Brentwood Conservatives released their manifesto yesterday. A manifesto setting out the actions they will take if elected. I thought it was worth a read and recording some thoughts that I have.
My review the document can be broadly split into five headings.
1 - Deafening silence on certain matters
A resident in Brentwood South, living near Running Waters, contacted Liberal Democrats candidate Brenner Munden to report broken paving slabs on the Running Waters footpath.
Brenner went down to the footpath straight away and what he found were broken and/or raised slabs. It became clear that this was incredibly dangerous as it would be easy for anyone to trip up the raised slabs or step and fall on a cracked and moving piece of concrete. Many elderly residents that use this footpath were unnecessarily taking a risk by walking down the path and potentially falling and hurting themselves because of the path defects. But it soon became clear how impossible it would be pushing a pram or using a wheelchair down the path without get stuck or causing damage.
Previously when asked why I vote, my response has always been along the lines of 'well if you don't vote you don't have a right to complain when things go wrong.' This strikes me now as a very negative way of looking at voting. My revised answer is that by voting in the election you can support a candidate who will represent your views and can influence the policy issues you care about. An election is also your chance to speak out if you have a complaint about the way the Parish/Borough/District/Country is being run. Voting is not the only way to participate but it's the quickest and easiest way. If you don't vote, you'll have had no say over who will be making decisions on the issues important to you.
The Brentwood Liberal Democrat Group is saddened to learn of the death of HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, and offer their condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family.
He was the longest living Consort to a Monarch, outspoken, often controversial, but a stalwart supporter of the Monarchy, the Queen and his family.
Local campaigner Hugh Gorton will be our candidate for Brizes & Doddinghurst ward.
After retirement from a career as a pharmaceutical scientist Hugh has taken the opportunity to become more involved in the local community. He is a Parish Councillor and has taken action on a number of local issues already. He has stood for the Lib Dems in Brizes and Doddinghurst in the last two Borough elections and is in a strong position to win this year,.
Local elections are once again just around the corner, and just like any other election it is important for individuals to use their right to vote. However the country is entering a new age post Brexit and Post Covid, and no matter what your opinions are on how each event was dealt with, the local elections and any future elections can be used to voice your views and have a say on if you are happy or not.
Last month I wrote about the importance of Libraries to local communities. You can see that article HERE.
I'm sure that everyone in Brentwood and Essex will be aware of the battles fought by library campaigners across the County when the Conservatives threatened the Library service back in 2018/19. In Shenfield the story has, in some respects, moved on significantly. There is a planning application, welcomed in theory, lodged for the redevelopment of the Shenfield Library site to include a library service. Where we haven't moved on from is the long-term future of a library service in Shenfield. Whilst there is shown a library in the plans there is nothing in writing stating that there will be a library service in Shenfield after the new building opens from 2024 onwards.
Pilgrims Hatch Lib Dem councillors David Kendall, Barry Aspinell and Vicky Davies were contacted by concerned residents that a communal walkway to the rear of their properties was locked and bolted by a newly installed resident.
This communal walkway acts as a fire escape as well as the only access to the rear gardens of these particular properties.
Gary MacDonnell, candidate for Shenfield councillor 2021, and Cllr Andy Fryd decided that despite asking the Council to clear up our play area at Courages, they were not as responsive as they would have liked.
So, Gary and Andy took matters into their own hands, literally, and cleared up the play area ready for use on 'Happy Monday' so our children would be able to use the play equipment free of any litter and tree debris that was strewn