FAO Colin Tosh at email@example.com
Candidate's supporting statement
I am delighted to be standing as councillor in Boldon Colliery. I live in Boldon with my wife and two young kids who attend the local infant school and nursery and I’m a Biology Lecturer at Newcastle University. I’m not from the North East originally (I’m Scottish) but I have lived in Boldon for quite a few years and I am settled here.
In the long term the South Tyneside Green Party aims to create a thriving South Tyneside through the promotion of small business, strong public health and transport services, the creation of a living wage that all workers can live on, and protection and expansion of the Borough’s green spaces. In the short term my aims are more modest. We recently did an extensive door-to-door survey round South Tyneside and found that the top issues residents have are litter and the decline of local small business, such as shops. My immediate priorities, therefore, will be in these areas. We have already started dealing with the litter issue by holding a number of community litter picks in the borough. I will fight to allocate more council litter pickers to our ward but given the dramatic cuts to Council budgets it may be necessary to supplement this with community litter picks. We have built up a network of community volunteers that will allow us to do this.
Regarding small business, we feel that the current Labour Council’s approach to developing South Tyneside through attempting to attract large national and multinational businesses to the borough is ineffective. An example of this was the acquisition by the council early 2016 of a Shields town centre property intended for development into a supermarket only to have developers pull out leaving the land unused and the council out of pocket. My focus will be on promoting small business as small business makes up 99% of business in the UK and drives the economy. We recently carried out a borough-wide survey of ideas to help small business, and popular ideas included: redeveloping properties above shops, taxing large supermarkets to develop small business, and purchasing of key small business properties by the Council to develop small business. Obviously, if you decide you want me as your councillor, I will need to sit down with officers in the Council to assess the feasibility of these ideas, but you can be assured that my focus will be on small, not big, business.
More generally my role in the Council will be to provide effective opposition. On many issues, Labour councillors appear to be voting simply on the advice of senior councillors without giving serious thought to the issues involved or taking opinion from ward residents. This has got to stop. It will be my job to ensure that debates are drawn out and Labour councillors are made fully aware of the issues surrounding all motions. Do you know your councillor and do you see them often? We suspect not and this also has to stop. I will be accessible to residents.
Vote Green in 2016.