TWO very different pictures of Elmbridge are being painted by rival candidates in the Gloucester City Council elections.
Sitting Liberal Democrat councillor Chris Witts, who is fighting to be re-elected, says his residents enjoy ‘peace and tranquility’ in the area.
But Conservative rival Joe McAleer warned: “I know that crime can be an issue in some parts of the ward and I am determined to work with the police and the community to tackle this.
“I also want to see improvements to the precious green spaces in the ward. I will work to ensure the new Park and Ride planned for Elmbridge Court doesn’t have a detrimental impact on the area.”
VIDEO: MEET THE CANDIDATES
But Mr Witts said: “My priority as the councillor for Elmbridge is to maintain what is a very pleasant area of Gloucester in which to live. Elmbridge is a quiet suburb of Gloucester, being mainly residential with a mixed age of residents, who enjoy living close to the city centre, but far enough away to enjoy peace and tranquillity. I work hard to make sure that my constituents continue to enjoy this current lifestyle.”
But Labour’s candidate in the May 22 election, Roger Martin, said: “I am concerned that Elmbridge’s current councillors do not understand or represent the concerns of the people of Elmbridge. It worries me that they could not vote the same way on the vital Joint Core Strategy and that they supported massive cuts in grants to the voluntary sector.”
Frances Griffiths, from the Green Party, said: “My priorities are democracy and sustainability through openness, transparency and working for greater understanding of the issues we face.
“Whatever is sacrificed to spending cuts, it should not be the environment, on which we all ultimately depend.”
Chris Wallin will also stand for UKIP.
- Strong Liberal Democrat support in Elmbridge means Chris Witts had a 645 vote majority over the Conservatives back in 2010.
- In 2012, his wife Susan Witts secured an even stronger vote share at 52%.
MEET THE CANDIDATES
FRANCES GRIFFITHS, Green Party
I began my working life in Sunderland as a teacher, before retraining as a nurse and then a midwife.
I spend my time looking after grandchildren, reading, singing in a choir and campaigning on sustainability issues. I am a member of Gloucestershire's Positive Money Reform group.
ROGER MARTIN, Labour
My wife and I have lived in Elmbridge since 1992. We have between us four grown up married children and four grandchildren. I had a long career as a professional engineer and then took my expertise into Further Education. When the colleges in Gloucester and Cheltenham combined to form Gloscat, I became Head of the School of Engineering until I retired. Since retirement in 1994 I trained as a counsellor and have been both a volunteer bereavement counsellor and a supervisor for Cruse Bereavement Care. For 10 years, an important part of my work has taken place in Gloucester prison involved with prisoners and staff.
JOSEPH McALEER, Conservatives
I grew up in Elmbridge going to the local infant and junior school and was part of the local scout group from the age of 4 to the present day. I left the area to go to university and, having completed my degree and qualified, I work as a junior doctor in hospital. Despite having worked in hospitals around the country, my heart and home are in Gloucester and specifically the Elmbridge and Armscroft area that I grew up in. I’d like to give something back to the area that I have always had fond memories of.
CHRIS WALLIN, UKIP
No profile was submitted.
CHRIS WITTS, Liberal Democrats
I have been a councillor for fourteen years and now consider myself very experienced in my role. During this period I have been a Cabinet Member, the Sheriff of Gloucester and the Mayor of Gloucester. I think I can truly say that I am very knowledgeable about city life. In my private life I am well known for my passion about the River Severn and the numerous books I have written about it. I am fortunate to have worked on the Severn as a young man and again for a decade at the end of my working life. In between that period I had an exciting career in the Fire Service.