Monday, 20 February 2012

Introducing .. Your Conservative Candidate

Paul Redding - Candidate on 1st March
As promised last week, three of the four candidates in the Shamblehurst Ward by-election on March 1st have agreed to speak to the voters through the pages of Hedge End Blogger.  They have all been asked the same four fairly simple questions and have been invited to make a short statement.  I'd like to thank them all for taking the time to do this and having the imagination to realise that the internet is a valid vehicle for electioneering.

Paul Redding is standing for the Conservatives and has provided the following answers to Hedge End Blogger's questions:

1. What do you think of the way that Hedge End has changed and developed in recent years?

Hedge End has grown and developed in recent years. A huge increase in population due to housing development has taken Hedge End from a small village into a Town. Not only are there more houses but there are retail parks, office parks, new schools and more public amenity facilities. I believe that this growth has been sustainable; the old and new seem to co-exist very well, however, even more housing development could erode Hedge End’s identity. Many of the local people I talk to do not want to see more large-scale development. They want to retain the strategic gaps between our communities and protect our green open spaces for future generations to enjoy. They do not want to see Hedge End merge into a larger conurbation of urban sprawl and neither do I.

2. How would you like to see it change and develop in the future?

Lib-Dem-controlled Eastleigh Borough Council is planning to build 9,400 houses in the borough. Whilst some housing is needed, overdevelopment would be catastrophic for the Hedge End community. I am opposing the build of 1,000 houses in woodhouse Lane (a green field area).

I am also opposed to the Borough Council’s plans to build 4,700 of the 9,400 homes planned on Greenfield sites including 1,000 houses at Woodhouse Lane. An increase of 9,400 houses across the borough will affect us all and could alter the character of our areas forever.

I believe that new housing should be built on brownfield sites where possible and that any new development must be sustainable; the necessary infrastructure (school, roads, healthcare services, employment, sewerage systems etc.) must be in place BEFORE the homes are built.

Hedge End has a strong community spirit and demand for new facilities will change in the coming years to cater for both an increasingly older population and new young families. Some of the ideas I’ve heard from people include:

  • Multiscreen Cinema
  • Bingo Hall
  • Night Club
  • Tenpin Bowling Alley
  • Sports Complex
New facilities will create jobs for local people and enhance the local economy.

3. What qualities and experience will you bring to the Town Council?

I would bring the ability to listen and communicate at all levels. People tell me that I have an ability to look at issues objectively and from every angle. I have already helped a number of people and ran a successful campaign on behalf of residents against inappropriate development in the area I used to live in. In fact that was when I first realised what can be achieved by local people when they get involved in local issues. Of course, I am a Conservative who believes that local decisions should be taken at a local level; by local people, for local people. To be elected to the Town Council as a Conservative would start to redress the political imbalance which currently exists and I will be determined to ensure that real debate and democracy prevails on the Town Council and that the Council is seen to be accountable for the decisions it makes.

 4. What would your priorities be for Hedge End and Shamblehurst ward in particular?

Well, it’s not really about my priorities; it’s more about your priorities. If elected, my duty as a Town Councillor will be to represent your views and pursue your priorities. Having said that, as a local resident and having listened to local people, I would say that helping to set up no cold calling zones in the area would make a real difference to many residents. Like many parts of Hedge End, introducing measures to curb inconsiderate driving and parking will also be a priority. Above all, I want to see your taxes spent as wisely as possible, not frittered away on schemes you neither need nor want.

5. Is there anything else you would like to say to your potential voters? 

The balance of power and decision-making across both the Town and Borough Councils is dominated by one political party the (Liberal Democrats). That is not healthy! True Democracy does not currently exist because of this; you can change that by voting for me on March 1st (you do not need your polling card to vote). My InTouch leaflet will be delivered to you soon expressing more good reasons why you should tick the box for Paul Redding. Please feel free to get in touch with any concerns you may have and let me know of any ways I can help.

If you have already used a postal vote to vote for me, may I thank you for your belief in me. I promise to serve you to the fullest of my ability should I be elected.

Tel: 01489 783715

Paul has also sent a copy of his election leaflet which you can read here.

1 comment:

  1. Good to see a Conservative standing at last! In fact good to see anyone who's not A LibDem standing! I'm not againt the yellows actually but I am against unhealthy majorities - it just doesn't encourage debate and democracy in local decision-making.