1) What do you plan on doing for the people of Andover?
No response received yet.
2) What have you done for the people of Andover?
No response received yet.
3) Why should people vote for you?
No response received yet.
Statement from Ross Fifield
On May 2nd, residents in Millway and Winton will have the opportunity to choose who represents their view to the Council for the next four years. I am focused on representing your views to the Council, not the other way round. There has been a distinct lack of engagement with residents and I will use my allowance to stay in touch with residents to a much higher degree.
We need to urgently address the poor economic state of the High Street in Andover. Until our officials have more direct control of rents and business terms, the High Street will remain over-saturated with businesses which churn money through the economy, such as betting shops, charity shops and pawnbrokers and independent businesses who provide quality goods and skilled services will find it nearly impossible to establish a fresh foothold and offer business growth.
Moreover, Andover does not support it’s unique selling points well enough. We are a market town and all too frequently, shoppers shop and migrate out of town, rather than being attracted into our High Street. There has been some talk of having pop up stalls for market traders, offering cheaper parking and promoting the town, but such an approach is too small, has offered very narrow practical engagement and won’t deliver hundreds of jobs and new businesses into the area. The sentiment behind such schemes is laudable, but nowhere near the scale required to effect meaningful change. We need to think bigger, consult more widely and attract capital investment at all levels of Government.
I would support projects such as the installation of a large indoor market, Council owned and agent-managed which will enable new and existing businesses to operate from cheap premises, offer new employment opportunities and provide business and enterprises space in which to grow and develop. Excess revenues can then be prioritised towards local apprenticeship schemes and small business grants and allow the Town Centre to grow and compete with all of the businesses on retail parks on the edge of town.
Youth Services and the Arts have all been cut in recent years and without investment and support, new talent will not be given the opportunity to practice, perform and achieve professional success. Tomorrow’s artists and entrepreneurs will simply move away once they leave the education system.
Highways maintenance is approached with a slap-dash, quick-fix mentality. Potholes appear after one sharp frost and it raises questions as to whether ‘cheapest’ really is ‘best’. As your Councillor I will be able to examine the Council’s tendering processes for highway maintenance, get clear answers and provide greater scrutiny over whether the Councils arrangements offer true value for money.
It is often said that you can measure a society by how well it treats its weak, sick and infirm and the County Council looks after the social care budget. Having had direct contact with workers who are on zero hour contracts, they are put in the impossible position of offering the most meagre of care under the harshest of budgets. I will seek to change this and offer our families the care and support they deserve, when they are at their most vulnerable.
I have had a successful career in business working for both local firms and as an independent IT consultant. This experience gives me a practical understanding of the challenges which businesses and professionals face in the town and crucially, how to overcome the barriers which hard-working families regularly face. I now work as a manager for a local IT business and we regularly support young people with an interest in IT by offering apprenticeships and work experience.
I have also worked for a busy Hampshire MP as a caseworker, dealing with many of the problems which constituents can bring to their elected representative. This can range from everyday issues such as poor local services or tax concerns all the way through to sometimes extremely serious situations such as homelessness, family crisis or problems when someone ‘falls through the safety net’ and is in real trouble. I can also bring professional campaigning experience to residents, having worked professionally for two Council groups.
As your County Councillor, I will make myself available for individual appointments so that constituents can raise individual problems with me, I will host regular public events so that I can feed back to you what’s going on in the Council and more importantly, listen to what your priorities are and deliver them. If there is one quality I can offer residents, it is this – I will always listen and prioritise your ideas over my own. Residents can get in touch with me through my website to raise or discuss any issues with me on a one to one basis: http://rossfifield.mycouncillor.org.uk