We invited candidates for the Kirkbymoorside Division in the forthcoming elections for North Yorkshire County Council to give us a statement of their campaign aims. Here’s Martin Brampton, Green Party Candidate.
As a Kirkbymoorside town councillor since 2010, I’ve had two main priorities. One has been to make the council open and democratic, and steps have been taken to give citizens greater involvement in council meetings and to avoid secrecy. On particularly important decisions, the council has sought local opinion before coming to a conclusion. The other has been to control costs while improving service provision. Since 2010, the council has cut its tax charge by 25% while extending services, despite a hefty reduction in the contribution from the county.
I am seeking election to North Yorkshire County Council because I believe a similar approach is needed. NYCC is notoriously unresponsive to citizen concerns and anything but open in the way it conducts itself. And it needs to be more positive in its response to budget cuts. NYCC could be a much more positive influence on local affairs.
Fracking is a concern to many local residents, with worries over the effect on the priceless local environment. It is a very inefficient way to obtain energy supplies and the long term effects are unknown. The companies involved are often obscure, and may be based in remote locations such as the Cayman Islands, leaving them immune to being held responsible for any problems. The Green Party has always opposed fracking, as being locally and globally damaging.
One of the county council’s major responsibilities is education. In our area, secondary schools stand to lose over £300 per pupil (inflation adjusted) by 2019 as a result of government policies. Meanwhile, money is being thrown at “free” schools, most of which are in the south. The county council needs to be much more robust in its opposition to these damaging policies.
Any of us may need help at some stages in our lives, especially as we grow old. Social services are a vital support for many, and are being cut dangerously. This puts more strain on the NHS as well as causing indiviaual suffering. The county council needs to take stronger action to protect services.
In a huge county with a relatively small population, transport is a problem. While funds are constrained, there is a need for imaginative schemes to prevent people becoming isolated.
Library services have been cut drastically, but NYCC shows little flexibility in deploying what resources remain, while putting all the responsibility on local volunteers. Better sharing of decision making is needed to make full use of the remaining services and to modernise them.
Health services have been subjected to constant change, with damaging results. The county council needs to play a positive role in limiting the damage and steering services in directions that work for ordinary people.
In short, I believe that NYCC needs a more positive outlook and fresh ideas. These can only come from councillors from a different mould. I urge you to support me in being one.
Martin Brampton, Kirkbymoorside Town Councillor
Green Party Candidate 2017 Kirkbymoorside Division
The blog has no political affiliation, we are happy to publish a statement from any of the candidates for the Kirkbymoorside division in this election.