ideally logistically placed for business's
to locate to and that our Regeneration Department is doing all the right things.
My role as a Councillor is to make the area more presentable so businesses looking into
coming into the area wont be put off by any environmental issues.
As stated earlier I hope to carry on working with The Regeneration Dept. for such an end.
Questions by Andy, Bankeyfields
I also saw a question regarding AIT.
I recently had a long conversation with The Assistant Director for Neighbourhood Engagement
and Partnerships. There is to be a bespoke service for all areas, if a service is needed it
will be placed in the relevant community. I cant go into to much detail at the moment because
things are yet to be finalised, but everything should be in place immediately after the
elections for Councillors to access. What I will say is that it sounded very exciting and
should it work it will make our communities a much better place to work.