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Steve Bolter's priorities for Hedingham

April 23, 2017 4:41 PM

Steve BolterSteve Bolter, Lib Dem candidate for Hedingham in the County Council Elections, lays out his priorities:

I am a Liberal Democrat because I want to see a greener world, a stronger economy, and a fairer society.

.I believe that only a green, environmentally sustainable economy can be a strong economy in the long term, and thus be fair to following generations. I think that only in a world at peace can economic strength be used harness to maximise human happiness; and that the European Union is vital to combating rapid climate-change, conserving resources and maintaining peace and stability in Europe and the wider world.

With falling funding from Central Government; the quality of Social Services, Education, and Transport in Essex is under threat. That's why we need Liberal Democrat Councillors to protect our services and ensure infrastructure is developed to cope with the increasing local population.

The following are my key policies for Hedingham:

  • Call for more finance for Adult Social Care and ensure proper contact between Social Services and medical Facilities in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire used by Essex residents.
  • Ensure changes to schools and their catchments, to cope with population changes, are fair to all, and take travel time and cost into consideration.
  • Ensure the free school age transport policy includes travel to vocational as well as academic courses.
  • Contain the costs of transport to schools and colleges for those who have to pay their own fares. .
  • Keep local bus services and improve connectivity between buses and trains.
  • Support a better bus service between Braintree, and Hedingham and extend it to Haverhill.
  • Call for wheelchair access from the Bures branch-line to the mainline to London.
  • Ensure the junction between the A120 and A131 is improved before the completion of major housing development in Halstead and Hedingham.
  • Ensure plans for a Sudbury Western Bypass minimise the potential impact on Essex residents.

More about me

I am a retired Physics & Maths FE lecturer, and have lived in the Hedingham Division, at Gestingthorpe, since 1983. [Three of the other candidates live outside the Division - the Green Party candidate is from Witham.] My sons attended Hedingham school.

From 2004 to 2007, I was a Braintree District Councillor for the former Hedingham and Maplestead Ward and have since remained the Lib Dem candidate for my local County Division and District Ward (now Stour Valley South).

During my time as Councillor for Hedingham and Maplestead Ward, I served on the modernisation, planning and environmental committees. All three committees were examples of councillor of different parties working effectively together, for the good of the residents. I worked particularly closely with a Green Party councillor on getting a the Council adopt a sustainability strategy, and getting it to oppose a second runway at Stansted. I also had a good working relationship with the two Conservative councillors with whom I shared the Ward.

From 2007 I have also been a member of the non-party-political Gestingthorpe Parish Council. I led on bringing Wireless Broadband to Gestingthorpe in 2008. I specialise in planning, and represented the Parish on the National Grid Bramford to Twinstead Forum, which successfully resisted a new 400 000 volt pylon line across the Stour Valley. He also represents the PC on the Gestingthorpe Educational Foundation.

In March I completed three terms as Vice Chairman of the Green Liberal Democrats (an internal Lib Dem organisaion). I remain on its Executive. I have been on National Lib Dem policy working groups on Energy and Climate policy, and on Education. Recently I have become an individual member of our EU group, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

I am a member of the Colne Stour Countryside Association and the Thames Sailing Barge Trust. I enjoy hill walking, skiing and attending live music.

My Campaign

Every vote counts, whether or not it results in a council seat. The first round of the French Presidential Election has shown a mood for change away from previously dominent parties. A similar mood could develop here. The Liberal Democrats are the only English party to have been consistently pro EU for decades. On the 4th of May, the total Lib Dem County Election vote, across the Braintree Constituency, will inform those who want to vote tactically in the General Election to show opposition to Mrs May's hard Brexit policy.

Hedingham Division has 14 600 electors, in 7 350 households, in 30 polling districs from Helions Bumpstead to Bures. If you would like to help us spread our message in this Division, please e-mail steve.bolter@greenlibdems.org.uk.

I would also like to hear from anyone who is aware of issues that need attention, or who has questions for me.

Steve Bolter, April 2017