Staying with the same Ward as the previous blog, we are introducing a local figure who has been singled out by ‘Anonymous’, targeted by the previous blog Q&Aer and is a long-time local Councillor who is head of the Colchester Labour Group.
Seemingly a divisive character, let’s meet Tim Young, Labour Candidate for Greenstead Ward…
“I was born, brought up and educated in Clacton on Sea where my parents still live. I moved to Colchester in 1984 when I married Julie and we have three wonderful, grown-up kids. I endured a twenty year career in the financial services industry (insurance) where I chaired my union branch representing over 1000 employees and learning negotiating skills and industrial relations plus the importance of trade unions. I became the company’s media and communications officer and took those skills to the Labour Party for the 2001 General Election where I organised visits to this region by senior Cabinet ministers. I have been a School Governor at a local Primary and Secondary school and a Non-Executive Director in the NHS for over a decade. I currently chair Colne Housing and have led the Labour Group on the Borough Council since 1997. I have stood for parliament on three occasions. I am passionate about the Labour Party and, surprisingly (especially to me), I am due to become Mayor’s Escort in May 2016. I was a half-decent footballer and cricketer and still play the occasional game of tennis and round of golf with my 19 year old son. My motto is: If in doubt quote Monty Python.”
Colcestrian – Simple one to get going – what’s your full name and what do you like to be known as?
Tim – Timothy Jon Young but known to all as Tim…although I am called other names by some!
Colcestrian – What do you like most about the Ward you are standing for, and what made you want to stand this time?
Tim – I have represented St Andrew’s ward since 1992 but that name has, unfortunately, disappeared from the municipal lexicon due to the boundary changes and I am now standing for Greenstead ward which is a lot bigger than just the Greenstead estate as it also includes Longridge Park, all of Greenstead Road, St Andrew’s Avenue and part of the Hythe. It’s a great part of the borough with an unmatched community spirit and the most resourceful and resilient residents.
Colcestrian – You live in the Ward. What do you think about candidates standing in Wards they don’t live in?
Tim – I do live in the ward I represent but haven’t always. It’s what you do that counts not where you live.
Colcestrian – What political party are you aligned with, if any, and why?
Tim – I have been a member of the Labour Party since 1984. Labour values of fairness, equality of opportunity, social justice and redistribution of wealth are designed to improve society. I am proud to be a member of a progressive, democratic socialist Party that created the NHS, the Open University, SureStart, the minimum wage, equal pay, civil partnerships, comprehensive state education and improved the lives of pensioners and reduced child poverty plus many other achievements. ‘By the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we do alone’ – Clause 4 of the Labour Party’s constitution which I wholeheartedly agree with.
Colcestrian – Do you think your political party’s actions at a national level will have an effect on you locally?
Tim – Yes, it always has and it always will but local issues and factors also play a large part in local elections.
Colcestrian – Everyone needs a break – what are your favourite hobbies?
Tim – Season ticket holder at Ipswich Town for over 40 years and Member of Essex County Cricket Club. I love watching almost any sport that involves a ball. I also enjoy films, theatre and TV, especially comedy. I also occasionally perform a few classic comedy sketches with my pal, Big Dave. I’m a Monty Python devotee and a Punk Rock fan.
Colcestrian – When not doing politics, what does your day usually consist of?
Tim – See the previous answer and spending time with my wife, Julie who is also a Borough Councillor and a County Councillor. She will become Mayor of Colchester in May if she survives these elections.
Colcestrian – How do you feel Colchester Borough Council currently performs for Colchester?
Tim – Pretty well. I think we’ve proved ourselves as the best district council in Essex over the last eight years which just happens to coincide with Labour being part of the administration. A majority Labour Council would do even better putting fairness, sustainability and prosperity at its core.
Colcestrian – What is the best thing about Colchester and what one thing would you change tomorrow about Colchester if you could?
Tim – The diversity of arts, cultural, leisure and heritage attractions (Castle Park, The Mercury, The Arts Centre, Firstsite, the Zoo, West Mersea, Wivenhoe, Rowhedge and, of course, Greenstead). I would create a unitary council so that we could sort out the traffic and transport issues around the borough which can be a nightmare.
Colcestrian – Who are your heroes?
Tim – Nelson Mandela, Barbara Castle and Arnold Muhren.
Colcestrian – What would you do to promote disabled rights if you are a Councillor after the election?
Tim – Give a more prominent role to the existing Disabled Access Group to influence decision making at the council.
Colcestrian – What would you do for women’s rights in the town once election day is passed?
Tim – Appoint a Cabinet that is gender balanced and give more support to women’s groups in the borough.
Colcestrian – What is your view on the spread of fines for the rough sleeping and homeless?
Tim – It’s wrong. We have superb local charities in Colchester to support the homeless like Beacon House and the Night Shelter and they should continue to advise on the best ways to tackle these issues.
Colcestrian – Do you think the ‘Living Wage’ is truly a living wage?
Tim – Osborne’s Living Wage certainly isn’t; it’s just an extension of the minimum wage. The Living Wage as promoted by the Living Wage Foundation is a true living wage and I am proud that Colchester Borough Council is accredited as a Living Wage employer by them. This was initiated by Labour and means not only our own staff but the contractors we employ have to pay their workers a decent salary.
Colcestrian – Are you happy to keep promoting Colchester as a welcoming place for refugees?
Tim – Absolutely.
Colcestrian – What is the biggest problem in the Ward you are standing in?
Tim – The welfare changes brought in by the government that have devastated the incomes of people who were already struggling.
Colcestrian – Which green and ecologically-wise policies do you think Colchester borough should instigate?
Tim – We are already at the cutting edge through our work with the Carbon Trust but we need to encourage other local employers to be as green as the Council.
Colcestrian – Tollgate Village, Northern Gateway… views?
Tim – We need to protect the town centre and support the Local Plan. Northern Gateway does that, Tollgate doesn’t.
Colcestrian – Do you think our current government and electoral system is fit for purpose?
Tim – Not at all. I have been a fervent supporter of electoral reform, including proportional representation, since my late teens. It’s just fairer. The current system is outdated and discredited in my opinion.
Colcestrian – Are you having second thoughts?
Tim – None whatsoever.
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!