Tony Clarke: Speaking to hopes of residents in Dunmow

We have just announced our manifesto. In practical terms these are the types of things it means for Great Dunmow…

Under the Tories, Dunmow has just gone through Five Years of Failure. In partnership with my R4U colleagues, if elected I hope to reverse the years of failure and turn them into Five Years of Success for Dunmow and its residents.

There is much to do, and we have a five point plan to address the main issues.

GIVE THE TOWN ITS VOICE BACK
Weak and absentee Tory Councillors have stripped the town of its political strength and left it without an effective voice so it has largely been ignored by UDC. This will end the day we are elected; the town and its residents will have an effective voice at the highest level of the Council from the outset.

MANAGE THE MESS
The absence of effective representation on the District Council has resulted in large scale unsupported development in Dunmow with an almost complete absence of any new complementary infrastructure or job opportunities. Consequently the town has suffered the pitfalls and experienced few of the benefits. We have gone from being a pleasant market town to a commuter dormitory within a few short years to the disadvantage of all. We will work with officers of the Council to Manage the Mess and restore the town to the position it should have been in if the Tories had not failed us so badly.

CONCLUDE A SOUND LOCAL PLAN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
A sound Local Plan is the ‘engine’ that drives everything in a local authority. We will use our best endeavours to ensure that we conclude a sound Local Plan as soon as possible in line with the advice given to UDC by the Planning Inspector at the recent inquiry, but also in line with the needs and wishes of the local communities in our area.

HOW COULD WE GET THINGS MOVING AGAIN IN DUNMOW?
We’ve received great suggestions from local residents and employees of the town, many of whom want us to work with local interest groups and the Town Council to restore energy and vigour to Dunmow, to attract employers, to promote new affordable homes and local jobs for local people. We could explore a permanent site for the market, re-examine the issue of a town square and possible traffic free areas, we could also talk to developers about the ‘Flitch Centre’, or lobby for the introduction of the Community Infrastructure Levy so the Town Council benefits from the multi million pound funding this will bring into the town. Other residents are calling for us to work hard to complete the long delayed footpath and cycleway projects. We could set up a forum with developers, the town council, adjacent parishes, our schools and medical and dental practices and with UDC to try to wrest back a measure of control over the many developments taking place around the town, and to try to work with them to close the infrastructure and affordable homes gaps. There is much that could be done if elected, and R4U understands the importance of  doing all of this within a balanced budget.

IN FIVE YEARS TIME, LEAVE THE TOWN A BETTER PLACE THAN WE FOUND IT.

If elected this is my personal commitment and that of my colleagues at R4U to you, the electorate. We will succeed; we will not subject you to another five years of failure.

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