Last year, I didn’t stand for re-election to Colchester Borough Council having represented Castle Ward for eight years. (I wrote about the reasons why I wasn’t standing again here) Since then, I’ve had lots of people asking me if I would stand again in the future, and following lots of requests from many different people, I have decided to stand again this year.
So what changed my mind and got me to put my hat back in the ring this year? For a start, my situation has changed and a lot of the things that were causing me to be under a lot of stress and pressure aren’t there any more. Being a councillor is never going to be an easy role, but it’s a lot simpler to do when there’s not a lot of other stress distracting you from it. Taking a break from being a councillor was something I needed to do last year, and that time away from the council has given me time to think more widely about things and look at some bigger issues in politics. (You can probably tell that if you’ve been reading the blog for the past year or so)
On top of that, I realised that I did miss being a councillor. Yes, there’s stress but there’s also the victories (small and large) you can achieve for the people you represent when you are one. It means that when you see something wrong and think ‘someone needs to do something about that’, you can actually do something about it, and also help other people to get the things they want done as well.
I also want to do my part in making Colchester a better place for everyone and carry on some of the work I was doing before. It’s about working on big things like the funding we got for the Castle, or the recent investment in the Mercury renovation but also the small things like improving on street parking in various streets, making waste collection more effective or just helping residents have their views heard on planning and licensing applications.
I’m standing again because I think Colchester needs a Liberal Democrat council to stand up to the cuts being imposed on us from central government, and to ensure that decisions about Colchester are made here in Colchester, not handed over to Essex County Council. We need a council in Colchester that invests in local services, not one that seeks to cut them or sell them off. Colchester is a great town at the heart of a great borough, and a Liberal Democrat-run council can keep improving it, creating more jobs and opportunities for everyone. I want to be part of that again, making sure that Castle Ward and its residents are fully represented and supported.
And this time next month we’ll see if the voters want to put me back on the council. In the end it’s their decision.