Colcestrian Q&A with… Julia Havis

Time is pressing, so just time for me to say:

Meet Julia Havis, Liberal Democrat Candidate for Old Heath & The Hythe…

Julia says:DSCN0434

“A few things about me, I am 56 and live in Scarletts Road with my partner Clive, three rescue cats and a rescue tortoise.
I am a School Governor at Old Heath Community Primary and a trustee of the Roman River Classical Music Festival. I am
also a Council appointed trustee of Colchester Borough Homes and Colchester Arts Centre. I have just finished a six year
stint as a trustee of the Mercury Theatre.
I love travelling especially to slightly more off the beaten track places and am off to tour India for a second visit in October
which will also be a belated honeymoon as I am getting married in June.”

three rescue cats and a rescue tortoise


Colcestrian – Simple one to get going – what’s your full name and what do you like to be known as?

Julia – Julia Havis but after 4th June it will be Julia Stephen as I am getting married.  Julia

Colcestrian – What do you like most about the Ward you are standing for, and what made you want to stand this time?

Julia – I love Old Heath, it is my home. Many of the people have lived here all their lives and are surrounded by their families
so it has a wonderful feeling of being a complete community not just another area of Colchester.

Colcestrian – You do live in the Ward, what do you think about candidates standing in Wards they don’t live in?

Julia – I feel that you really should live in the Ward you represent to give you a real sense of what needs doing. I stood again because I hope that I have been doing a good job in helping people and I want to carry on what I have started.

Colcestrian – What political party are you aligned with, if any, and why?  If Independent, why did you choose to go it alone?

Julia – I am a Liberal Democrat because I believe in fairness for all.

 going in to coalition with the Tories hurt us locally as well as nationally

Colcestrian – Do you think your political party’s actions at a national level will have an effect on you locally?  If Independent, do you think Westminster politics will affect your votes?

Julia – I feel that going in to coalition with the Tories hurt us locally as well as nationally and whilst I would have preferred not to it did mean that we could dilute some of the more extreme things the Tories tried to do.

Colcestrian – Everyone needs a break – what are your favourite hobbies?

Julia – I am a big supporter of the Arts so relax by going to the theatre a gallery or to a concert, I am also a West Ham supporter so can sometimes be found jumping up and down at the Boleyn ground. I love to travel and will be revisiting India in October for a belated honeymoon.

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Colcestrian – When not doing politics, what does your day usually consist of?

Julia – Every day is different as I work part time but an average day could be sticking a casserole in the oven to slow cook for dinner followed by a work appointment in the morning. Going to an older persons group in my Ward in the afternoon to catch up with residents and have a game of bingo and a sing song then home to feed the cats before heading out again for whatever meeting I have that evening. If it is not a meeting to do with the Council then it could be a Board meeting as I am on the Boards of Colchester Borough Homes, Roman River Music Festival and Colchester Arts Centre. I am also a Governor at Old Heath School and attend events there.

Colcestrian – How do you feel Colchester Borough Council currently performs for Colchester?

Julia – We do our best and try very hard to do what is best for residents within the confines of Government policy. I am very proud to have been Chair of the Trading Board for the last two years which we set up to make the Council more commercially minded. We have managed to save our residents over £600,000 without cutting essential services.

Colcestrian – What is the best thing about Colchester and what one thing would you change tomorrow about Colchester if you could?

Julia – I find it impossible to choose the best thing about Colchester because we have so many things to be proud of. The Castle, the Arts scene, the Recreation Ground, our Roman heritage and being a Garrison town. The thing I would change is to stop people constantly moaning when they don’t realise how lucky they are to live in such a great place.

Colcestrian – Who are your heroes?

Julia – My parents, because they gave me the confidence to believe that just because I grew up in a Council house didn’t stop me from trying to do anything I wanted to do and that it was ok to fail as long as I had tried my best.

I find it abhorrent that anybody would want to fine somebody at their lowest ebb

Colcestrian – What would you do to promote disabled rights if you are a Councillor after the election, and what would you do for women’s rights in the town once election day is passed?

Julia – I will continue to do everything in my power to stop anybody being discriminated against, if someone comes to me with a problem I will try to help them.

Colcestrian – What is your view on the spread of fines for the rough sleeping and homeless?

Julia – I find it abhorrent that anybody would want to fine somebody at their lowest ebb. I am so glad that we have organisations like Emmaus, the night shelter and Beacon House in Colchester who try to help these people turn their lives around.

Colcestrian – Do you think the ‘Living Wage’ is truly a living wage?

Julia – I would like to see George Osborne get by on his Living Wage but I am very glad we became a Living Wage Council before it was law and expected our suppliers to do the same.

Colcestrian – Are you happy to keep promoting Colchester as a welcoming place for refugees?

Julia – I am happy that Colchester has a long history of being a welcoming place for refugees I just wish I could stop all the wars that create them. I feel that the different nationalities we have in our town enhance it, I realise of course that the Ghurkas are not refugees but I think our town would be poorer without them.

 I feel that proportional representation would be a fairer system

Colcestrian – What is the biggest problem in the Ward you are standing in?

Julia – Although my Ward is one of the lowest in the Borough in economic terms we really don’t have any major problems just the usual potholes and littering.

Colcestrian – Which green and ecologically-wise policies do you think Colchester borough should instigate?

Julia – I am a passionate recycler and would like to educate people to encourage more of them to reduce, reuse and recycle. I am so pleased that we put solar panels on loads of our CBH properties to benefit our tenants from getting cheaper, greener electricity. I get my gas and electricity from a small green energy company and do a lot of shopping in charity shops.

Colcestrian – Tollgate Village, Northern Gateway… views?

Julia – As I sat on the 2nd Planning meeting it is probably best I don’t comment.

Colcestrian – Do you think our current government and electoral system is fit for purpose?

Julia – I feel that proportional representation would be a fairer system then the country would not be run by a party that only got around 30% of the total votes cast but I thank my lucky stars that I live in a democracy.

Colcestrian – Are you having second thoughts?

Julia – Not at all, but I must have been mad to set my wedding a month after the election.

Hope you enjoyed meeting Julia 🙂

Please add your comments below?  Share on Facebook?  Or Twitter?  Or around town?

If you are a Candidate who hasn’t already connected with me, I have to apologise as I’m at capacity now.  Hope you still enjoy the rest of the blogs coming from the backlog I have collected.  Do please engage with the public yourself – get on Facebook, Twitter, etc – onwards to election day!

The Colcestrian


Candidates for Old Heath & The Hythe

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