IN THE INTEREST OF LOCAL PEOPLE: VIEWS OF JAMES ANTHONY, LIB DEM CANDIDATE FOR TOWN CLOSE

The Norwich Radical is embedded in our home city. We seek to be a platform for debate and discussion of progressive and radical politics within Norwich. We know that the ballot box is only one of many ways of making change, but that elections play a major role in shaping and determining the future of our political landscape. In light of this, we got in touch with candidates standing in the Norwich City Council elections on May 5th, asking for their views on the biggest problems facing Norwich, and their vision for what the Council can do.

by James Anthony, Liberal Democrat candidate for Town Close.

I’m James Anthony, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Town Close. I’ve always been interested in politics and how ordinary people can make extraordinary changes to the world around them.  I believe that any level of government, local or national, should always work for the people and never the other way round. Individuals need to be free to live their lives and government should only interfere with that right when the rights of others are at risk. This is why I became a Liberal Democrat.

As I have paid close attention to the workings of Norwich City Council and attended a number of council meetings, it has become clear that more of the city needs an increased liberal voice in local government to stand up for the interests of residents. I believe I have what it takes to be that voice. This is why I jumped at the opportunity of standing to be a city councillor for Town Close.

(James Anthony © norwichlibdems.org.uk)

Having lived in the Norwich area all my life, I know just how vital a good city councillor is and how important local politics can be in enhancing our fine city. I live in the city centre and I love the vibrant social and cultural life Norwich has to offer. I chose to study History at UEA, which means I can continue to enjoy life here – and keep my Norwich City FC season ticket. I’ve also been working in football for the past few years in and around Norwich, and I enjoy getting to know different groups of people through this work. Sport plays a huge role in the life of the city and it’s a great privilege to be a part of it.

I’ve spoken to many people in Town Close and, like me, they are proud of their city but disagree with many of the things the city council is doing. They have told me about the difficulties they face every day. For example, the failure of the council to provide a good, consistent cycle scheme for the city has been a dreadful missed opportunity. Norwich deserves improved transport systems, including proper, safe routes for cyclists. I want to be in a position to challenge the council’s role in this and help them to improve the scheme to get it right. Norwich is in a great position to be an innovative city with regard to transport and technology, and I want to help make sure we can become a national leader in the digital economy in the coming years.

the city needs an increased liberal voice in local government to stand up for the interests of residents

We also need strong local representatives to fight a Tory government in Westminster that appears set on destroying our valued community services such as pharmacies, which are being pushed to bankruptcy by crippling policy. The Government’s housing policies are equally appalling. It is obvious to me that Norwich needs to build more affordable housing and make sure our housing stock can keep up with demand, whilst protecting important green spaces loved by residents. It’s incredibly important to me that I do whatever I can within the council to secure more national and international funds for Norwich City Council to ensure all this is possible and make sure that money we are entitled to claim always makes its way to the citizens of Norwich.

I want to make Town Close and Norwich a better place for everyone to live and enjoy and ensure the council does not ignore the people it is supposed to serve. Vote for me on May 5th and I will continue to hold the council to account, make sure it acts in the interests of local people and help the Norwich I know and love improve for everyone’s benefit.

Featured image: Norwich skyline © Andrew Hurley, Wikipedia

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