The first-ever independent city council candidate for Queen Edith's ward.
2 May 2019.
Few people in Queen Edith's realise what's about to hit us. There's about to be a huge step up in the traffic going to and from Addenbrooke's and the Biomedical Campus. There are developers hoping to build massive estates in the Green Belt just outside the ward. But our councillors, who are supposed to be in control of all this, are tied up with their political party policies.
Nobody is allowed to say what needs to be said.
That's why I've decided to stand to be our city councillor for Queen Edith's. The party politicians haven't been able to act on our behalf, so let me show you how an independent voice can make a real difference. I have backing from former active members of the major political parties, who know what's needed.
More than you'd expect. I'd be free to tell the council and the developers how it is. As a resident, I already put questions to those in charge of planning and transport. As a councillor, they'd have to listen. And - more importantly - give us answers.
Below are some of the things I'll do as our independent councillor for Queen Edith's. If you like them, and if you think this is the one time when the area needs a voice from outside the party political system, please vote for Sam Davies (Independent) on 2 May.
I promise that I'll take the best ideas from local people to the council and to the various official bodies who are completely changing the area where we live. I will hold regular open meetings for all residents to join in. I'll be trying to get much more investment in the area from all of the development money available, and you'll get a say in where it's spent. There'll be frequent updates by email, on social media and in open meetings.
The commuter transport schemes and the housing being dumped on us can't be stopped. But as an independent councillor, I can ensure all the players talk to each other and never ignore their responsibility to the neighbourhood. I want to create a 'Residential Impact Test' for development on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, so they're aware of how anything they do affects us. And I want to ensure better footpaths and bike routes for us so we can get out into the countryside and away from the chaos!
I want changes to Queen Edith's which will improve our lives. Let’s invest in Wulfstan Way shopping parade and make it an attractive local centre. Let's talk to the developers of the sites on Wort’s Causeway, without the baggage of party policy. Let's ensure we get our fair share of developer community funding, rather than channeling it to the areas of the city where a party gets the most votes. Let's have the thoughts of Queen Edith's people, not any one party's agreed policy, influencing the next Local Plan.
I've lived in Cambridge for 30 years, 20 of those in Queen Edith's. I've seen Cambridge from lots of different angles over that period - as a student, as a worker in the tech sector, as a parent and as a volunteer in our local community. Through those experiences I've seen the both good and the less good sides of Cambridge's rapid growth, and how - as a city - we are struggling to manage the impacts of what's going on. And nowhere is experiencing that pain more directly than Queen Edith's.
That knowledge has prompted two decisions in my own life.
The first was to go back to university, in 2017, to study how development and rapid growth are handled in other places across the world. I want to understand what best practice looks like and how it is achieved, rather than just muddling through. I'm now part-way through an MSc in Sustainable Urbanism at UCL, which I love.
The second decision is this one: to stand for election as a city councillor. I want to use my knowledge and my enthusiasm to create the best possible outcome for Queen Edith's, and to make sure that whatever gets done is done with us, not to us.
If you support that aspiration, get in touch with your ideas. And please vote for me on 2nd May.
We can do this together - but only with your help. Vote for Sam Davies (Independent) on 2 May and add an independent voice for Queen Edith's to the City Council. Ask me anything.