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 questionaires 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: Colin Waldron
Party: Independent
Ward: Chasetown
Occupation: Semi-retired. Caseworker for SSAFA Forces Help

What has made you decide to stand for election?
Concern for the local electors, both elderly and young with the lack of independent representation on town and district councils.

What are the key issues for you in your ward?
Facilities for the young and elderly can be described as adequate but could be improved upon considerably. By talking to local people as a person rather than a councillor, but with the representation of a councillor, more meaningful dialogue can be achieved and facilities gained.

If you are elected how do you plan to keep your constituents informed of what you are doing to represent them?
By every means possible. Some elderly people do not have internet access and I am a great believer in the power of the press and conversation. Only by talking to people and being approachable and accessible can people convey their concerns and vice-versa.

How do you feel you will be able to make a difference to your constituents?
By being approachable and available and not just as a councillor at a council meeting etc. I am not a businessman – I am an ordinary grass-roots local taxpayer like 90 per cent of Chasetown people.

Anything else you would like to add?
Chasetown is a vibrant community and is constantly growing. As councillors elect, we must grow with it. Chasetown was a thriving mining town and that heritage must not be forgotten, but we have to be prepared to move into the future and attract more modern industry to the area and town.

Already one prominent education establishment is moving towards Academy status. Others of similar size within the area should be looking toward improvement and status.

Chasetown should be pushing hard for more financial input from Lichfield District Council. More of Chasetown and the local area’s money should be claimed back from them.

Greenwood House care home was closed to save money but to date this has cost the local area within the region of £250,000 just to keep it closed. That home could have stayed open for local elderly use – it should not have been closed.

Chasetown itself is in danger of becoming a ghost town with closed shops, high rents and fuel increases are not the only reasons why. The local Chamber of Commerce is slumbering while Chasetown dies.

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

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.