We’re now less than four weeks away from polling day and I’ve been steadily working through my to-do list. The most critical item this week was a visit on Tuesday to the Electoral Services team at the Guildhall, to submit my nomination form and its associated paperwork. I was honoured to have as my proposer this year Geoff Heathcock, who stepped down as our County Councillor in 2013 after 30 years of service to Queen Edith’s.
The full list of candidates standing was announced after nominations closed and as you’ve probably seen there were a couple of surprises. Firstly, Queen Edith’s has 14 candidates standing for the City Council, the most of any ward in the whole city. There are three candidates each from the four traditional parties, plus two Independents in the shape of me and also Al Dixon. I’m really pleased to see another non-party-political candidate; it’s definitely an idea whose idea has come and there’s plenty of evidence from Flatpack Democracy and others about the difference Independents can make.
Meanwhile it’s all change among the parties: our current councillors Amanda Taylor and Colin McGerty aren’t standing again, in addition to George Pippas having retired early last summer. This means that the only political party City Council candidate who has even run for election in the ward before is Jenny Page-Croft.
There’s a link below to the Queen Edith’s Community Forum’s videos from the other candidates. It looks like we will be welcoming a lot of newcomers to the streets of Queen Edith’s in the next couple of weeks!
As I can’t be out door-knocking, I’m in the swing of posting some content every night on Facebook and Twitter to respond to questions I’ve been asked and to illustrate the core themes of my campaign. Topics I’ve covered this week include:
- How residents on new ‘urban fringe’ developments such as Ninewells have been let down by such basic issues as lack of community infrastructure and insecure bike storage leading to persistent thefts. We have to do better on the forthcoming GB1/2 (Wort’s Causeway) estates and any other sites which come forward in the next Local Plan;
- How placing greater value of detailed grassroots evidence collection enables local knowledge to be used as an input to council decision-making;
- How Joy’s Garden on Baldock Way demonstrates that a sense of local agency can unleash creative uses of shared spaces and work miracles in bringing people together;
- How we desperately need more joined-up thinking if Queen Edith’s is going to achieve its full potential as a liveable neighbourhood where we can all flourish.
If you haven’t already spotted these social media posts, please do keep an eye out and let me know what you think. I’ve also included this week’s videos below.
The coming week’s activities will include getting more garden boards up in the neighbourhood. Thank you to everyone who’s offered to host one, I really appreciate such a public demonstration of support. I will also be back on the leaflet trail again…
Finally, I wanted to point out that, as part of its ongoing campaign to promote interest in local democracy, the Queen Edith’s Community Forum is hosting videos from candidates and will also be providing profiles of all 14 candidates in the next Queen Edith’s magazine, due out in a week or so. It’s also organised an online conversation with Ben Hatton, Local Democracy Reporter for the Cambridge News and Cambridge Independent next Thursday, chaired by local political blogger Antony Carpen. To receive an email reminder on the day with details of how to watch, please click here.
Wishing you a safe and happy week, and hopefully a bit warmer too!
New videos to watch
…discussing the attention to detail needed to create new communities, and how an independent Queen Edith’s city councillor can take on that role for residents.
…how the community can build special things like Joy’s Garden, and how I will be looking for more such opportunities if elected as your City Councillor.
…looking at the spate of bike thefts across the area, and how the community and Council need to work more closely with police and infrastructure developers to investigate and design out these problems.
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