Ballot box. Pic: Anthony Karanja
Ballot box. Pic: Anthony Karanja

As Lichfield and Burntwood voters prepare to go to the ballot box for the local elections on May 5, The Lichfield Blog has offered each of the candidates the chance to have their say.

We’ve sent out questionnaires to all District Council candidates and will publish their responses on the site to help you decide where to put your cross on election day. If your local candidates haven’t responded yet, why not chase them?

Name: Lee Cadwallader
Party: Green Party
Ward: Summerfield
Occupation: Costing Analyst at Walsall Manor Hospital

What has made you decide to stand for election?
I wanted to give people an alternative. With increasing political apathy due to the same old politics and same old parties with their broken promises and false hopes; I’m offering the chance for a vote for real change and new politics with the Green Party’s radical approach.

What are the key local issues for you in your ward?
Building a stronger community is the overriding key issue. Smaller businesses and local enterprises make communities stronger and having the facilities available for both children and adults will strengthen the community bond.

The demise of the local pub – once a cornerstone of a strong community – in my and neighbouring wards is one example of the weakening of the community. Fighting for the survival of these and similar local businesses is key priority.

Road safety, both in terms of road surface quality and the tackling of speeding, is a prominent issue that needs addressing. With this in mind, the cuts to public transport services are also a major concern. We should not be taking bus routes out of the area but investing and encouraging the use of public services.

Development and planning applications within the area also need more consideration. It’s all very well increasing the population of the area with new house builds/conversions but we need to ensure that it is sustainable for the area to have an increase in numbers and match those with improved public services. A community is not just head count, it’s a interaction and sharing of time of those people and without the local facilities and local businesses to do that then no-one can really feel a sense of local community.

If you are elected how do you plan to keep your constituents informed of what you are doing to represent them?
Communication is vital to successful representation so with that in mind I would ensure that constituents could express their views, opinions and concerns in every way possible. From the use of modern social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs etc) through to the traditional formats like newspapers and face-to-face contact, I hope to offer a method of communication that suits every single constituent’s preference. If elected I will also ask my constituents what they want and how they want it. After all, I’m here to represent them.

How do you feel you will be able to make a difference to your constituents?
We live in difficult times and there’s no doubting that difficult decisions have to be made. But these decisions should be fairly made. We need cuts where they are needed, not where they hurt. So I will put the constituents first; it’s their ward, their local community.

I will listen to my constituents and represent them after all that is what the role of local councillor is. The strong commitment that the Green Party makes to local services will allow me to make a difference to my constituents in a very direct way.

I offer a young, fresh approach in times where the old, tried and tested methods are no longer fit for purpose.

Anything else you would like to add?
All I ask of the voters in the Summerfield ward is to consider the alternative. As a NHS employee, I see day in and day out the pressures facing our communities. We need people to think local and build stronger communities to get us through the difficult times which will help develop them for future generations. I believe I offer the best opportunity of doing that for the people of the Summerfield ward. For further information about my campaign I can currently be followed via Twitter.com/greenleecad or via the Facebook page ‘Lee Cadwallader for Lichfield District Council’.

There is also another important vote on May 5 and I would also urge you to vote Yes to AV. Its time to say “no more” to the same old politics. We need a new approach and AV is a small step on a big journey to getting this country to how it should be.

Finally, I would to like to take the opportunity to ask people to simply vote. Globally people die for a chance to express a democratic vote so if I’ve not managed to convince you to vote for me then please do vote as it’s a great privilege to have.

Also standing in the Summerfield ward (once they have responded, these will link to the response):

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.