Friday, 30 April 2010

Worcester Park Ward: Meet The Candidates - Liberal Democrats

Ahead of the local Council elections on 6th May, The Worcester Park Blog profiles the main candidates for Sutton Council's 'Worcester Park Ward' and asks what their top priorities would be if elected.

The Liberal Democrats candidates are (left to right) Jason J Hunter, Jennifer Campbell-Klomps and Stephen Fenwick (pictured with Sutton & Cheam MP Paul Burstow)

Jason J Hunter: Jason is a very proud single father to his beautiful 12 year old daughter and is a long time resident of Worcester Park, having spent many years on Lincoln Road before moving to Balmoral Road when his daughter went to Cheam Common Junior School. 

His daughter now attends Cheam High School and Jason continues to live in the local area. 

His career history includes several years in the International Steel Industry having been Head of Strategic Market Planning for United States Steel European headquarters in Slovakia and Serbia as well as Manager of Commercial Planning for Mittal Steels European operations based in Rotterdam.

Jason is fed up of ‘shouting at the television and newspapers and is standing as a councillor at these elections as he really wants to make a positive difference to the area where he lives. Jason feels that he has the skills and the ability to achieve positive change for Worcester Park and it’s time to give something back.

Jennifer Campbell-Klomps: Jennifer Campbell-Klomps is the daughter of Jamaican parents who immigrated to the UK in the 1950s.  She was a servicewoman in the British Army from 1978-1990 and served in Northern Ireland, England and Germany where she gained experience in communications, planning, organization, liaison and security.

Jennifer lived for 10 years in Germany and worked as an Administration Officer for the Tax and Audit firm Ernst & Young in Dusseldorf and Stuttgart. She eventually moved back to the UK and now lives at The Hamptons in Worcester Park with her husband and two children.

Jennifer was a board member of the Friends of Douglas House a charity organization, where she worked closely with a team organizing fundraising events for her children’s school. She is a member of the school’s Communications Board where she is working on an advertising project as well as taking on the responsibility of running the Parents’ Meeting Room where individuals can congregate and gain contact with each other.

Jennifer recently joined the Sutton Lib Dem Party and she has been impressed by the Party’s positive approach to tolerance, fairness and equality. Jennifer looks forward to the challenges ahead, meeting as many residents as possible and representing their thoughts and views.

Stephen Fenwick: Stephen is the youngest and also the most politically experienced member of the team. Stephen cut his political teeth during his time at Liverpool Hope University when he was elected to the Student Union as Campaigns and Communications Officer.

It was during his studies for a BA (Hons) in History at the University of Teesside that Stephen’s involvement with the Liberal Democrats began.

Elected to the position of Chair of the Liberal Democrat Youth and Student society in 2004, Stephen ran many campaigns on and off campus on a range of issues important to students and the local community. 

Since then, Stephen has worked in the public sector, mainly with the Civil Service. 

Q: Councils are likely to come under increasing financial pressures in the forthcoming term. How would you propose meeting this challenge and ensuring that costs can be cut and savings made without essential services suffering?

A: The Liberal Democrat team for Worcester Park Ward will work with other Liberal Democrat councillors to ensure that we take forward the budget approved by the Council for this financial year.

The budget is properly costed and includes a number of specific areas where costs can be reduced, not only without cuts to existing services for our residents but also providing new facilities as well. 

With the expertise that the new team will bring to the council, we believe that we can continue to improve and provide better services for our residents within budget.

Q: The last couple of years have been very tough ones for Worcester Park's independent traders. What would you seek to do to help small businesses in the area and make sure Worcester Park's high street not only survives but thrives?

A: The Worcester Park ward team is very keen to make Central Road a thriving hub of activity. In order to support our independent traders, we have a plan to attract new businesses that will not take business away from the current traders but complement them and increase ‘foot fall’ to our existing independent shops.

The first phase of this plan is to carry out, at no cost to the traders or council taxpayers, a market research exercise to determine what our residents want to see on the high street. 

This will have a multiple effect on increased spending in existing businesses, lower turnover of shop frontages, less travel for our residents and less traffic volumes out of Worcester Park.

Q: Availability of primary and secondary school places is a key concern for local parents. What should be done to ensure a fairer system for children in Worcester Park?
A: School places at both primary and secondary level are a key priority for the Sutton Liberal Democrats and we are committed to campaigning for fairer access to Sutton schools for Sutton children, providing 200 new classroom places for primary school children across the Borough and rebuilding Stanley Park High and 5 other schools.

Your Worcester Park Lib Dem team will campaign to ensure that this additional capacity from the overall borough improvements is allocated to Worcester Park children.

As part of this process, we will ensure that Worcester Park parents are informed of meetings and consultations at council level that they can attend to ensure that their voices are heard.

Q: Aside from the above, what are your top priorities for Worcester Park?
A: Aside from rejuvenating the high street and improving accessibility to schools, one of our other key target areas is to improve the traffic flow and reduce the usage of ‘rat-runs’ down our residential streets.

There are both shorter term and longer term projects that we will be consulting on with our residents who can tell us which are the most effective. One idea is to open up another route to the A3 from the end of Green Lane towards Mostpur Park and Raynes Park. 

We will also continue to pressure Transport for London to continue to invest in the Scoot traffic light programme to extend this in both directions from the current 4 sets of lights to improve traffic flows.

A resident consultation is currently taking place on parking issues in Worcester Park and we will campaign hard to ensure that our residents’ voices are listened to.