Here’s a quick one to shoot out just in the nick of time!
Jon Manning, Liberal Democrat Candidate (and current councillor for Wivenhoe Cross), pitching for Stanway Ward…
For info on Jon see here
For Q&A, see here…
1. Simple one to get going – what’s your full name and what do you like to known as?
Jonathan Manning called a lot of things but let’s stick to Jon
2. What do you like most about the Ward you are standing for, and what made you want to stand this time?
Stanway is a dynamic growth area which as we all know creates its own issues. This gives me the best opportunity to help people which is actually why I do this.
3. You don’t live in the Ward you’re standing for, why did you choose that Ward rather than your own?
As many may know I am changing wards this year. This is due to the fact I have a new job starting south of Colchester and I am planning to move closer to the A12 as soon as my youngest completes his GCSE’s. Why Stanway? It is a growth area of the borough it has its issues but what it really has is a sense of community. In my opinion the jewel in the crown is my two running mates who are among the hardest working councillors I know.
4. What political party are you aligned with, if any, and why? If Independent, why did you choose to go it alone?
My names Jon and I’m a Liberal Democrat it always sounds like one of the 12 steps. Why am I aligned it is difficult to get things done on your own. You can get far more done working together and outside of the silly season most councillors work with all flavours to achieve the best for their residents. Why am I a Lib Dem? They are the only party without a whip this allows me to put residents before party.
5. 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?
Unfortunately they usually do this has resulted in many good ward Councillors losing their seats and ultimately residents losing out. Vote people over party.
6. Everyone needs a break – what are your favourite hobbies?
Rugby Cycling Cricket watching all rather than participating me knees are no longer up to it. I do coach a local Rugby team and I suppose since last Monday I need to add spending time with my Grandson.
7. When not doing politics, what does your day usually consist of?
Teacher training and all that it encompasses
8. How do you feel Colchester Borough Council currently performs for Colchester?
It performs well although far too slowly. Some of this is caused by central government restrictions some is about changing mindsets.
9. What is the best thing about Colchester and what one thing would you change tomorrow about Colchester if you could?
Mary Seacole Success against adversity.
I have already started on planning to make doorways wider. My step son works as a Carer and has told me issues around toilets etc. However what I have realised is how difficult it is as an able bodied person to identify issues. I would therefore be looking to get the people who know their needs best to identify where the council can help them and help them to help themselves.
12. What would you do for women’s rights in the town once election day is passed?
With the two ladies I will hopefully be sharing a ward with I be doing as I’m told in this dept. Seriously though I do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. One thing I would like to see is an increase in flexible working to help families.
13. What is your view on the spread of fines for the rough sleeping and homeless?
It’s a disgrace and any Councillor that votes for it should be removed from public office we are here to help each other not to kick those already down.
14. Do you think the ‘Living Wage’ is truly a living wage?
I believe it is economically flawed much of it depends where you live. A local living wage might be a better way to go however this does increase costs and therefore prices.
15. Are you happy to keep promoting Colchester as a welcoming place for refugees?
Yes. there but for the grace of God go I.
16. What is the biggest problem in the Ward you are standing in?
17. Which green and ecologically-wise policies do you think Colchester borough should instigate?
Free parking for electric cars with top up points from solar panels. Ban non compliant buses from AQMAs. Charging points for cars in all new development. Integrated cycle ways joining up the good bits. End of use of pesticides that harm bees.
18. Tollgate Village, Northern Gateway… views?
NG was passed before I was a Councillor – we are now tinkering around with the details. Tollgate, it’s a shame the developer did not go via the local plan in the first place. In planning terms the correct decision was probably made however I don’t believe it was the right one. Unfortunately the developer and political groups are spreading half truths and rumour using it as a political cudgel rather than sitting down and finding a way forward. NG or TG why can’t we have both?
19. Do you think our current government and electoral system is fit for purpose?
No, too many peoples votes are not heard alienating them from the system. A hybrid list and fpp system would allow for a better balance of public view.
20. Are you having second thoughts?
No, when I commit I see it through to the end.
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Nearly election day!