This in from Stewart Blackmore, Labour Candidate for Ventnor West in the 2013 local elections. Ed
I offer myself as a candidate for election to represent the Ventnor West ward in the forthcoming local election on Thursday 2nd May.
My slogan is VENTNOR FIRST.
I am often asked why I do not stand as an Independent, as some consider that this will give me a better chance of success. The answer is really quite simple.
I have lived in Ventnor for over 30 years and, during that time, have been a supporter of the Labour Party. Although I resigned my membership on principle over the Iraq war, I re-joined when Tony Blair resigned as Prime Minister. If I stood as an Independent then it would provide a stick for my opponents to beat me with. I wish they were as honest, but there you are.
And here’s the thing: some people cannot get around the fact that I can be a member of the Labour Party AND stand up for Ventnor – only the so-called Independents are capable of that!
Not a Yes Man
It almost seems unbelievable, don’t you think? How many people who know me think that I will meekly toe the party line. How many think that I am a Yes man? How many think that all I need is my tummy tickled (OK, I do!)?
One thing you can be sure of – my voice WILL be heard.
Mr Stubbings stood as an Independent in 2009 and came within SEVEN votes of defeating Cllr. Scoccia in Ventnor West – well within the margin of error. Did he demand a recount as was his right? No.
Under Conservative rule
During the last four years, services in Ventnor have been decimated. Neither sitting councillor has been able to withstand this. Indeed, Cllr. Scoccia has NEVER voted against any initiative which has been detrimental to Ventnor; check that – NOT ONCE.
Under her party’s stewardship this is the reality:
- The Winter Gardens was sold for £1 and is still an eyesore with an uncertain future.
- The Botanic Gardens were sold off with no regard to the wishes of Ventnor.
- Public toilets have been closed and sold off, again with no regard to the wishes of Ventnor.
- The Tourist Information Centre has been closed.
- Ventnor came to a standstill during the (heavily predicted) snow.
- The Undercliff road problem has still not been resolved.
- Likewise the continuing problem with subsidence on the Newport Road continues to get an elastoplast.
- The Coastal Centre will be sold off to the highest bidder (Why not £1?).
- Traffic wardens are used as money collectors and don’t care whether it’s Carnival, for example.
- The condition of the roads is lamentable, notwithstanding the PFI. They might get round to addressing Ventnor’s problems when the 25 years are nearly up.
My promises to Ventnor
So, you are all asking, what will Stewart Blackmore do? There’s no denying that it will be difficult, depending on the make-up of the Council.
But here is what I promise:
- I will ALWAYS vote in the interest of Ventnor.
- I will NEVER vote for the sale of the Coastal Centre.
- I will DEMAND clarity over the ownership and plans for the Winter Gardens.
- I am in FAVOUR of pedestrianizing the Esplanade for a period during the Summer.
- I will encourage residents to apply to have the streets they live in as Resident Only parking permit areas at no cost.
- I will actively lobby to have a Tourist Information Centre in the town centre.
- I will actively lobby to have the public toilets, which have not already been sold, re-opened.
- I will actively lobby for the relaxation of parking restrictions during the Carnival.
- I will continually question on behalf of Ventnor and ensure that Ventnor’s case in considered in every decision which concerns Ventnor.
- I will have an on-going dialogue with businesses and residents alike, and work on behalf of ALL.
Stewart Blackmore, Labour Candidate Ventnor West – VENTNOR FIRST!