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Apr 26

Liberal Democrats candidate Tim Wight for Forth ward had this to say

 

TRIM and FoWP approached all candidates for Forth ward and here is what  Liberal Democrats candidate Tim Wight had to say

 

I have lived in Edinburgh for 17 years, most of that time until now in the Newhaven area. Originally from a working farm in Victoria Australia (My father emigrated from Edinburgh to Australia in the late 1950s), I moved to Edinburgh with my company in 2000.

 

I have worked in international business in the firefighting market for over 25 years. I have significant experience in negotiating contracts with governments and fire authorities all over the world.

 

I am passionate about history and languages. In particular I am supportive of initiatives to preserve, record and promote local history.  I have been a long time supporter and contributor to Alzheimers UK and Dementia care. My focus is to improve the treatment, care and research in our communities for Alzheimers and Dementia.

A firm believer in the politics of compassion and kindness, I would like to see improvements for the care of the elderly in our local community.

Most importantly, I love living in north Edinburgh and want to make it a better place to live.

 

Despite electing some high profile party candidates, the western part of Forth Ward continues to be plagued with bad road surfaces, poor infrastructure, delayed projects, petty crime and the withdrawal of funds from much needed community services.

The Council’s own “satisfaction survey” showed that this is the part of Edinburgh with the highest rating for residents feeling unsafe.  It had the highest level of dissatisfaction with the Council overall.  To be blunt, the City of Edinburgh Council seems to have made a low priority of many issues that are important to the area.  Some good work has been done with regenerating much needed housing but apart from this, one only needs to walk around Wardie, Pilton and Trinity to see road surfaces in a terrible state, litter and fly tipping, roads being used as rat runs and pathways used by motorcycles in an anti-social way.  Although I have not been able to meet with the community workers.  I will work hard to ensure that the Council prioritises people, not pet projects.  If elected, my challenge is to work hard with all local people to get the priority that the area deserves.  My concern is local.  What use is a tram project if much needed input into one of Edinburgh’s most challenging areas is neglected?  The priority is always people first.

Currently, families with children are being made homeless in parts of Forth Ward where they cannot make the monthly rent, yet the council is then paying up to four times the rental amount to home these people temporarily.  Social workers are at their wits end with this kind of bureaucratic madness which we all pay for.  All councillors have a duty of care to put people in need first, particularly as this is common sense and the right thing to do.  Making sure elderly residents can stay in their homes longer by providing better home care is essential to comprehensively dealing with the issue of bed blocking and the general well-being of the aged.   Precious resources are being wasted by bad decisions.

 

If Victoria Primary is to be made redundant, then the school should be kept for community use, with a priority to use it as a museum and community education centre.

The last thing the area needs is a further increase in population density by turning the school into flats when there is a vast area at Western Harbour that lies fallow.

We need more amenities and appropriate businesses.   I will vigorously campaign to have the current  Victoria Primary buildings redeveloped for community use.  I believe there is a huge community desire to increase the cultural amenity in this part of Edinburgh.  Too much is focused on the centre.  Our history is important and the many artefacts and historical collections need to be retained in the context of where they were first found, to help maintain a strong identity with the area.

The building could also be used in conjunction with a museum as an adult education centre (community led).

 

The new school planned in the Western Harbour precinct will greatly improve the educational needs for the ever growing young population of the area.

 

I would also like to make a point about parking and affordable housing.  I will lobby strongly with the Council and the Scottish Government to ensure adequate parking is provided for all new builds, the current situation is not acceptable.  The developers are not required to give adequate parking for “affordable” housing.

The resultant effect of this is that there are too many cars parked in the streets and on footpaths.  This creates a dangerous environment for pedestrians and those who

are disabled not being able to use the footpaths.  This creates a dangerous environment for pedestrians and those who are disabled as they are not able to use the footpaths.  Congestion continues to grow

All new-builds, whatever their designation, must have parking.  The assumption by planners in the Council is that people who live in “affordable” housing don’t have cars.

The subtext which I find appalling is that they shouldn’t have cars.  I support initiatives to increase public transport, cycling and walking, which reduces the use of cars. The long term reality is that more flats and houses are being built in the area and many people have cars.  By increasing available parking, improving road surfaces, while investing in good public transport, providing useable bicycle paths and decent footpaths will improve safety for all.

We need to reduce congestion and encourage people to more healthy lifestyles.

 

A final point.  I am a strong defender of green spaces for all.  We have some lovely parks and gardens but we have the opportunity to make a real difference for the local amenity by pushing harder for the Council to accelerate the plans at Western Harbour for a “Central Park” was in the original plans for the area.  It would be a great enhancement if the original plans were implemented, with recreational areas as well as proper planting for this park.  With the growing population in the area this is a much needed addition in North Edinburgh to compliment the wonderful spaces we already have.

With more and more development and flats being built we need this green space and protect what we have.

 

I believe in transparency and the appropriate use of public funds.  I pledge to be open and accountable to all members of the electorate, at all times.  I will vigilant against any form of misuse of funds or corrupt practices.

 

A vote for me, is a vote for a locally focused, honest and hard working councillor who will put the people of Forth first.

 

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