CITY council leader Paul James wants your vote in Longlevens – and he says lobbying for a major flood alleviation scheme has been one of his major achievements.
Mr James is standing for re-election in the May 22 elections. He said: “I believe Longlevens is a great place to live, with good facilities and a real community spirit, and it has been a privilege to represent the area.
“After the 2007 floods I lobbied, with residents, for a major flood alleviation scheme, now delivered, for the Horsbere Brook and I want to see continued action to guard against flooding.
“I want to see Longlevens’ green spaces protected and enhanced. I have also been lobbying for more roads and pavements in the area to be resurfaced.”
VIDEO: MEET THE LONGLEVENS CANDIDATES
Labour rival Terry Haines, a former city councillor who has been mayor of Gloucester three times, promised that he would be a ‘hands on’ politician who would fight for his party’s key aims which include free parking in city council car parks after 3pm, to work with employers to create jobs and apprenticeships, allowing local businesses to compete for council contracts, combating exploitative payday lenders and allowing free entry for the city council museums as well as opening them all weekend.
Dr Jonathan Whittaker, for the Liberal Democrats, said: “Gloucester City Council has given the go ahead for the next stage in the public consultations to build 2,000 houses on the edge of Longlevens as part of its Joint Core strategy. I am concerned about the impact of such large developments on the local traffic infrastructure such as Innsworth Lane. As yet the council has not set out plans as to how it will deal with the extra traffic which will be generated.
“I am also concerned that some of the land identified for development is within the flood zone.”
Christopher Britton, for the Green Party, said: “I am concerned at the threat of fracking – shale gas extraction – to which Longlevens, being on the edge of the city, is particularly vulnerable. I would fight to prevent any move to frack for gas in this area.”
He added that he favours small local businesses over big corporations.
Susannah Collier, for UKIP, said: “Since the 2007 floods I have written constantly to my MP and councillors, regarding my concerns of the continuous building on flood land across Gloucester.
“Despite several houses in Longlevens being flooded again in February 2014, instead of flood defences, it is proposed to build more homes, on flood land at Longford, Twigworth and Innsworth. I am very concerned as to how the displaced water will impact on Longlevens, and the impact these developments will have on the local infrastructure, schools and GP surgeries.”
- Conservative councillor Paul James enjoyed a 1,272-strong majority in 2010.
- Kathy Williams, for the Conservatives, also had a strong majority in 2011 with a 57 per cent share of the vote.
- But the Lib Dems narrowed the Tories’ lead in 2012 to just 314 votes.
MEET THE CANDIDATES
CHRISTOPHER BRITTON, Green Party
I have lived in Longlevens since 2005, when I moved from Cheltenham. I am now retired and work as a volunteer for the local branch of Cats Protection, and am currently training to be a city tour guide for the Civic Trust. My journey into the green movement started with an interest in environmental issues; since joining the Green Party I have become increasingly aware of the social injustices which are wrongly accepted as a given under current political thinking. I therefore support campaigns to correct these injustices and protect and enhance our natural environment.
SUSANNAH COLLIER, UKIP
I have lived in the Longlevens ward for over 30 years, where I raised my family. I cared for my mother, following a catastrophic stroke, which left her paralysed, and several relatives with terminal illnesses. I support older persons to live independently in their own homes. Born in Gloucester, I volunteer with the Civic Trust, whose aim is to encourage the appreciation and conservation of Gloucester, help improve the quality of life of local people, as well as to educate and inform people about our city’s rich culture and history. I support Gloucester Rugby club and do pilates and yoga.
TERRY HAINES, Labour
I have lived in Longlevens since the age of 6. Educated at Longlevens Primary, Sir Thomas Rich’s and the University of Bristol I taught in city schools until retirement. I have a life long record of service to the city and its communities. I developed Gloucester Athletics Club and Severn Athletics Club to national ranking. I was a governor of Longlevens Junior and Infant schools for 24 years including 8 years as chair. I am an active member of Holy Trinity congregation. I have previously served as a city councillor and held the office of mayor three times and sheriff once.
PAUL JAMES, Conservatives
I live in Longlevens and have been a city councillor for 18 years. I have been Leader of the City Council for the last 7 years and also hold the portfolio for Regeneration and Culture. The regeneration of Gloucester is something I am passionate about. I also work part-time as a Property Manager for local estate agents Naylor Powell. I am Gloucester born and bred and attended Linden Infants, Calton Junior and The Crypt schools. I am a keen runner and an avid supporter of Gloucester Rugby, so I’m looking forward to the Rugby World Cup coming to Gloucester.
JONATHAN WHITTAKER, Liberal Democrats
Dr. Jonathan Whittaker is a former Liberal Democrat city councillor, who helped initiate response to the 2007 floods. Jonathan has been a healthcare professional with 34 years experience. He is married with three grown up, Gloucester born children. Jonathan is a regular supporter of Gloucester City FC and a season ticket holder at Kingsholm. For seven years Jonathan managed a city youth football team. He is an active environmental campaigner.