Title: Lead Member for Communities and Safety
Division: Wealden East
Parish: Heathfield & Waldron ; Herstmonceux ; Hooe ; Horam ; Ninfield ; Warbleton ; Wartling
Swallow Brook House
15 Sandbanks Close
Phone: 01323 847685
Mobile: 07961 833 163
Representing my community is a challenge and an honour.
I believe my political role works in parallel with my role in the community, which is to enable residents to contribute to the community and to give them a greater range of personal choice for themselves and their families.
I think politics provides us with guiding principles and objectives for forming our policies and that our decisions as councillors should be practical, achievable and affordable.
I represent a town and rural villages, all of which need investment and regeneration. We need better road and rail links, expanded health facilities, and schools and shops but most of all we need opportunity.
We need to build communities that feel safe and confident in their own homes and on the streets.
We also need to create a society that acknowledges and rewards the responsibility, good conduct and achievements of the majority of our young people.
But how did I get here?
I’ve always been involved in politics, but before being a councillor I was more in the background as I was busy with my career. I used to have a community care business and I also owned a shop. When I retired at 37, I had more time to be a councillor.
Being a councillor is a people business – the politics goes away the day after the election and we all get on with helping people.
Now I really want to devote as much time as possible to it – I’m not the type of man to just get the toes of my wellies wet: the water comes right in over the top.
I find the everyday work that doesn’t get reported in the news to be the most rewarding – it’s the small changes that make big differences.
I think it’s important for any councillor to get to know their area. You should find out about the people who live there and what they want, their likes and dislikes, and their needs.
Looking after children is especially close to my heart so I’m most proud that I’ve helped to approve more than 50 different foster carers.
The hardest part of being a councillor is learning the corporate elements of the role and explaining these to people. Residents often only see the big issues or big numbers – for example council tax bills– but there’s a lot more to being a councillor than that.
My home life
I’m married with five children (this includes twins). They’re all grown up now.
My spare time
I support Hailsham United FC and I’m a Formula One fanatic.