It has been a year since I was elected as your County Councillor and I am pleased to report it has been a very productive one!
I can’t believe where this last year has gone since I was elected. I wanted to update you on what I have been doing at a local and county level to support our community.
As a county councillor, I am allocated just over £35,000 a year to put to use in various road and traffic safety schemes. I had promised bollards along Sydenham Drive in front of Fallow Hill to stop antisocial parking and it was great to see these go up late autumn. I am now pushing to enlarge the car parks in Fallow Hill and supporting Cllr John Barrott’s efforts to see the Fallow Hill Community Room refurbished. Another issue to tackle was speeding on Gainsborough Drive.
After consulting with local residents, the idea of cushions was rejected, and it was decided to install chicanes at regular intervals along the road; this plan will go out to consultation with local residents very soon. Speeding along St Fremunds Way was another priority and speed alert flashing lights have now been installed along with improved road markings at the junction of Chesterton Drive. Handrails for Sydenham Shops were also rolled into the scheme and with the cold winter we had, I think they have been useful for more vulnerable residents.
At Shire Hall, I have been involved in scrutinising a number of key aspects of service delivery, in particular the new CAHMS service RISE, which provides support for children and young adults with mental health problems; this service is improving but still not up to the standard to properly support vulnerable young people.
I have supported proposals to tackle environmental challenges and shared services within WCC in order to save money and resources. I opposed the Tory budget which will introduce another £15m of cuts to Warwickshire front line services this year. I have also worked alongside officers in WCC and staff at Sydenham Primary School in the development of improvements for pupil road safety outside the school – this will be put in place within the next few months.
Air Quality Campaign
Labour Councillors and activists have launched an Air Quality Campaign to improve the very polluted air in Leamington, specifically around the area of Bath Street. This has involved a consultation with businesses and residents in the area and we are very positive that the subsequent report produced will influence both WCC and WDC to take positive action that businesses and residents have called for. Please feel free to contribute to this consultation by emailing me. As safe cycle routes have been identified as a priority, with my next years delegated budget I hope to join Sydenham Drive cycle way to a new cycle path along Leam Terrace; a route from Asda to the Town Centre.
Protecting our Environment
Along with other colleagues, I have been out with STAG litter picking around the Sydenham shops and along the south side of the canal through to the end of the Brook footpath.
Fairs Fair Campaign
I am in contact with Stagecoach to reinstate the bus route along Radford Rd to the Sydenham Drive Junction rather than short cutting along St Mary’s Rd.
East Whitnash Development
I continue to support St Fremunds Way and Chesterton Gardens against developers starting the new East Whitnash development before an alternative access for the lorries has been created. I continue to put pressure on Asda and WCC to improve cycle and pedestrian safety across their entrance and I am in negotiations with WCC to install a crossing near Asda.
Supporting Special Educational Needs
I have been involved with the Warwickshire SEND Campaign which supports parents of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. We organised a very successful public meeting, where Matt Western MP spoke to families facing difficulties in receiving the correct funding and placements for their children. We are planning a summer rally in further efforts to support this important issue. Please do contact the Warwickshire SEND Facebook page for more details.
I still have a lot to do, but I hope I have represented your interests well and I feel positive that the next year as your County Councillor can be even more successful.
If you would like to contact me, please feel free to email: email@example.com or ring me on 07974018566. You will also find me at surgery on the first Saturday of the month at Sydenham shops 11-12pm.