Cavendish by-election: Meet the candidates standing to win seat

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Adam Toms
Adam Tomshttps://pointsmoot.wordpress.com/
Adam has a keen interest in local politics and writes a number of articles for Gedling Eye covering local council activities and political issues affecting the borough.

Gedling Eye has spoken with some of the candidates ahead of today’s (6) by-election in the Cavendish ward of Gedling borough.

Liberal Democrat, Green Party, Conservative and Labour party candidates have set out their stances on resident concerns, green issues, the Levelling Up Fund, crime, and Covid restrictions.

The election follows the resignation of Gary Gregory (Lab) in November.

Mr Gregory was first elected in 2019 with fellow Cavendish councillor Liz Clunie (Lab).

He secured 704 votes, defeating the Conservative candidate, George Millar, who attracted 314 votes.

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Borough Council wards were redefined in 2015, with Cavendish ward now covering the area around Cavendish and Coningswath Road, including Carlton Hill.

Andrew Dunkin – Liberal Democrat

PICTURED: Andrew Dunkin

Liberal Democrat candidate, Andrew Dunkin, lives in Cavendish and has served the community as a local councillor in Gedling for 18 years.

He stood as a candidate in Carlton West during the 2021 County Council elections.

1. What would you aim to deliver for local residents?

“My biggest aim is to tackle the climate emergency.

“The Borough Council have declared a climate emergency but have done practically nothing so far.

“They have only just employed an officer, but this has to be treated as an emergency and quite a lot of things can be done.

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“More charging points in the area need to be installed, along with solar panels. We should also be insulating council properties.

“Overall, the council should be transitioning towards greener investments.”

2. What must Gedling Borough Council change in order to deliver a successful Levelling Up Fund (LUF) bid in Spring 2022 and how would you use the money?

“Firstly I would question whether ‘Levelling up’ is a real thing. I’m not sure that its genuine or just a phrase that the Government has put out.

“If we do get the money, what we really need is a tram from the city out to Carlton and Gedling and a Trent crossing in Colwick.

“I think both are a good idea and clearly need to be looked at.

“There needs to be an investigation as to why our first two bids failed and how it can be improved.”

3. How should the borough council address crime levels after recent spates of burglary, theft, speeding, and anti-social use of roads?

“We need more PCSOs, more visible PCSOs as the levels of anti-social behaviour certainly need to be looked at.

“To address it, we need to determine the hotspots and ensure more presence on the streets in these areas.”

4. Would you advocate further Covid restrictions?

“It’s difficult to say as the evidence of what this variant is like is not really there.

“I suspect it [Plan B restrictions] will turn out to be not enough, but we need evidence of deaths and hospitalisations.

“Clearly they are trying to keep the economy going, but I expect there will be more stringent measures very soon.”

On Gedling’s MP Tom Randall, who voted against current ‘Plan B’ restrictions in December, Mr Dunkin added: “He appears to be a Government yes man and doesn’t appear to have any of his own thoughts.

“He’s voting along the line.

“I don’t have any strong opinions on Covid passes. What we need to do is to get people vaccinated.”

Jim Norris – Green Party

PICTURED: Jim Norris, Green Party candidate

Green Party candidate, Jim Norris, is an activist in Gedling and has lived in the area for 24 years.

He is the Chair of the Gedling Local Group of the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and the Nottinghamshire Area Chair of the Ramblers Association.

He stood for the Green Party in Gedling during the 2019 General Election.

1. What would you aim to deliver for local residents?

“I would concentrate on making Gedling in general and Cavendish ward a pleasant place to live, encouraging pleasantness and greenness

“I’d offer help with people’s general issues too. Green Party councillors are not whipped.

“This extra discretion gives us an added advantage.”

2. Is the Green Party less relevant due to other parties making climate commitments?

“If you look at the recent COP26 Conference in Glasgow, British politicians have been making commitments and its good they’ve got the hang of it.

“But with other parties, green policies are just add-ons. ‘Oh, by the way’.

“The Green Party is completely different. We’re in a position to give green issues more prominence.

“We come from the other end, we’re first and foremost green and other policies flow from that.”

3. What must Gedling Borough Council change in order to deliver a successful Levelling Up Fund (LUF) bid in Spring 2022 and how would you use the money?

“We have to recognise that district councils have restrictions in terms of cut backs. It’s a question of prioritising what would be best for people in terms of limited budget.

“The basic principle remains improving Gedling as a place. The changes we make need to give residents value for money.

“This means not necessarily spending loads of money but spending sensibly on things that matter. Green party candidates will always do this.

“This particularly applies to public transport. These are critical issues that should be supported.

“Car parking charges are very important as well. The only way you can keep your cars is by adopting green approach to it – we don’t want to get rid of them.

“These are things that actually matter to people. I drive a car. I’m irritated by pot holes as I’m driving. 

“Shopping areas could also be improved in Gedling, Netherfield, and Carlton Hill. I’ve been involved in submitting a plan for Greening up Arnold.

“This includes planting trees and making things more pleasant overall.”

3. How should the borough council address crime levels after recent spates of burglary, theft, speeding, and anti-social use of roads?

“I’m very frustrated by this as I used to work for the police. Police on the ground often know much better than the leadership.

“I was a big fan of [Labour’s former Police and Crime Commissioner] Paddy Tipping. I liked his approach and attitude.

“The police are the experts and we need to listen to senior officers on strategy.”

 4. Would you advocate further Covid restrictions?

“I don’t approve much of the PM but he was quite magisterial when he warned against Omicron.

“‘Plan B’ should have come in quicker. But I support the measures.

“I’m not sure what extra is to be done, but we should do what the experts advise.

“The people of Gedling have to be protected. It’s out duty to protect.

“Tom Randall’s stance against restrictions is very unfortunate. His predecessor [Vernon Coaker (Lab)] wouldn’t have taken that approach.

“Mr Randall talks about authoritarianism, but these measures are short-term and have the purpose of protecting people.

“Gedling residents will catch Covid and become seriously ill. 

“People have a human right to life and should expect to be protected from the pandemic when then need arises.”

Darren Maltby – Conservative candidiate

PICTURED: Conservative candidate Darren Maltby

Conservative candidate,Darren Maltby, originally from Netherfield, has volunteered as a Regional Outreach Officer combatting addictions, mental health, and homelessness.

He has previously been homeless himself after serving in the Royal Air Force.

1. What would you aim to deliver for local residents?

“I would aim to deliver not my priorities, but the priorities of the residents of Cavendish.

“One of the biggest issues is black bin sizes. 240 litre bins have been reduced to 180 litres.”

“I myself, a disabled resident suffering with a bowel disability and PTSD, and other residents are struggling with this new size bin.

“There’s also been problems with the  Royal Mail, causing missed NHS appointments, and people not receiving new bank cards.

“Also, street cleaning. There are some steep streets in Cavendish ward with horrendous leaves on the road.

“I want to represent residents and build up trust and confidence so they have a local voice.”

2. What must Gedling Borough Council change in order to deliver a successful Levelling Up Fund (LUF) bid in Spring 2022 and how would you use the money?

“The failed bids have been down to the lack of quality of vision of Labour. Things like this need to be all party.

“It’s inequitable to have these things. My duty to hold them to account on behalf of residents.

“I would want the money to be spent on resident’s priorities such as infrastructure improvements like the reopening of the old railway line to city centre and towards Hucknall.”

3. How would you urge the council to crack down on local crime such as theft, burglaries, speeding, and anti-social use of the roads?

“I would continue to do what Conservative councillors do and actively engage with police and the Police and Crime Commissioner.

“We also need more Police because they’ve acted quite quickly on burglaries.

“They have an overriding responsibility to go out and start listening to residents. Sometimes we’re identifying trends and stopping things earlier.”

4. What green changes would you like to see in Gedling?

“I would seek to protect green spaces. Housing estates are popping up left right and centre creating concrete jungles.

“The Borough Council agreed to the development of 18 houses in Linby. That was initially for a primary school.

“New builds are usually 3 bedrooms costing £249,000. A lot of young residents looking to start a family can’t afford that.

“People are going to start leaving Gedling. Protecting green spaces improves wellbeing, reducing the workload on the NHS.”

5. Are you supportive of further Covid restrictions?

“I’ve not been one to frequent nightclubs anymore – I’m not a 22 year old starting his journey in life.

“I would advocate whatever is in accordance with advice that the Government is getting. Nightclubs are like cattle markets.”

6. Are you still a fan of Boris Johnson and can he find a way out of his current difficulties?

“I can’t speak on behalf of the PM. It would be remiss of me to predict the outcome of investigations.

“I personally followed the guidance whilst working on the frontline with veterans of this borough and delivering medication to residents of this borough.

“My whole family have been Labour all their life, but Mum, Dad and my brothers and sisters believe Labour has lost touch with working class and don’t trust them at all.

“They seem to rely on their core vote and they’ve not been listening to residents.

“I will be a community champion.

“I feel very confident about the election because of my passion and belief in community spirit. Only one person has slammed the door in my face.”

John Butterworth – Labour candidate

Labour
PICTURED: John Butterworth

Labour candidate, John Butterworth, 68, was born and still lives in Gedling.

He has spent several years as a Gedling Borough Council refuse collector, pounding the streets collecting bins for local residents.

He has also worked for the NHS, at both at Nottingham’s Women’s and Maternity Hospital in Peel Street and at the Queen’s Medical Centre, and raised money for local charities such as Cedars Rehabilitation Unit and Headway.

1. What would you aim to deliver for local residents?

“The residents of Cavendish ward deserve much better than the Conservative government cuts they’ve had for the last eleven years.

“That’s why I’m making ten firm promises to help improve the local area and create a safer, cleaner and greener Cavendish ward.

“Fix our local roads and pavements with investment in durable repairs & maintenance, not short-term fixes.

“Ensure Gedling Borough Council takes a zero tolerance approach to fly-tipping, dog-fouling and littering.

“Protect our local parks & green spaces, as well as planting thousands more trees + bee & pollinator friendly corridors.

“Invest in additional CCTV and community safety to help keep our streets and local community safe.

“Continue to regenerate our town centres and high streets, including completing the Carlton Square redevelopment.

“Keep two hours free parking in all council owned car parks, with no further increases in car parking charges.

“Invest in new, high quality public toilets across Gedling Borough.

“Continue to invest in our leisure centres, children’s play parks and Bonington Theatre & Cinema.

“Maintain efforts to be a ‘Plastic Clever’ borough and continue to tackle the Climate Emergency with robust zero carbon plan.

“Work with Gedling Borough Council & other local organisations to tackle loneliness & social isolation and to support the elderly.”

2. What must Gedling Borough Council change in order to deliver a successful Levelling Up Fund (LUF) bid in Spring 2022 and how would you use the money?

“The recent ‘Levelling Up Fund’ bid by Gedling Borough Council was fully signed up to and endorsed by our local Conservative MP and praised in the House of Commons by Boris Johnson.

“It’s a mystery as to why the Conservative Government chose not to award our communities in Gedling Borough a single penny from this £4.6 billion Levelling Up Fund, but did choose to allocate £330,000 of the fund to repair a driveway on the private Firle Estate of Conservative Party Lord, the 8th Viscount Gage.

“It’s called the ‘Levelling Up Fund’ but it seems it simply wasn’t a level playing field when it came to Conservative government ministers dishing out this large sum of taxpayers’ money.

“Our local communities in Gedling Borough have already been overlooked by the Conservative Government before, when they hand-picked towns across the country to benefit from the £3.6 billion Towns Fund and choose not to give our local area a single penny.

“This unfair approach has to change.

“I’ll strongly support Gedling Borough Council’s efforts to ensure Cavendish ward and our local communities in Gedling Borough get our fair share of government funding.

“I’m proud of the work Gedling Borough Council has already done to improve Carlton Square, even without central government support.

“If elected I’ll continue to fight for further investment in Carlton Square and our other local town centres, as well as further improvements to our local play parks and green spaces.”

3. How would you urge the council to crack down on local crime such as theft, burglaries, speeding, and anti-social use of the roads?

“Efforts to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in Cavendish ward weren’t helped by Conservative government cuts forcing the closure of our local Carlton Police Station.

“It’s just another example of the government turning its back on communities like ours but this won’t stop me doing everything I can to support local residents in Cavendish and to help make our community safer.

“I’m proud of the work Gedling Borough Council has done with Nottinghamshire Police to establish the Operation Reacher uniformed neighbourhood policing team in our community.

“If elected to serve the residents of Cavendish I’ll work with my fellow councillors and Nottinghamshire Police to build on this success.

“I’ll also work with councillors and officers at Gedling Borough Council to build on the investment in additional CCTV and Neighbourhood Warden patrols that has happened thanks to the Labour administration at Gedling Borough Council in recent years.

“I’m also keen to work with the community and fellow councillors to establish a Community Speedwatch Scheme in and around the Cavendish ward community.”

What green changes would you like to see in Gedling?

“If elected I’ll protect our local play areas and green spaces in and around Cavendish ward.

“The Robin Hood Allotments are a fantastic local asset in our community – I’ll ensure they’re protected and work with allotment tenants, fellow councillors and Gedling Borough Council to support and improve this superb local facility.

“I’m proud of Labour-run Gedling Borough Council’s investment in the children’s play area on the corner of Carnarvon Grove and Foxhill Road – if elected I’ll fight for further investment in local play areas, playing fields and green spaces.

“Labour’s creation of Gedling Country Park is a proud achievement and I’m supportive of the council’s plans to expand this space over Arnold Lane towards the north end of Cavendish ward with the new development of the Green Lung for Gedling.”

Would you like to see more Covid restrictions?

“Having worked in the NHS for much of my adult life, I’ve seen first-hand the pressure on our local hospitals and health services.

“That’s why I firmly believe we should all play our part in taking precautionary measures to protect our NHS, protect ourselves, our loved ones and our fellow citizens and to save lives.

“I was deeply angry to see the news of senior Conservative Party figures flagrantly disregarding the very rules they were asking us all to follow during last year’s worst period of the covid pandemic.

“It was hypocritical, selfish and really undermines public health messaging. It smacked of one rule for them and one rule for everyone else.

“It’s important our elected officials listen to the scientists and experts who have been such heroes in helping us all get through this incredibly tough time

“That’s why Labour in Parliament has always put public health measures, protecting our NHS and saving lives above party politics when it comes to votes on covid measures in the House of Commons.”

What do you make of Boris Johnson telling the Borough Council to ‘get its act together’?

“In July 2020 the Prime Minister gave fulsome praise of Gedling Borough Council’s Levelling Up Fund bid in Prime Minister’s Questions, then in December the Prime Minister said the council needs to ‘get its act together’.

“Sadly he’s all over the place on this issue – just like he has been on recent allegations against his own government on sleaze and breaching their own covid restrictions with parties and social gatherings.

“We’d just like to see a little less bluster from Boris Johnson and a little more focussing on the real issues facing us all – rising energy costs, increasing fuel prices, his own Government’s increases in National Insurance and Council Tax for hardworking families and the immense pressure on our local hospitals and ambulance service here in Nottinghamshire.

“Not to mention the awful state a decade of Conservative cuts has left our local roads and pavements in.”

Francois Loi – Independent

Francois Loi is also running in the election as an independent candidate.

The result of this by-election will not change the overall makeup of the Gedling Borough Council, but it will give people in Cavendish a chance to voice their opinion on those currently in charge.

The swing to or from the parties fielding candidates will provide an insight into residents’ views.

Labour are currently in firm control of Gedling Borough Council after incumbent councillors were last elected in May 2019.

Despite Brexit debates meaning bad results nationally for both the Conservatives and Labour, Gedling proved to be a Labour mainstay.

Two years later, in spite of the Conservatives winning control of Nottinghamshire County Council in May 2021, Gedling wards again returned Labour candidates.

Local Elections will take place across the country, although not in Nottinghamshire, in May 2022.

After accusations of illegal parties in Downing Street and sleaze rocked Boris Johnson’s lead in the polls in 2021, local results will indicate as to whether the Labour Party’s current lead represents a public reaction to recent scandals, or a more significant shift away from the Conservatives.

After a torrid year, the Prime Minister will seek to re-establish his Government’s direction as he unveils a long-awaited white paper later this month which outlines how he plans to ‘level up’ to country.

Additional guidance about being an election candidate and election procedures is available online from the Electoral Commission.

If you have any queries regarding voter registration or the electoral process for the Cavendish by-election, contact the Gedling Borough Council Electoral Services team on 0115 901 3906 or email [email protected]

2 COMMENTS

  1. Did the Labour candidate write these answers himself? Of course not. Along with the Green and Lib Dem candidate, he is very keen to spend, spend, spend. Someone else’s money of course.

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