As a Green councillor I will be an independent voice holding the Conservatives to account for decisions affecting the quality of life in Crowborough. Crucial to that is ensuring the natural habitat of Ashdown Forest and other green space is protected from further damage by inappropriate human use and development, as it is vital to the physical and mental well-being of local people. Crowborough is a densely populated town, with significant problems associated with high vehicle use such as air quality, needing policies that improve accessibility for people on foot and using carbon free public transport.
As a retired teacher and social care worker I am used to hard work and getting the best possible outcomes in challenging circumstances. I have high expectations of others and myself and take the long view when assessing options yet focus on the small ways positive changes can be made to improve a situation. Having lived in nearby Nutley for 7 years I have spent much time in Crowborough and seen the impact development and road use is having on people’s quality of life.
I reject a narrow concept of ‘value for money’ in relation to county council services because it ignores the value of the benefits provided. Good quality benefits inevitably cost more than poor quality ones, but limitless money is not available so there needs to be a new audit system to balance out these considerations rather than the current obsessionwith low taxation.
Key to accountability to people in Crowborough is to LISTEN, INVESTIGATE & RESPOND to concerns raised. As councillor I will be accessible by phone and email and create and maintain a regular newsletter to residents plus use platforms like Crowborough Life and Parish magazines to communicate.
My 3 main priorities as a County Councillor are:
1. To ensure all decisions made by the council prevent increases in CO2 emissions and the
exacerbation of the climate crisis and degradation of the natural environment. The council must
set an emissions target of 68% reduction on 1990 levels by 2030.
2. To focus on securing adequate funding for social care to ensure the obvious growing need is
responded to with provision by properly paid, highly skilled and well trained and supported staff
employed by professionally accountable organisations.
3. To push for education services that meet the needs of children in a rapidly changing world. This
requires smaller classes (more teachers) in better-ventilated teaching and learning spaces and a
curriculum that develops emotional well-being and critical thinking as well as academic progress.