I am currently a Nottingham City Councillor for Bridge ward which includes the city centre and The Meadows.
I previously represented the marginal and middle England ward of Mapperley, having won it for Labour in 1993 at the third attempt and held it on four occasions since. From 1993-98 as a County Councillor, from 1997-2003 on the City Council, and from 2003-11 on different, wider boundaries.
I stood for Parliament for the marginal seat of South Derbyshire in 2010 and would dearly love to be representing them now, seeking local jobs for local people and demanding proper reform and focus of Westminster, Whitehall and the City of London, to deliver real change and security for working people. I know Britain can do so much better.
I worked for British Rail’s computing division for over 18 years (Nov. ’83 – Feb. ’02; my division was privatised in 1997). I started as a programmer and became a designer and a project manager, delivering significant computer systems such as a transaction processing system for Red Star and upgrades to the ticketing machines used in railway travel offices. I’ve managed teams of five or so, sometimes larger and written bids for new projects. I have served on partnerships with businesses on innovation, improving transport and going green for the future. I am on the board of a company supplying combined heat and power.
On education, health and community safety – I was Chair of Governors of Elliott Durham Comprehensive School for twelve years, which largely served a multi-cultural cohort from one of the most disadvantaged areas in the East Midlands. We reformed to improve the quality of teaching and learning for children who need so much help and results improved very significantly. I served on a range of health scrutiny committees. I introduced the budgets that created a 100 strong neighbourhood warden service and have emphasised rights and responsibilities in a major “Respect” campaign.
Providing extra resources was vital to making progress in public services, but so was reform. I served as Deputy Leader of Nottingham City Council for 5 years, responsible for an annual budget of £1,000 million and a reform programme that emphasised ambition and pride, and improved performance and customer focus, year on year. I took part in Corporate Performance inspections of two County Councils and a City Council in 2002.
We need better management in the workplace. I am a member of my trade union, the Transport Salaried Staffs Association. I have served as a local staff rep. and as a branch chair. I have attended 3 annual conferences and occasionally work with (my Dad’s) trade union ASLEF.
I have a particular interest in transport, I was the lead member for transport for 2 years and a member of the Nottingham tram development board for many years.
On climate change, I re-launched the “Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change”; the number of councils signing up more than doubled. I have given national presentations on measures to mitigate climate change, and to adapt to it; and worked with representatives from local councils in the USA and in Europe.
I have extensive experience as a local representative, and been on most council committees. Currently I am on the planning committee & the audit committee, and chair the Area Cttee for Bridge and Clifton, as well as attend the children’s services advisory board and Nottingham City Homes’ area panel for tenants.
In the nineties, I oversaw projects to improve road safety in my ward and worked to replace slum housing.
Currently the focus is helping the poor, the working poor and the unemployed, and keeping the pressure on crime (significantly down) and grime. Projects include the completion of the decent homes programme, the construction of the tram and renewal of the railway station, new homes and regeneration for the less successful homes of the seventies, more school places at Meadows schools, renewal of parks and sporting facilities and social enterprises for community profits for community services. I work with a number of community groups in the Meadows, and am a council representative on the Meadows Partnership Trust and I chaired the Meadows Advice Group for two years (Nov ’11 – Jan ’13).
I studied physics at the University of Birmingham and obtained a first-class honours degree. Now unremarkable and commonplace, I was the first working class lad from my village to go to university.
I was born in Hanwoodbank, part of Great Hanwood, a village of 2,000 people, just west of Shrewsbury. I grew up there, and went to the village school. My first jobs were on local farms.
My interest in politics came from my Dad. He was Chair of the village’s parish council and represented the village on the Rural District Council.
Photos – my Dad’s election photo; me when I was still cute with my Mum at my babysitters’ wedding;
me when I was still borderline cute on the cover of the local county weekly newspaper – for no apparent reason that we know of; my first election photo, with Neil Kinnock in 1989. Main photo above – 2010 campaign photo.
The Tiger is an unofficial symbol for the determined canvassing demonstrated in Nottingham Labour Party, and in Nottingham East in particular. Reaching out to voters. talking; talking issues and outcomes, values and vision. Proportionate – not the wet hen flapping of the Liberal Democrats’ Focus Teams. And for the many, not few – unlike the party of privilege – the Conservatives.