These are a number of questions I’ve been asked via social media, email or at candidate events.

What are your thoughts on the landfill?

The community has spoken strongly (95% support for closure in 2022).
The expensive report clearly recommends it’s closure.
Crucially the landfill is still not compliant.

We need to stop talking about it and make the ONLY logical decision NOW to permanently close the landfill ASAP, begin work on mitigating it’s environmental impacts both current and historic and make a plan on how to deal with our districts future waste (sending it to another district only shifts the problem to our neighbouring regions).

What are your thoughts on the Three Waters Reform?

I’m pretty keen to see the select committee report in November on the bill, which will hopefully have some much needed amendments.

But the reality is that the Government are likely going to push it through in some shape or form regardless and as much as we might like them to, local government don’t have the power to prevent that one bit.

The way I see it, it’s coming even if we don’t like it, so we should probably figure out how we can get the best deal out of it when it does, to ensure reduced costs, better water quality and that it can’t be privatised.

I’m certainly not under any illusion that the proposed Three Waters Reform is a great solution as it stands – But neither is our current system, which is clear to everyone and especially myself first hand having worked inside our treatment facilities and dealing with Civil Defence emergencies relating to them.

We don’t have the funds to fix the historic under investment, the Alliance contract isn’t good value for money and things are only getting worse.

Our people deserve sufficient clean water all year round, capable environmentally safe disposal of waste water and storm water management to prevent flooding in severe weather events.

If council had the power to make the decision here, the question of supporting it or not would be far more relevant… But it’s a central government decision, it’s coming regardless and we need to start working on what that means for us (while continuing to advocate to central government for revisions and improvements to make the reform work properly).

COVID/Vaccines/Mandates etc

I’m vaccinated (along with 92.40% of people in our district), fully boosted and not a VFF supporter. If you’re after a strong anti-vax voice on council, I’m not your guy.

I do value bodily autonomy, and I don’t want to see anyone left out of our community, based on their choices around this.

I would have found it very hard to vote in favour of requiring vaccine passes to enter council’s main office, as this comes close to impeding democracy, especially as this building is used as a voting place.

But most importantly, I’m running for local government, which doesn’t have the power to make public health orders. If you would like to see those handled differently I’d recommend talking to your local MP and asking these questions during the next general election.

Authorised by Rogan Boyle, 020 4109 6108