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Election 2015 Jim Thornton (Independent) Manifesto

Independents believe that in Local Government the concerns of the voters in a Ward should override the requirements of a Political Party.

Whatever ‘localism’ means, it is difficult to see how councillors of a political party, particularly a party in national government, can really give power to local people.

If you elect me, my priority will be:

• To find out what is the real story behind the Waitrose van Hage planning permission

• To fight for a vibrant Hertford Town Centre, with integrated transport connections

• To re-visit the way parking charges operate

• To try and find ways to ensure young people can get a step up onto the housing ladder in the area

• To find innovative ways to consult with voters on current issues

• To ensure the vulnerable in our society are supported and valued

I run a local business in offices next to Hertford Castle. I am a Governor of Richard Hale School and Haileybury College, and I live in the Ward in Castle Street.

I promised I would spend my £5,167 Elected Member’s Allowance on improving communication and local initiatives in the Ward. I have done this with leaflets, the Ward Times website and Surgeries, and what was left over has been given to charity.

If re-elected, I promise to give my allowance again to Ward communication and initiatives.

I promised to do what I can to try and find ways to ensure young people can get a step up onto the housing ladder, and I was invited to represent all the Independents in England and Waleson the Local Government Association Commercial Advisory Board.

Under the leadership of Labour Mayor Sir Steve Bullock, four of us are tasked with coming up with innovative ideas in three key areas, one of which is housing, and I am able to use my knowledge and experience of the property and development industry to put forward ideas that we all hope will lead to more and cheaper housing projects by Local Authorities. If re-elected I promise to continue this involvement.

There were 46 Conservative Councillors out of 50 in the last elected Council. We need a larger ‘opposition’ in East Herts. I do not belong to the school of thought that says that it is the job of an opposition to oppose everything on principle, and my experience is that if the Executive know that you trying to be constructive, and not trying to ‘get them’, then they will listen to what you have to say and act on it if they agree.

I think we need more independent thinkers on the Council, willing to speak constructively to power, and not being forced to toe a party line. If you re-elect me, I will continue supporting what is good and speaking constructively and innovatively where I can. However, if there is something wrong, I do have form in taking public action for change

You can email me on jim.thornton@healthierhertford.org

Independents supported by the Independent Network all agree to abide by the Bell Principles, and there is more information on the IN website www.independentnetwork.org.uk