Paul G Fairhurst: The reasons why I am standing for election #R4U2015

Why am I standing? And in fact why are we Residents4u standing in this election?

Almost every day, as I walk to work over the common, I’m pleasantly surprised by what I see. Green spaces, tall trees and a colourful variety of shops and eateries. Lawns, lanes and libraries and of course the wonderful markets.

In Uttlesford we truly have the best of all worlds. A short commute to the global hub that is London, a train trip to innovation engine of Cambridge.Yet bustling and energetic “real” market towns are a just a brisk walk away. Passing wise old heads experienced in building communities and new exiting young families settling into a bright and prosperous future.

We in Uttlesford live a relatively sheltered life surrounded by all that is good in England.

Yet as managing partner of a regional law practice I see another side to Walden.
A side where –
Not everyone is empowered.
Not everyone has access to our world class schools or even adequate housing.
And with the national changes to legal aid, Not even everyone in our district can afford ready access to the law!

Even after we’ve survived the great recession it is clear there is still clearly a lot of financial hardship, stress, fear and anxiety.
Something ought to be done.

BUT when I look to our local council

…..there still seems to be debate.

Party politics, personal point scoring. Even perhaps a smidgen of chaos?

We’ve all heard about the awkward and embarrassing housing plan. Or lack of it.

Is it that difficult? Is it that complex?

But given the number of other significant LOCAL issues we appear to be embedded in a mire of national agendas. What seems to be the standard definitely includes a bit of dithering and procrastination.

And I think We really ought to pay more attention.

We need to pay more attention to:

Child care: Shouldn’t we free up parents to choose careers and vocations – to be the best they can be? I have a daughter who must juggle a young family including an infant, a local scholar and a new home with a successful career in advanced neuroscience in London. What a challenge?

Schooling: Saffron Walden is renowned for its quality schooling. Is this a legacy we are nurturing? Are there enough places at all levels to accommodate our growing numbers? Are we risking our local advantages or resting on our laurels? Are we sharing this advantage with all our residents?

Roads: With growth comes traffic. With traffic come potholes, delays and the risk of pedestrian safety. Logjams and delays mean poor delivery and reduced local business.

A growing economy also usually means stretched resources.  It also means stretched healthcare services. With two children as NHS doctors I’m acutely aware and impressed by the potential brilliance of the NHS. But like all valuable jewels it does demand regular maintenance and safekeeping. Even in our district.

Along with long term healthcare, the health of our air and environment is at risk. And as with human health, are we taking adequate steps to prevent long term damage to our environment.

Im not sure we have the luxury of time to spend it bickering and posturing.

As an employer I suspect our greatest and most underestimated asset in this area is human talent. Can we actually say that we are using this asset to fullest effect? Ours is an educated and talented society. But some of us are vulnerable. Some are younger, others a little older with each requiring a little more attention.

And yet we seem to dither and argue about whose agenda is better and who is best to attend to these issues.

Wouldn’t it be better to ask the folks that are affected by these decisions?

And then…. Well….. just decide?

That’s why I’m here. That’s why we are Residents for Uttlesford. To give you a voice.

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