Whilst door knocking, residents handed me a copy of the leaflet from Labour councillor and council leader James Swindlehurst – and I am afraid that once again it shows how out of touch he and Labour are.
On behalf of residents I feel I must call out the complete failure in his leaflet and in his manifesto to address very basic, highly impactful issues which residents are facing in the ward every single day, and which he seems hellbent on ignoring.
Everywhere we go there are complaints about the state of the village. The amount of litter on the streets and fly-tipping not dealt with in our green spaces, the lack of care for our parks with play equipment falling into disrepair and street furniture left broken for months on end. As residents face a council tax rise, how on earth can Labour gloat about spending millions more taxpayers’ money on shiny new buildings and projects when they can’t even look after what is already there?
On every street residents’ have issues with parking, and there is almost a complete failure by him and the other Labour councillors to acknowledge the problem, listen to people and work to resolve them. Not only are many people not able to get parked anywhere near their own property, but often cannot even get out of their driveways, face damage to their cars regularly and bins go uncollected because they cannot get access down roads.
There is also a complete lack of acknowledgement from him on road safety. Residents continue to face a daily struggle dicing with death on the school run, with stories of near misses happening daily and parents struggling to use the pavements because of cars blocking the way. Over the last ten years there have been over 100 accidents on our roads in Cippenham involving children. How many more accidents involving children does Cllr. Swindlehurst think is acceptable under his watch before he takes this seriously?
Many I have spoken to say that their dealings with Cllr. Swindlehurst have been fractious and rowdy. One resident told me that at a meeting recently when he was asked if his ordering the destruction of the green verge in Cippenham Close was in his view democratic, given that every resident had signed the petition to stop it, he replied by quoting the number of votes he had received. Perhaps Labour’s neglect in Cippenham is because he is too blinded by his own arrogance, and too busy focusing on his own political ambitions?
All these reasons are why I am standing this year to take Labour on. People are fed up with being taken for granted and being taken for a ride. As residents will know, I have been focusing with my fellow candidate in Cippenham Meadows Charlie Olsen on the issues raised – because it is high time residents were put first, and that they had calm people focused on the village.