1) What do you plan on doing for the people of Andover?
- Try to get the rates for local businesses reduced; empty shops don’t bring in any money for local services and create a vicious circle of decline.
- Work for lower parking charges in the town, so there will be more customers for the shops, thus creating a virtuous circle the other way.
- Always seek to remind the council whose money it is they are spending. HCC voted in favour of spending approx. £ 250,000 making council meetingsavailable live on the internet for a handful of viewers, while stopping the Neighbourcare grant of around £ 80,000. It seems a rather strange set of priorities to me.I would seek the re-introduction of this Neighbourcare grant.
- Seek the re-introduction of police cells at Andover Police Station; there cannot be a genuine ‘saving’ in sending arrested people to Basingstoke, accompanied by two Police cars! It cannot improve the security of ordinary people in Andover, quite possibly creating a tendency for the Police only to arrest people as an absolute last resort.
- Seek to reduce the salaries of the senior officers of Hampshire County Council; it seems a bit odd that most of them are on salaries greater than the prime minister!
- Seek to reduce the councillors’ allowances by 50%; it is council tax payers’ money that is being used for this after all.
- Highlight the effect of European Union regulation at a local level, to show how much it is costing us and how there would be more money for local services / scope for council tax cuts if such regulation didn’t exist in the first place.
- Seek the introduction of binding referenda at a local level, to give the people more say in how their money is spent, rather like the model in Switzerland.
- Conduct a review of all the kinds of employment ‘offered’ by Hampshire County Council, asking, in these times of austerity, whether there are some posts which are not really necessary, particularly by looking at abolishing non-essential politically correct services or questioning whether councils need to publish their own expensive glossy magazines/newspapers, telling us how wonderful they are, for example.
2) What have you done for the people of Andover?
I have not done any very grand things for the people of Andover apart from running a Folk Music Club at the Crook and Shears (Upper Clatford) and later at the Eagle, Abbotts Ann for a few years.
I also organised and sponsored skittle and folk music nights for visiting archaeologists/students involved in the various summer digs that have taken place over the years in and around Andover (eg Danebury / Bury Hill etc). These digs were organised by Professor Barry Cunliffe of Oxford University and a lot of their work is on display at the Andover Iron Age Museum. About half of the diggers were from abroad and would have had little chance of experiencing such ‘English’ events without local contacts. I wanted to do my bit to make them feel welcome and many of them shared songs and experiences from their home countries, and great fun was had by all. I did this for about three years at school summer holiday time, usually doing a couple of events each season at such diverse places as the Eagle, Abbotts Ann, the Crook & Shears, Upper Clatford and the now defunct Wellington Inn in Andover.
3) Why should people vote for you?
Councillors from UKIP are free to follow the best interests of their constituents. This means that I would not have to just toe the party line as other parties expect their councillors to do.
Furthermore, as I speak a number of foreign languages, I would also be able to help out, if required, local residents whose first language was not English.