Sunday, 10 May 2015

Turning point

Whilst I think its important to drop political posturing at council and focus on local issues that affect us all like the rest of us I have an opinion on the general election results and for what its worth this is how I see it:

The general election was a resounding success for the Tories both at a national and local level. I cant say that I am  disappointed that certain key national politicians have resigned and that we haven't as a nation ended up with another coalition government as that is really no good for anyone in my opinion.

The media in general got it wrong, personally I feel things have played out pretty much as I expected them to and I know quite a few people I have talked to did not agree with me when I said that UKIP will not see the results that many were expecting both locally and nationally.

The Conservatives have played a good strategy with this election however there is going to be a cost that maybe is already accounted for but maybe not and that is what I see as a bit of a turning point in British politics.

 Over the past decade or so the political pendulum has stopped swinging and settled in the middle with all parties aiming for popularity or the center ground, the pendulum has just started swinging again but the push hasn't come from genuine policy differences but rather from a divisive strategy put into play some while ago just after the Scottish referendum. This was either an extremely clever calculated risk or an inadvertent opportunity that has been capitalized on and that was how Cameron reviewed and delivered his verdict on the Scottish independence vote.

The rise of the SNP within Westminster has now just changed the British Political landscape, either for ever, or for the foreseeable future at least. It has divided the United Kingdom politically by way of cementing the future of further devolution for Scotland with regards to political power. Left wing nationalism or a form of regional identity politics has just moved from a consideration to a main stream part of our national political landscape. It stands to reason that more identity politics will follow from now on.

Its not just Ireland now that has to be recognized within the union as having to have unique political considerations but Scotland as well and I would expect that Wales will be looking towards this result as an indicator that continued efforts at the regionalisation they have already strated will eventually pay dividends in the long run. With Cornwall quietly focusing on regional identity and making moves towards individual recognition the next focus for politicians will be to start considering the English vote and maybe even an English assembly or parliament.

The issue will have to be raised now and regional issues in my opinion will have to be exploited by political parties to keep momentum going. Potentially Labour will have to exploit the so called North South divide in the hope they can secure a future now they have been pushed out of one of their strongholds. Its in  the Tories interests to allow further devolution of power as it keeps the opposition divided and unity at bay. Encouraging regional differences will be key in my opinion to Labour keeping any footholds in the North of England.

Whether this is a good thing for the country as a whole has yet to be seen but personally I see this divisive strategy as a dangerous game, one thing is for sure and that is the threat to the status quo by parties such as UKIP has just been politically eliminated as if the Tories hold true to their word and offer a referendum to the British people in 2017 then the whole reason for UKIP will be finished. At that point they will only have some key issues such as immigration to hold up to the voters and at that point will either have to fall into the BNP replacement party or fold as there will be no need for an alternative conservative party.

The whole concept of political union within the UK has now changed and the chances of a swing back to complete Westminster rule for all "united" kingdoms is slim. Smaller parties that are based on "United" or "British" political union have now had their day and potentially the only way forward in the biggest voting demographic area of the country now can only be a move towards and English assembly or parliament. Maybe even regional assemblies such as we already have in London being expanded into North, East, South and West?

Either way now we might have just reached a turning point in British politics and one that we are unlikely to turn back from. With further regionalisation of the current "union" identity politics in various guises will have to be exploited, in some areas encouraged and in some other quarters discouraged in the process of settlement within the new political landscape.

The problems now facing the government in the new political landscape is the potential rise of English nationalism, be it left or right wing nationalism, left wing nationalism such as we have seen successful within Scotland is a powerful tool to manipulate and control areas with from a governing perspective, but one that is not without its faults, as for the overall government there is the potential to see the generation of what is perceived to be a positive identity based position turn into a negative that needs continual appeasement, we have all seen in modern history appeasement strategies fail with serious consequences.

In the short term we have a new one party government, something the country needs but how it has been achieved could have massive game changing consequences for the future of our islands and political set up. We have voted for the usual five year plan however people seem to overlook the lack of long term forecasting and directions. Never is the long plan discussed, where are we headed as a nation? what is the course we are taking towards say 2025 or 2035?  where is the destination of "progress and change" headed?   What is the long term strategy of Labour, conservatives and so on for the next twenty years? It would make a big difference to voting and outcomes in the long run.

I wouldn't book a cruise without knowing where the boat was headed yet we are happy to set sail with a party that is running the country with the only information given is how they plan to get us to the fist stop. Strange isn't it?

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Thank you

I would like to say a big thank you to everyone that voted for me. I am pleased with the level of support that I received and look at the result as encouraging.
I am not so sure that if there was not a general election at the same time that the result would have been the same but I know now that I have a firm base to build on for the future.

The overall breakdown is pretty much a clean sweep for the conservatives with the exception of one Independent in Hastingwood, Matching and Sheering who won by a very narrow margin but none the less proved that Independents can win even against all the odds.

See the overall district breakdown here 

Looking back at previous results for the High Beech ward in past elections opposition main stream parties have fared poorly in High Beech in fact if you combine their last results together they still do not get anywhere close to the result that I achieved yesterday, in the 2011 results together the Greens and Lib Dems combined achieved just 22%

This time round, including a significantly higher turn out and a general election at the same time the level of support for the incumbent has dropped significantly and just a couple of hundred votes going my way would have made the difference. From the delivery of just one leaflet this is an indicator that things need to change in the future and the existing Councillor has to take on board that a third of the electorate are ready for change and if issues are not addressed then things are not so guaranteed for the future.

However I have to be gracious in defeat and congratulate the conservative candidate on here victory and hope that she takes this as a bit a wake up call that a fair few of the people that are in her ward are not happy with her performance and decisions. There are some valid points that I have raised and I would like to see them addressed for the benefit of the residents, it doesn't matter who gets to address them as long as they get dealt with. If they are not then next time 32% is a good foundation to build on.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Election day

Whatever your views or however you decide to vote If you have read my leaflet and considered voting for me I thank you but most of all please,please make sure that you do go and make the most of your democratic right to vote.

There are many people in the world desperate to have the chance to vote so please make sure you cast yours.

Best if luck to all candidates in the general and local elections.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Refuge collection days changing

Many of you will have had letters already explaining the changes in our rubbish collection days in Epping Forest.
It has also been explained that the new bin lorries will have 360 degree cameras and that the operators (or dustmen) will also have hand held devices to capture any evidence of contamination that you may mistakenly have mixed up in your rubbish. I have to say most of these lads really graft nowadays when they are out on collections, its just sadly another bit of big brother interference for them to comply with in my opinion.

I cant help but wonder if this will lead to fines being issued in the future if you get the wrong items in the wrong bins? but I can assure you of one thing and that is that if I am elected I would oppose that if it ever gets brought forward for a decision.

Recycling is good and this district is within the top ten in the country as far as I am aware for recycling. So well done to us all and I am not so sure that warrants such encroaching technology being implemented and I wonder to whose benefit and cost?

There must be an election coming

Bank holiday Monday and lo and behold it has been reported to me that the council is litter picking in  roads in High Beech !

Residents have contacted me to say that they have never seen the council litter picking their road before and especially on a bank holiday.
A couple of really bad Pot holes that have been left for years have all of a sudden been filled in and roads resurfaced in sections all just before an election.

Well either way any action is good and long may it continue !

I cant help but wonder however that this is all a little convenient but regardless of why its done its good news to see some of the issues that residents are complaining about being addressed. If all it takes is a little competition to see progress then its been an easy achievement.

I wonder if there can be some crossings installed at various locations, some traffic calming, and some crime prevention, Oh as well as that some new strategies implemented to prevent fly tipping by this Thursday?

Be good if they can

Here is something else a "bit fishy!"

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Feet on the street.

As an Independent I am focusing on local issues that matter as I have concluded national politics should have very little to do with local council, in fact I believe it can be a hindrance rather than positive in some situations for councils.

However along with most of us it is hard to miss the continual coverage by the national media of the up coming general election, its reached saturation level for me and probably for many others. You would be forgiven for thinking that nothing else is going on in the world except for the British general elections.

I have also noticed a distinct lack of activity on the streets by way of party activists that we have all grown used to seeing at these times, love them or hate them these are people who care either about party politics, local or national issues and do try to do something about their opinions by way of campaigning.

With the increase of media coverage there seems to have been a decrease of street level activity and I am not so sure that in the future this is positive. Whilst it may mean we can eat our dinner in peace without the doorbell going it also means that the media have a greater sway over national political direction, one that may not well be so positive as it is making personalities out of politicians and they are starting to concentrate more on their physical persona rather than their actual policy.

Do we need celebrity politicians? Do we need the postal service to be the only way that literature gets to your door? Local councillors and politicians need to get out on the street to see what is going on, what issues are urgent in their local wards and constituencies. Whilst delivering my leaflets I tripped over pot holes, struggled to cross roads with heavy traffic and found some things out that I would never otherwise have known.

I don't think that the reduction of bobbies on the beat has been beneficial to Policing and neither do I think that feet on the street is something that should be a thing of the past for politicians, this means further detachment of politicians from real life issues and problems we all face as they retreat further behind screens and desks just waiting for their next planned appearance.

You will never see what's going on from behind the window of your car or by delivering your message through the post and whilst my legs are aching somewhat from leafleting I have spoken to some great people and seen exactly what's what within the ward I am standing in.  

I don't think that should ever stop for politicians the same way as I would like to see our bobbies back on the beat as well.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

High Beech ward

Walking the ward whilst leafleting for the elections has been a pleasure really, it has been nice to see many of the lovely gardens and houses along the way and to stop and chat to some really nice people during the leafleting round.

One thing that is apparent is the lack lustre approach there has been along with many other parts of the district with regards to roads and pavements. Many of our roads are like a patchwork quilt of poor repairs and deep pot holes and the pavements in places are no better just without the poor repairs as many of them seem to have had no repair whatsoever.

There needs to be some urgency placed towards crossings, Sewardstone Road, Honey Lane, Wood Green Road and so on are all a nightmare to cross as a pedestrian and downright dangerous.

We all expect during election time to hear all the candidates promising they will do something about the concerns of residents and we all get to hear about the accomplishments the incumbents have achieved for us portrayed as some form of amazing result but that is the job they put themselves up to do and for long standing councillors I would expect to see an extensive list of achievements that benefit everybody in a ward not just small sections that seem to get more attention than others for whatever reason.

Take a walk around and talk to people and its plain to see that many feel that its time for change and time for issues to be addressed but there is very little evidence of continual care and attention except for election promises with regards to ward maintenance in many of the wards locally.

I would also expect that if my councillor was to take the time to send me a letter albeit a generic election address posing as a "dear resident" letter that they would have written it themselves and it not be written from a third person perspective.

But then we all have different expectations and interpretations of what we think should be offered to people and mine is that I will never expect such as thing a seat to be "safe" unless I had achieved all of the promises I had made to the electorate and kept up to date with issues that affect the whole ward throughout the years rather than just prior to an election.

Thursday, 23 April 2015


Personally I do not care what statistics are thrown about round tables when everyone is patting themselves on the back for a job well done as the simple fact of the matter is that our rapidly shrinking Police force is having a real negative effect at street level.

Stations are closing, bobbies on the beat seem to be a thing of the past and to the best of my knowledge we only have a couple of cars on active Policing duty at any one time in the area.

Our Police are being systematically undermined by performance targets, paper pushing and political interference as well as having their numbers cut and cut again. The Police force is now a Police service and before long will be a vague presence once in a while unless of course you happen to have committed the most heinous of crimes such as forgetting to tax your car. For revenue based Policing you can expect to see great numbers out on the streets casting the net for fines.

Many people simply do not bother reporting crime now as they have no faith in the perpetrators being caught and this is wrong. Our councillors, local authorities, MP and so on should all be demanding a better service and a more visible presence on our streets.

I fully support the emergency services and feel for the people working under such great pressure and strain and we should be supporting them by ensuring the upper levels of management are constantly aware that their decisions are having a negative impact. I would rather see more bobbies on the street than another brand spanking shiny new car capable of catching yet another speeding motorist in between the numerous sp££d cameras.  

New epuipment

The temporary Skate Park that we run in Loughton for kids in the Epping Forest district has had some good news, with the help of Loughton Town Council we have purchased the ramps that are hired in at the moment and now we can use the equipment at more than one location and whenever it is needed.

I have been campaigning for a more permanent venue for kids to be able to use their BMX, scooters and Skateboards for years and supported by Loughton Town council and councillors and the pop up sessions are an interim solution however this is real progress in my opinion and I am extremely grateful for the support.

A good step forward for youth activities in the area

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Helicopter Base In High Beech

I attended a meeting recently where the local residents along with their existing councillor were all discussing the Police Helicopter base at High Beech. Representatives of the Police Helicopter service were in attendance to answer questions and to discuss residents concerns.

There seemed to be quite a lot of hysteria regarding the base with lots of allegations and various claims made. I listened to what was being said back and forth and also and maybe more importantly listened to what the people around me where saying as well.

It is plain and simple that no one wants helicopters flying over their house in an ideal world and some people are directly on the flight path, no one wants engines being warmed up unnecessarily and generally residents were asking for a bit of consideration and regulation of the flight paths and noise.

However it was really hard to get information out of the Police representatives because of the way the meeting was being run, they were not getting a chance to answer, most people at the back of the room couldn't hear what was being said and each time a suggestion was made or compromise offered the points of complaint changed.

I fail to see how this benefited the locals and I don't believe that all the relevant information that needed to be discussed was dealt with. Now it has been announced that the base is set to close just at a time where the current local councillor has had rather unpopular development plans passed very close to the said base. These plans were not mentioned at the meeting to the best of my knowledge when locals were being cajoled into opposition towards the helicopter noise and I have had quite a few people tell me that they are angry and feel that they were inadvertently assisting the development plans by opposing the noise from the base.

It stands to reason that the new development on a popular local stables will be greatly enhanced by the closure of the Helicopter base and reduction in noise.    

Friday, 10 April 2015

High Beech

I am standing as an Independent District council candidate in the High Beech ward of Epping Forest District.

High Beech is a special part of our area, a unique part of the district and the visitor centre of Epping Forest. Following on from the Save the Tea hut campaign this year I had quite a few residents tell me that they would like to see me stand as their local councillor, this is something I would be really proud to do.

I feel that the residents needs could be better understood with some increased consultations focussed on residents views and opinions. This I would achieve by way of regular ward meetings where issues, plans and items that affect the ward can be openly discussed.

As your councillor, if elected I would sit in front of you to ask what you feel about issues affecting the ward, I would also invite local bodies to sit at these meetings to answer questions and take suggestions directly rather than hiding behind the trend of "consultations" that seem to have no impact.

The Roads are quite literally falling apart in places and dangerous, there seems to be somewhat of a lack lustre approach to maintenance is showing. I expect over the coming weeks we will see a quick patch up of the worst just because an election is coming. This is no good, we need regular, decent maintenance carried out with faults being promptly reported.

Planning and development is a concern for many. The area needs special attention in my opinion and whilst I am not opposed to someone doing their house up or extending their living accommodation bigger developments need to take into consideration the views of the rest of the residents and the nature of the surrounding area. They need proper scrutiny and the residents need to be kept up to date with what is going on so they can all have their say before these things get the go ahead.

Policing is facing serious financial cut backs, crime reduction initiatives are more important now than ever before, Neighbourhood watch schemes are getting more popular and need co-ordination between residents, councillors and the Police. I see this as a priority and something to be incorporated into regular ward meetings.

To keep people up to date with council and local issues I will establish a regular news letter, a dedicated website for the ward and be contactable via phone, email and ward surgeries so you can rest assured that your councillor will be contactable in various formats.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.  


Sunday, 15 March 2015

Save the Tea Hut

This year has been quite busy for me with regards to supporting a local business that I care about. The "bikers" tea hut in High Beech was put out to tender last year after 84 years of belonging to one family.

I mounted a support campaign to save this much loved local facility including the use of social media and on line petition services to gain support for the call to keep it in the hands of the current owner.
There was a massive response to my call for people to sign to save the business with over 9000 signatures being presented to the City of London demanding that the Superintendent of Epping Forest think again.

After much negotiation, in fact an unbelievable amount of back and forth discussions the City of London committee finally relented and awarded the tender back to the incumbent owner. There has also been more results out of this because the campaign also has brought all manner of many different people together as a community from all over the district and even further afield. We have a social media based group now called Epping Forest Forum with cyclists, horse riders, forest walkers and Bikers all united and looking at topics that are in the interests of Epping Forest.

This forum and campaign has enabled me to act as a peoples representative to the city of London with regards to motorcycling in Epping Forest of which there is a long standing local history in the area. High Beech was the first speed way track in England with visitors such as Laurence of Arabia on his Brough Superior attending on a regular basis.

 The tea hut has stood there since those days and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future now thanks to all the support and provide a link to the past for many people, not just motorcyclists but people that love the forest and the area in general as it is a community meeting point for thousands of people using the forest for various reasons.

I had many different people give me advise along the way that the City of London will never listen or act on your demands and you will not be successful based on their own previous dealings but we did it and have now even moved to a position where there is a new air of co-operation between the forest management and the people that use and love the jewel in the crown of our district.  

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Another big development due

Back in 2008 the Broadway master plan detailed and outlined plans for development and regeneration of the Broadway. We have seen the loss of the Winston Churchill pub and the revamp of Sainsbury's.

The next development due is now being decided this coming week for another 52 new homes with only 27 parking spaces on council garages behind the Broadway. The developer is supposed to be contributing 17k towards healthcare but that is nothing really.

Parking in streets surrounding the Broadway in both the Broadway ward and Alderton ward is terrible in places. This is commuter parking and has been overlooked (but solutions promised) for years. With these developments thing will only get worse.

Most of these developments will be opposed but have already been discussed at stages for years. The 2008 town centre consultation highlights all the development potential and this latest one just falls in line. So whilst we will see opposition towards it that opposition will be more of a compromise than an outright defence against it.

I would like to see proper levy's put in place to towards these developers and councils act at this point to deal with long standing issues for existing residents so improvements are ensured at the time of the planning decision.

The same issues that applied to the Churchill development apply here and more. 

Personally I would vote against this development if I were on the panel, not compromise with little adjustments just outright block it and I hope that our councillors do that in this instance.

Sort out existing issues before creating new ones unless you can guarantee long standing promises are met first.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

We remember them

I know the 4th paragraph of this poem is known to most but the whole poem is extremely moving and touching.
I know that 100 years on there are many people especially youngsters who maybe struggle to understand the significance of Remembrance day and it would seem a massive sacrifice to get off of the xbox or whatever they are doing and take an hour or so to remember the sacrifice made 100 short years ago but as a parent I have a duty to make sure that when my children are standing with theirs on Remembrance Sunday in years to come that they will remember them.
We must remember that so we could have tomorrow they gave up their today.
Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943), published in The Times newspaper on 21st September 1914.
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Skate Loughton Half term event

This week we had our annual Skate Loughton half term event and it was a real success. King ramps supplied a half pipe of which the kids loved and we used some equipment that has been purchased by Loughton Town council.

This year we have provided a monthly Pop up skate park at Roding Valley school. The School has been really supportive about this and I am really grateful. The ramps have been funded by Loughton Town council through the recreation committee's approval and this has allowed myself and other volunteers to at least provide a temporary solution to the need for a facility that is needed in the area.

It looks like we are going to be able to continue with these monthly events next year and maybe even expand what we have on offer by way of equipment and I am looking into a way to provide some training and coaching for each of the sports such as Skate boarding, BMX's and scooters.

The micro scooters which at first maybe appeared a bit of a "fad" have really taken off and have gained a following of their own. Its amazing the different stunts and tricks that can be done with these scooters and are a brilliant exercise for kids and potentially maybe will become a sport in its own right.

Along with Bikeability training, Essex Police doing security stamping and the road haulage association providing a lorry so that kids can see the dangers of the road from a lorry drivers point of view the whole event went really well.  

Friday, 17 October 2014

October Half term event

During the October half term there is an event being laid on for the kids of Loughton by Loughton Town council and Skate Loughton. This is being held in Roding Valley school between 11am and 3pm and is free.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Tour de France

Brilliant day today at the Tour de France in High Beach. The area was packed with supporters of the race and it all went really well.

Luctons field closure

I am sure that a few of you will have noticed the no entry and no public right of way signs that have popped up on the College field. I believe that this cut through is important to many people and have written to the relevant department at Essex Highways to see if a public right of way can be established.

Dear Sirs

              I am writing to request that a public right of way be considered at the college field (also known as Luctons field) in Borders Lane, Loughton Essex. This field since being handed to Epping Forest college with covenants removed has laid redundant for years now. The land has not been maintained and has been left to go wild. This piece of land has been used for decades by local people that use this as a cut through from the local housing estate to the nearby Broadway high street shops. 

It is also a piece of land that has been used by many for walking dogs and other activities.

Just last week "no entry" and "no public right of way" signs were installed after twenty odd years of this land being open by way of dis-repaired fencing and open gates. There is a well worn and established path running right through the middle of this field.

Most people in the area are under the assumption that there is already a public right of way through this field and use it as such. This route makes the journey by foot considerably shorter for many local residents who use it.

Please could you urgently consider and review the right of the general public to use this much needed cut through and look towards establishing a public right of way through this field. If needed I will arrange petition signatures if that is of any assistance.

Yours Sincerely 

Paul Morris

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Save the Tea Hut

I have been quite busy over the past few weeks because a local asset that so many of us value has been put under threat.

I have grown up in Epping Forest and the forest has been a large part of my life, I love it. One of my passions is motorbikes, I have used the "Bikers" Tea Hut in High Beech since as long as I can remember, going on my push bike to see the bikes and once I was old enough going there on my own motorcycles.

This place is unique, it has a quintessentially British feel about it, something that is relevant with regards to wider issues at the moment. People from all walks of life stop by and make good friends and acquaintances with many others over the years. From Turner prize winners to local farriers,  Horse Riders and cyclists to carpenters and doctors everyone mixes in a rare classless situation with one thing in mind, to stop off and have a cup of Tea and a chat with others in the middle of Epping Forest and be able to get a quality bite to eat at affordable prices for everyone.

This place is going out to tender and along with many other people who for various reasons have had to deal with the City of London regarding Epping forest will know it is like banging you head against the wall trying to have a say.

I knew this was going to be a problem so I decided to put a call out on face book to my fellow tea hut users as I know we all feel part of a community and people were not going to be happy about this. I decided right at the beginning that this was not about me it is about us as a community and our place where we meet.

The response was as I expected it would be, it has been phenomenal and we have really had to push as hard as we can to be heard as in my opinion there is a flaw in the system of governance in Epping Forest where the local people do not have a real opportunity to be heard with regard to decisions. We all know many of these consultations are PR exercises and hold little value when it comes to a final decision.

We all know that unless you are prepared to really fight about something as an individual there is no one out there to fight your corner. Maybe I have fought hard and maybe I have really pushed this to the limit but I do not care if I offend people that will not listen to the wider public opinion if they are blatantly ignoring a wide spread point of view and are in a position of power that demands they listen.

To my thinking they should listen and I will do my utmost to make sure they do.

In response to unprecedented level of complaints to an issue such as this our MP, Eleanor Laing turned up at the Tea Hut one Saturday morning to talk about this issue,to have a cup of tea with us and to understand the issues that we are raising. I have to say that she was genuinely interested in what is going on, outwardly sympathetic towards the whole issue and supportive of what is trying to be achieved and was happy to be seen to support the community of people that use this facility.

This campaign will continue and I will take it as far as I can to get a decent and suitable outcome for all concerned including the City of London for that matter because at the end of the day they control the forest, that is something dear to me and to most of the rest of us as well.

but with all these big institutions they have to realise in this day and age you must listen to the public and be seen to accommodate community opinions.


Friday, 23 May 2014


I would like to say thank you to the people that voted for me today and I achieved 9% of the vote of which I am grateful for and more than happy with.

This percentage encourages me to continue in my efforts and to work that little bit harder and to continue standing as an Independent candidate in the Alderton ward.

Well done to all the candidates for standing, I know that there was a leaflet distributed stating at such a low percentage last time why I was still standing but that really is my choice and what democracy is all about. There are always peaks and troughs in politics and everyone at the top will eventually peak and drop and others will become successful.

To me just knowing a couple of people were prepared to go out and vote for me is good but to get 9% make the effort is really a compliment and a good foundation to work on. I do not belittle efforts of others and understand that in a democracy there will be winners and losers and those at the top can become complacent as we have seen on a wider scale nationally with the rise in the UKIP vote across the board.

Nothing lasts forever and this result just makes me that little bit more determined to carry on.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

A promise.

PROMISE is a commitment by someone to do or not to do something 

You may well have noticed by now that you have had some leaflets delivered through your door regarding the local elections. Some have been hand delivered by dedicated people and others have paid for their communication with you to be delivered. Seeing that our ward is not that big and that it is rather pleasant to have a walk around I can not see why anyone would waste money getting others to post for them but there you go. If you want to represent a ward at least get out and about in it. 

So we have all seen the choice, some clearly passionate people all wanting to represent our ward at district council. What do we really have as a clear commitment and a definite promise to hold all of us candidates to if we are elected? 

Well we know that one group will blame another party for anything they get wrong or fail to do and the other party will do exactly what they are instructed to do on behalf of their party.

I am making a clear commitment of what I can and will do if I am elected by you over and above the obligatory attendance that some seem to think is the be all and end all.

I will guarantee that if I am elected that I will hold ward surgeries, give due notification of when they are and where they will be so if you need to raise any concerns of ask your councillor questions of an individual nature that you will be able to.

I will deliver a written quarterly update of what I am doing at council and to keep you aware of any issues that may be of importance.

I will openly declare all relevant expenditure and the amount of expenses received. I would do this on a monthly basis on this blog or website.

I will organise three open meetings a year for all residents to openly ask questions about the ward and local issues. I will invite the other councillors who are elected in this ward at Town, district and county level to attend as well so you would have the opportunity to raise questions and issues that may concern you to all your elected representatives thus allowing us to gauge your concerns and opinions and (I can speak for myself here at least) act in accordance with the majority sentiment of your wishes when it comes to decisions that I might have to make.

I would prove to you that "independents" can make a difference because I will be able to act and operate differently to groups and parties that are fixed into certain ways of operating and conducting themselves. I will, and can if elected be as open and honest and attempt to gain as much feedback as I can on important issues before a decision is made.

Not just blame it on everyone else if it is not popular and say "it was me" if it is.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014


I was leafleting last night in the Alderton ward and I must say I am really surprised at just how badly the Conservatives have been leafleting. In flats the leaflets are just scattered over the floor and up the stairs and in many houses the leaflets were barely pushed through the letter box. At least if you want someones vote be bothered to actually post the correspondence. 

Leaving post hanging out of a letter box is a good indicator that the householder is not there. I am sure you can imagine the implications of this.

In the interests of fair play and decent electioneering I and the volunteers that were helping me pushed the Conservatives leaflets through with my own leaflet and made sure there wasn't little paper flags indicating to all that people might not yet be home.

I am going to rise above some of the other misinformation being given at the doors, I didn't really expect any different. I have put a lot of effort into local projects and initiatives and for others to be undermining them at the door is par for the course I suppose, only to be expected yet there would be nothing wrong with these groups who declare they are going to do everything actually get out and do them. 

A councillors efforts should last the full term not just the election period. Turning up at council is the minimum effort required its the work in the ward and community I want to see.  

Picture from

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Published nominations 2014

Nominations have been published for this years District council elections. In the Alderton ward I am one of five candidates standing, they are:

Angela Ayre                                Labour

Chris Criscione                           Conservative

Paul Morris               Independent 

Bhupendra Ambalal Patel          Liberal Democrats  

Chris Roberts                            Loughton Residents Association 

It would seem we are lucky enough to have candidates that all live in the ward. This is a bonus for us as whoever is the successful candidate at least they are residents of our ward, not just eligible candidates 
floated in to fill seats. Sadly this can not be said for neighbouring wards.    

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the other candidates all the best in the elections and whilst we may have differing view points thank them for caring enough about our town and ward to put themselves forward to stand.   

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Skate Loughton

Last night we started the Skate Loughton temporary skate park and received a great response with over 30 kids turning up to enjoy the first event along with a good turn out of parents and volunteers. This event has been funded and supported by Loughton Town council and Roding Valley school. We will be running this "pop up" skate park once a month for throughout the summer this year and if you want to take part please contact me or visit our website or visit the skate loughton Facebook page.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Sixth form last?

Some years ago now I started the first "e" petition at Epping Forest district council to raise the issue that we do not have enough sixth form spaces in the district.

Link to article

For some while local Head teachers have been working towards gaining these sixth form spaces for our children and it is looking like this is going to happen. I am really pleased that this is going ahead and it will make a big difference to the educational needs for those that get these spaces.

Link to article

Lets hope that these bids are successful and that Epping Forest manages to gain more sixth form education for our youth. The school leaving age was raised some years ago and so more children will have to stay on in education, the age is currently 17 and next year raises to 18 years old.

picture from

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Container Housing

As much as I am a traditionalist with regards to building construction you have to look around at what is up and coming and innovative. I love our old traditional buildings that we have dotted about all over over country. Some built hundreds of years ago and still standing strong today. They are part and parcel of our national character and are a wonderful  link with our history.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Unemployment figures

The Government have declared that unemployment have fallen to a five year low but seem to be ignoring the fact that school leavers have for the first time had to stay on for an extra year in further education and the school leavers for next year have to stay on for two more years until they are 18.

It would seem that the Government has manipulated the education system to suit the unemployment figures that just so happens to coincide with for this year the council and Euro elections with a double bonus lined up for the next general election and the year after the real figures will spike and show the true picture when the current kids at school hit the dole if no real jobs are created.

They are talking about a forgotten generation with youth unemployment in the capital up around the 26% compared to the fluctuating 7/8 % in the overall figures but the extremely high youth statistics are even worse than they are portraying if one whole year of school leavers have been forced for the first time into colleges and further education (now businesses).


Saturday, 18 January 2014

Skate Park update

This week there has been some serious progress with regards to a facility that is lacking in the area. Since 1997 there has been a long standing bid to secure a skate park in Loughton and quite a few sites have been highlighted as having the potential to be the permanent location but for many various reasons there has been obstacles that have prevented the project from materialising.

This is not for the want of trying and there has been much work and effort by many people into this and much disappointment each time the location of the site fails. It has to be said that Loughton Town council has been totally committed to this project from the start.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Debden High Rise passed: London's coming.

I went along to the Epping Forest District council planning meeting last night to hear the fate of the Winston Churchill pub and Debden Broadway. The Monstrous building that was planned to be placed on the site of the pub was given permission by 9 votes to 6. 
The Conservatives in my opinion had already decided that this was going ahead and this meeting was a farce in my mind.  Even though local residents and a town councillor made a good case in opposition to this it was passed anyway.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Winston Churchill Pub development

Loughton town council planning committee have rejected the proposed development of the Winston Churchill pub.

Well done to all those involved and lets hope District council does the same. It has to be said and I am a great believer in giving credit where its due the LRA councillors that attended the initial consultation have listened and acted in the interests of local residents opinions, Well done.

Over to district council ........