I’m delighted to confirm today that I will be standing for election as an Independent candidate for Queen Edith’s in the City Council elections on 6 May 2021.
When I stood in 2019, I said it is critically important that our neighbourhood’s representative is able to speak up for our community’s interests without the compromises that inevitably come with adhering to wider party-political loyalties. By standing as an Independent, I can make sure my absolute focus is on Queen Edith’s and I can push hard on getting outcomes which work for us.
Residents should be able to expect regular, non-partisan updates on the issues which affect our area, and meaningful ways of shaping the future of our neighbourhood. This is vital given the considerable number of new housing, employment and transport schemes proposed locally. As our councillor I will be constantly talking with – and listening to – other residents, so we can open up the process of reaching those big decisions and make sure all our voices get heard by the decision makers at the City Council, the County Council, the Greater Cambridge Partnership or elsewhere. I will also be proactive in following up when commitments which have been made are repeatedly broken to the detriment of local people – for example, the long-awaited replacement of Nightingale Pavilion.
I know that people care passionately about this area. Queen Edith’s has on occasion had the highest voter turnout rates in the county and I’m confident there’s an appetite for greater involvement if people are offered the chance. We’ve seen over the last year the amazing things that we can achieve when we bring together all our strengths for the greater good, so I’m keen to implement innovative ideas which will foster that instinct, such as participatory budgeting; local seed funding for grassroots projects; and developing a community-led vision for a ‘Green Queen Edith’s’. Theory and experience both tell me that things work best when they are done with people, rather than to them or for them.
My first campaign leaflet will be coming through your letterbox in the next couple of days, and there will be plenty more opportunities in the weeks ahead to talk through your priorities and how I will address them. Given the present public health risk, I will not be coming round door-knocking, but you can reach me at any time by:
Phone 01223 756568
I believe we have the opportunity to do something very special in Queen Edith’s in 2021 – to indicate clearly and decisively that we are ready to start a new chapter, based on consistent two-way communication; widespread participation; and effective advocacy of our local priorities. If you’d like to support me in achieving this, I’d love to hear from you.
You can read my initial campaign literature here. If you want to hear more, just add your name to the email updates request box on this page. You’ll just get an email whenever there’s something new here, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
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Does this mean you will be standing down as Chair of the Community Forum, given that it remains a non-political body showing no favour to any political groups, including, presumably, Independents?
Hi John – thanks for asking. As you’ll be aware, there are plenty of precedents for councillors also being actively involved in local residents/community groups – for example, Cllr Baigent chairs Over Mill Road Bridge; Cllr Ashton chairs Cherry Hinton Residents Association and Cllrs Dryden and McPherson are on the committee; Cllr Massey is a Trustee of Abbey People. I guess it’s a reflection of the fact that local politics and community activism are all fishing in what is sadly a relatively small pool for people to get involved (something I hope to change). I trust the QECF team to remain impartial at all times when representing the Forum in terms of election-related previews/events *as has always been the case* and of course I will not be involved in organising any of that. I’d also note in passing that Over Mill Road Bridge has as its slogan “Campaigning for the Many” which could easily be interpreted as having party political overtones, whereas QECF is not a campaigning organisation. I hope that explains my position. Sam