I am the youngest of four children. My father fought in both world wars. We were evacuated to a small village outside Bristol a year before I was born in 1944. We moved to Southend in 1949. I left school at 16, having been among the first Secondary Modern pupils to take ‘O’ levels. My first job was labouring, making bricks in Shoebury brickfields, while at the same time working evenings and weekends as a petrol pump attendant to save for my first motorcycle. I later worked part-time as a seafront pub barman while I studied for my ONC in maths, physics & Chemistry.
My first full-time job was as a Civil Service Clerical Officer (£4.10s a week)and 4 years later I was accepted into Southend Borough Police. In 1967 I was posted to Harlow, where I have lived ever since.Both my sons went to school here. I retired from the Police in 1995 having spent most of my service in and around Harlow. I think being a police officer is the greatest job on earth and I retain contact with many friends and colleagues.
After that I worked for Harlow Council for 18 months before moving on to the Legal Services Commission, auditing Solicitors and Charities, such as CABs and Harlow Welfare Rights & Advice Service. But it was what I saw during my time with the Council that made me determined to do something about the corrupt practices that were going on under decades of Labour administration. So I took on the hard job of getting myself elected as a Councillor for Church Langley.
Harlow has a great sense of community, which survives even after three generations. But its reputation for left-wing politics, high taxes, poor financial control and uncontrolled spending had put it into the ‘looney left’ bracket alongside the 70s and 80s regimes of Red Ken Livingstone in London and Liverpool’s own Militant Marxist, Derek Hatton. Labour infamously made us a national laughing stock with signs on our boundary declaring us to be a ‘Nuclear Free Zone’.
Harlow deserves better. We have been let down for generation after generation by our politicians. The town’s infrastructure is past its sell-by date, its educational standards have been poor and the Benefits flag has flown too high for too long.
Since I took on Church Langley with my two fellow Councillors I have been determined that it should not suffer the same downward spiral of decline. For the most part we have succeeded, but it has always been a fight against the prejudices of our left leaning Councils. Except, that is, for the four years we Conservatives were in control until 2012.
Church Langley is by no means perfect, there were many mistakes made in its design, too much block paving with inadequate foundation, too little parking and schools with no room to expand, and a green infrastructure that was given too little thought about its ongoing maintenance. It should have had some small shops, like a newsagent, it should have had another route in and out.
I am doing all I can to help the Church Langley Residents Association (CLRA) gain a strong foothold and have taken part in the annual picnics and I help out with ‘Santa’ each Christmas.
My most pleasing achievements were the roll-out across Harlow of the new waste collections with ‘wheelie bins’ and seeing through the transfer of the Cemetery and Crematorium to our new partners, Westerleigh, which has transformed the service as well as the grounds and buildings. I also saw through the charging scheme for the Council’s car parks, which restored order to parking around our larger shopping hatches. All this in face of concerted campaigns of lies from our Labour opponents. Now they are back in control they are only too pleased to continue with what I instigated.
In my spare time I try to keep fit by walking and cycling as well as working out regularly at Leisurezone. I support several charities, including Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation (through Heartsease Harlow), The British Lung Foundation (through Breathe Easy Harlow), The Essex Community Foundation (through the Harlow Recreation Trust) and The British Legion. I have a classic Triumph car, which I have owned since 1976 and spend more time working on than driving. I also sing in a male voice choir.
I believe what I offer to the residents of Church Langley is hard work, experience, common sense, honesty and a commitment to getting things done. My motto has always been “A job worth doing is worth doing well,” and I certainly think being a Councillor for Church Langley is worth doing.