There will be a By-election in Crowborough West on 22nd January. Jeannette Towey, who is standing for election, tells us a little about herself and what she thinks are the key issues:
I am delighted to stand in the Crowborough West by-election which has been brought about by the sad death of Councillor Major Antony Quin. I aim to serve the local people with as much courtesy, thought and enthusiasm as he did and to work closely with Councillor Di Phillips to ensure they are fully represented within Wealden.
I moved to Crowborough from nearby Tunbridge Wells three and a half years ago, having concluded that the family needed a dog, a decent sized garden and somewhere to park the car! What I didn’t expect, but now know to be true, was that we were moving somewhere populated by friendly, helpful people with a strong community spirit and a willingness to give up their time and effort to help people less privileged than themselves. And as a result I have been increasingly drawn into volunteering locally myself. For example:
- I volunteer for Crowborough Citizens Advice, providing information and advice to our clients on benefits, debt, housing and more. This brings me face to face with the problems local people encounter and gives me an understanding that I couldn’t have otherwise gained.
- I am a founding trustee of Jarvis Brook Community Hub, actively engaged in helping to raise the money we need to convert the old JBs building into a modern community facility which can host a much needed youth club, mother and toddler groups, coffee mornings and more.
These experiences, along with talking to people all round the town have led me to focus on three key issues for this election:
- Building affordable homes – local families on low incomes struggle to find homes they can afford and elderly people who are now living alone find themselves falling foul of the bedroom tax because there are too few single bedroom homes too. I will work with the planning and housing departments to ensure both these matters are addressed.
- Backing our High Street businesses – there are too many empty shops and the High Street often looks deserted. Making sure that small businesses apply for business rates reductions will help but we should look at the work done in Hailsham for other ideas.
- Fighting for safer roads – something needs to be done to stop the weekly accidents on the Uckfield Road. I propose to work with the County and the Police to see what measures can be used to lower speeds there.
In my previous professional career as a management consultant I have developed a scheme to improve the outcomes for looked-after children, isolated the key drivers behind bed blocking in the NHS, and identified causes of juvenile criminal behaviour. I have also undertaken more mundane but still important assignments such as value for money and quality management reviews of local authority functions. If elected, I intend to bring all my experience and skills to my role representing the people of Crowborough.