At the recent hustings in the Datchet, Colnbrook, Horton and Wraysbury area, Fr. Darcy Chesterfield-Terry asked me three questions. Here are my responses, with a tad more explanation.
1 & 2 Who are you and, what motivates you to be a member of parliament?
Helping people and community is something I’ve always ben moved to do;
- As a teenager: helping my local immigrant community: arranging social events, day trips to the beach and, sporting events for al age groups
- At University: Working with Christian organisations, discovering my love for children in care work (O.K. play)
- On into Adulthood: Serving my community in St. Paul’s Church in Slough, and later in Windsor for West Windsor Residents Association; delivering meals on wheels, teaching in Sunday school, training teens, organising community events & litter picks, creating the WWRA’s community website and social media and, as a Councillor tackling issues on behalf of residents, even when they got me into trouble!
I gained a number of skill sets along the way professionally which help
- A passion for DNA, living organisms and the natural world – school
- Learning how to research, review and analyse data like a scientist at University
- When I moved into accountancy (FCCA), tax and sound financial management became my forte, working for a CAC40 company in the waste management sector.
- As a qualified Corporate Treasurer (AMCT) skills to identify risks and call on networks to create innovative solutions to protect my employer from those risks
- On into education after a sad divorce coaching & leading young adults Biology & Chemistry to IB level and creating at Slough Grammar Schools’ DofE programme.
- In business growing my own accountancy practice, helping small businesses and ordinary tax payers achieve the best outcomes they could.
My motivation remained unchanged, to help people and, to add value with the skills I have and continue to develop
I married community midwife Carole in 2010 and, between us we have 5 adorable children, one gorgeous grandson, 2 doggies and around 200,000 bees.
3. What are your political ambitions?
I became a Councillor in 2014 quite by accident. As the Chairman of the West Windsor Residents Association fighting against a dubious decision by Councillors to overdevelop a local site, unexpectedly, our much loved local Councillor, Cynthia Endacott died.
As a good Chairman, I made a short list of suitable candidate to try and fill Cynthia’s inestimable shoes and, went to interview each. They all declined.
Faced with the thought of West Windsor losing its Independent representatives, with the backing of local people, I stood for election and won.
Part of my Councillor duties involve me being member of the following influential panels;
- Windsor Area planning panel
- Borough Wide planning panel
- Pension fund panel
- Infrastructure panel
- Climate change panel: Deputy Chair
Given the seriousness of the issues, as a member of RBWM’s Climate Change panel I have spent a lot of time meeting, networking and listening to professors and scientists, leading UK climate change practitioners and, local action groups.
As a result, I have created a series of funded opportunities for RBWM where the University of Reading and Natural England and Defra will come in and help us with research, create Citizen Assemblies, and help us improve our Land Use and planning processes, and creating a Citizen Science, mass data gathering exercise involving the public, to get the data we need to make better decisions.
As founder member of Plastic Free Windsor I helped also create last years very successful Plastic Free Christmas Fayre, which brought together local people looking for ways to become increasingly plastic free.
I have a track record of collaborating with people and experts to inform residents, empower people and to create the solutions we need to address the pressing issues we are facing.
The penny drops
It’s been a long apprenticeship and hard work, but through it you begin to understand the issues that you can work within and those that need changing at a national level – hence this campaign – by the people and for the people – people’s manifesto
But through it all, my motivation hasn’t changed: Helping people and community but, with increasing skill sets, abilities and harnessing a wider network; you.
My campaign is about representing you;
- Meeting with you, Doing life with you
- Fighting for you
- Giving you a direct say in parliament
- Taking up the issues that you have asked me to, which serve you and your well being;
But my motivation is still the same to help people and, to add value with the skills I have and continue to develop
I hope you found this a useful insight into why you should vote for mew on 12 December 2019.