Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Orcadian 300

The Orcadian asked all 46 candidates for the 6 multi-member wards to contribute 300 words for the 12th April paper. This is what I had to say:

"I’m from Kirkwall, 47, and married with a son aged 15. I returned in 1999 after 16 years away during which I did a PhD in Physics and worked in R&D, latterly at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh. Since returning I’ve been self-employed as an IT and business consultant, and an employee of Orkney Enterprise. A community councillor from 2003-2007, I’ve been a councillor for Kirkwall East since then. I also run the orkneycommunities.co.uk and allaboutorkney.com websites.

I’m standing as I think I’ve done a good job, and have built up momentum to do more. I hate unfairness and like to get results for constituents. I’ve taken on work since day 1, first as vice-chair of the Monitoring and Audit Committee, and more recently as vice-chair then chair of Education and Leisure, serving on more than 10 other sub-committees and working groups. In the committees I’ve done my homework and relentlessly challenged the recommendations presented whenever I feel they are wrong.

Through diligent campaigning I have seen the new KGS being built at the heart of the community in a schools campus with a new Arts Theatre, and prevented the Christmas Bonus being stopped entirely, eventually persuading my colleagues to save it for the most needy when initially I didn’t even get a seconder.

Not all campaigns succeed (e.g. Northlink Photo ID), and there is work to see through: attainment in schools; next steps to address flooding in Kirkwall; the new care facilities and hospital. Housing is being addressed but youth unemployment needs work (literally). Procurement – an ongoing battle.

Looking forward we need to regenerate our town centre, get real gains from renewables for everybody, and keep Orkney as the great place to live and work that I always wanted to come back to.

I’ll be fighting for all this, and I’ll say a lot more about it on my blog at www.kw15.co.uk."

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