My name is John Harrington and I am currently your independent County Councillor for Hampton Ward. I am standing for re-election on May 4th, 2023.
Over the past 4 years, I have worked hard and done my best to look after the interests of residents in the ward and have worked with other progressive Councillors in an alliance on the County Council to deliver a better Council after 12 years of Conservative control – one that is more collaborative and more transparent (for good and bad) than it has ever been and one that has a better blend and balance of Councillors across real-life experience, working background, political views, gender and age.
I won’t lie, it has been a hard slog at times, no one wants to be involved in politics at the moment and the negativity generated by an irresponsible click-bait press and social media damages local democracy. More critically, the continued policy of Austerity, with repeated and devasting cuts voted through by our MPs, means we squabble and complain about increased Council Tax that all local authorities have had to bring in, but don’t hold our MPs to account for the £100m a year less in funding we get in 2023, compared to 2011.
I didn’t know if I would stand again, having to say, as a default answer, that there is no money for desperately needed highway maintenance and other services and having to juggle that decreasing resource, and increase local taxation, is not fun. And having to do what is supposed to be a part-time job full-time means many of us have taken a serious financial hit ( with none of the brown envelopes I was promised by social media commentators materialising ).
I am standing again though because I care very much about the ward and its people, have so enjoyed working with committed and selfless parish councils and feel that there is too much unfinished business not to step forward again.
For me, the crucial issues over the next 4 years will be; finishing the review and reform of the Public Realm contract, with many more services (including road inspectors and engineers) coming back in-house, getting the Eastern crossing delivered on time and on budget, continuing to haul a decade-plus neglected Children’s Services forward into being an open and exemplar service and the continued fight for the protection of our rivers and environment. On this final point, there is quite an ‘anti-Green’ agenda bandied about at the moment by lazy local politicians who think the general slurring of anyone who cares about our precious natural world as some kind of nut is acceptable, it’s not.
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone 07773 529223