How many of these have we done it now…?
A few, and they seem to be going down better than cod liver oil, for which I am glad.
This time we meet a chap who is quite active on Twitter and likes to engage politically – a good start for the job!
His name is Vic Flores. He’s standing as a modern Conservative Candidate for Shrub End Ward…
I lived at home and travelled to the Cold War on my motorbike!
Vic says “Hi, I’m Vic Flores and I’m 51 years old. I have two children (Bobby and Alice) and I live in Straight Road.
I’ve lived in Colchester since I was 8 and went to St Teresa’s primary in Lexden and then the grammar school.
I joined the RAF as a reconnaissance photographer to see the world, and they posted me to Wattisham in Suffolk, 25 miles away. I lived at home and travelled to the Cold War on my motorbike!
I started my television production company in 1987 and have filmed all over the world for many different tv stations specialising in sport. I’ve filmed world cups, Formula 1 and worked with numerous celebrities.
I decided to take things easier about 2 years ago and to change career into travel. I now work part time for ROL based in Lexden as an ambassador, moving their clients around the world and for IT Fleet based at Raydon, delivering new cars to clients for Mercedes and BMW.
I met Will Quince around 2 1/2 years ago and I offered to help him campaign, which has led to my first campaign to become a Councillor with Will delivering leaflets for ME this time around!
I have a long record of volunteering in my local community and I would be honoured to represent shrub end on the council.”
Vic added later that he felt that the Lib Dem message in Shrub End was overwhelmingly negative. He said “We have taken the view that people get fed up of politicians attacking each other all the time. We are trying to focus on a positive message. Pauline Hazell works tirelessly for Shrub End residents and sometimes even has her work claimed by other parties, which she takes with good grace. I’m not sure I would in that situation!”
On to your questions then sir ☺
Colcestrian – Simple one to get going – what’s your full name and what do you like to be known as?
Vic – My full name is Victor Robert Flores but only my mother calls me Victor. I’m Vic to everyone else. Robert is from my grandfather who painted Wellington bombers in ww2.
Colcestrian – What do you like most about the Ward you are standing for, and what made you want to stand this time?
Vic – I have lived in or very near this ward since I was at school. My parents live in Lethe Grove and I lived on Shrub End Road for 15 years until I moved to Westlands and then Straight Road. I love the Ward because it has such a varied population and it needs representing with enthusiasm, because there’s a lot to do.
Colcestrian – As you don’t live in the Ward you’re standing for, why did you choose that Ward rather than your own?
Vic – Technically I live now in Prettygate Ward, but my local is the Berechurch Arms and I still consider myself very much a local. Sometimes with local elections it might be a matter of a few hundred yards. I think as long as you understand the issues in a ward then you can represent that Ward very well.
the modern Conservative party is now a place where all are welcome
Colcestrian – What political party are you aligned with, if any, and why?
Vic – I am a Conservative, always have been to a certain extent, but the party changed about 10 years ago into a party I wanted to be more part of. I have friends of all religions from many different parts of the world. Some are gay, some are straight and the modern Conservative party is now a place where all are welcome.
Colcestrian – Do you think your political party’s actions at a national level will have an effect on you locally?
Vic – Yes, I think it obviously has an effect, especially if the party in power is unpopular nationally and the electorate want to show their anger. But it’s very unpredictable this time as all the parties have national issues they are trying to deal with and with the Euro referendum on the horizon, many politicians of many parties are working together, both for and against.
Colcestrian – Everyone needs a break – what are your favourite hobbies?
Vic – I love footy, Colchester and Liverpool and motor racing. My son and I have a massive collection of old Scalextric cars and my daughter is showing signs of developing her photography habit, something I love too.
Colcestrian – When not doing politics, what does your day usually consist of?
Vic – I am either delivering people’s new Mercedes or BMW or helping people get from their cruise ship to their hotel or airport, working as an ambassador for Reader Offers Ltd, based in Lexden.
Colcestrian – How do you feel Colchester Borough Council currently performs for Colchester?
Vic -I think the current administration is tired. There is no co-operation between the Coalition and the Conservatives, so even though the Conservatives have the largest group, their voters are not represented or respected by the administration. In so many respects Colchester is falling behind where it needs to be and its time for a change. The handling of the Tollgate planning issue was local petty politics at its worst, with Councillors that voted against the administration being mysteriously unavailable for the following meeting, replaced with Councillors that by coincidence held the opposite view. The town centre is dirty and seemingly devoid of strategy and a number of world class historical monuments are barely promoted.
The reduction in disabled spaces in the town has been a problem
Colcestrian – What is the best thing about Colchester and what one thing would you change tomorrow about Colchester if you could?
Vic – Colchester is the most wonderful mix of people’s. You have the outlying rural wards, you have the suburban, swiftly growing areas and you have the military community. You have an amazing night life and a compact uniquely historical town centre. What it needs is a direction and a plan, to keep it vibrant, safe and appealing to visitors.
Colcestrian – Who are your heroes?
Vic – Kevin Keegan, Ayrton Senna and my mum.
Colcestrian – What would you do to promote disabled rights if you are a Councillor after the election?
Vic – Protect the disabled spaces in the town, some of which have been removed. Provide support for military injured as goodness knows they’ve earned our support and look at ways we can help create jobs for those that can work.
My mother is completely disabled so I have first hand experience of the problems entailed. The reduction in spaces in the town has been a problem as my father is less likely to take the gamble on whether he can get a space or not.
Colcestrian – What would you do for women’s rights in the town once election day is passed?
Vic – I am currently investigating what happens to ex military wives after separation and what support can be given whilst they rebuild their lives, particularly with children.
Colcestrian – What is your view on the spread of fines for the rough sleeping and homeless?
Vic – Disgraceful and pointless.
Colcestrian – Do you think the ‘Living Wage’ is truly a living wage?
Vic – Well, it’s a massive step in the right direction but am mindful that companies need to be able to afford to pay it.
Colcestrian – Are you happy to keep promoting Colchester as a welcoming place for refugees?
Vic – Yes, of course, but am also mindful that we already have a shortage of housing stock for people already here, some whom have been waiting a long time.
Colcestrian – What is the biggest problem in the Ward you are standing in?
Vic – The quality of the roads and kerbs in Shrub End estate is shocking and we need to keep the pressure on ECC to deliver. There was uncertainty with Alderman Blaxil School which was largely answered at a public meeting. I was surprised that there was a petition raised before the meeting and there was still one after. I’d like to see more for the youngsters to do in the Ward.
Colcestrian – Which green and ecologically-wise policies do you think Colchester borough should instigate?
Vic – There has got to be a better integrated transport policy which encourages people living near the centre to use public transport and cheap parking for those in outlying areas. Also buses that run earlier in the morning for earlier commuters.
Will Quince is delivering leaflets for ME this time around!
Colcestrian – Tollgate Village, Northern Gateway… views?
Vic – I think turning away a thousand jobs and millions of investment was idiotic. Now watch as reasons to refuse Tollgate are reversed for the Northern Gateway.
Colcestrian – Do you think our current government and electoral system is fit for purpose?
Vic – Yes and yes.
Colcestrian – Are you having second thoughts?
Vic – No! I’m really enjoying my first attempt at becoming a Councillor (said with my fingers crossed behind my back!)
So there you have it – hope you liked meeting Vic! A regular guy with a good bit of life experience. Yet again we see that there is agreement that the situation for the disabled of Colchester needs looking at – pretty much unanimous.
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If you are a Candidate who I haven’t already made contact with and you wish to engage with the public, take part in The Colcestrian’s Colchester Candidate Q&A! Drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org – I might just have time to fit you in before election day!
The Colcestrian/Iam Hanuman/Matthew Norman