Carol Linton is standing as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Burnham Lent Rise and Taplow ward (including Dorney) in the district council by-election on Oct 5th 2017.
I came to Burnham 45 years ago to find easy access to jobs and the country side, and good schools and affordable housing – in those days.
The transport links are excellent. I have worked in London and Reading; Aylesbury and Slough. I’ve left New York mid evening and still attended a drama festival in Amersham in the morning. It’s what you do for the family.
I have walked or run around here 3 times a week for the last 35 years, exploring village footpaths on winter evenings, and the open fields and woods in the light. This countryside has kept me mentally and physically fit.
My daughters, and now, grandchildren attend local state schools. They all live locally.
I want to use my energy, time and experience to maintain the advantages of living in this area, to promote the interests of residents in local government, to scrutinize reports and contracts, and to question the decisions which affect us all.
My main aim, if elected, is to fight for a sustainable strategy that encourages prosperity, maintains an attractive environment and safeguards the vulnerable. The current Conservative councils at all level are failing in these aims. An alternative view in council may help to find innovative solutions in the face of major budget cuts.
The whole setup (transport, countryside, support services) is crumbling. I want to stop it disintegrating and make improvements. The existing councillors need to be more visible and proactive for their constituents.
If I were elected, I would listen to you. I don’t know your problems: I can only guess at them. For a start, I’d have surgeries around the villages in the area. I already participate in the local Facebook groups to listen and respond where appropriate. The most important people to listen to are those that use the council services; the people who need housing and those who want to maintain their environment; shoppers and commuters who need parking and access to the stations; people who need clear pavements. Budgets are being cuts but the public pays its taxes and should get the services needed.
If I were a councillor, I would fight our corner. There will be new houses and businesses in Burnham, Taplow, Dorney and Farnham. They need to be planned, with improved roads, schools, health facilities and all the other services for new and existing residents. The alternatives are neglect and decay as planned development occurs elsewhere or we are taken over by our bigger neighbours. Slough’s northern expansion has not been ruled out.
If I were a councillor, I would tell it like it is. The council obviously tells a positive story on their actions. I have already started to review those stories, and to post alternative interpretations – on my Facebook page, the local Party Facebook page and here on the local Lib Dem website (Beaconsfield.FocusTeam.org.uk).
If I were a councillor, I would ask awkward questions. We need informed debates at council meetings, questioning the authors of reports, finding alternatives – perhaps letting the public provide feedback after the debate.
If I were a councillor, I would argue for the best deal for this area in the reorganisation to Unitary (replacing the separate County and District councils) and in the allocation of investment and services. This reorganisation has been delayed by Tory council leaders and the Tory ministers costing Buckinghamshire residents over £2M a month. When the organization occurs, it will need energetic, business-minded, modern councillors to make it work – public oriented targets, long term value for money and improvements to the planning process – not Tory councilors following the party line.
If I were a councillor, I would not accept the status quo. We need a way of ensuring that planners, councils and developers deliver on local plans and building regulations. We need to halt the neglect seen in our area. We need early intervention on problems to avoid greater long term costs.
In Conclusion, I want this area to be that wonderful combination of vibrant and peaceful; wealthy and caring. I will
Listen to you,
Fight for best deal for this area
Tell it like it is
Ask awkward questions
Not accept the status quo.