My final pre-election Zoom session concluded. Please call with any last minute questions
If elected, further but less frequent sessions will be set up.
Graham Ellis - Candidate for Melksham Town Council, South Ward, 6 May 2021
|Links in this page:|
• A strong Town Council for YOU
• Soundbites - about me
• (Back to top of page)
|Some other pages on this site:|
• Home page and • Launch page
• Graham Ellis - background and • views
• Graham Ellis - diary and • diary index
• Philosophies of working as a town councillor
• The Role of the Town Council and Councillors
• How YOU can help and • Contact me
• Links to other web sites and • pictures
I am standing for a seat on Melksham Town Council, as one of four representatives, in elections to be held on 6th May 2021 (postal voting in prior days). If you live in the SOUTH ward, may I (Graham Ellis) ask for your vote, please? You have FOUR votes in this ward; please select other good candidates to vote for too, irrespective of their "description" (party?) on the voting paper.
I believe that a strong town council of free thinking members, partnering for the common good of the town and its residents, can best help run our services and shape our future for all who live here. A great deal has been achieved already by the team who work at the Town Hall, and we can build on that with brand new councillors, aided by a selection of the best of the established old guard.
A Strong Town Council for YOUA Town Council has few statutory obligations, but there is a great deal it can do for its town in local provision, service, promotion and leadership. It also has an influentail voice in wider issues - both on unitary council provided services, and on future planning and development. It also has a responsibility to balance those activities against its budget, funded through a levy on council tax payers and currently around £25 per resident per annum. See (here) for how that works out - where the money goes.
Expenditure needs to be prudent and carefully thought through - with an eye to how facilities provided will be funded in years ahead. For example, there's no point is taking on a public toilet if you can't afford to run it, but at the same time people who come into the town do want loos to use. Other points that exercise people who live here are car parking, clean streets and maintained "furniture". The Town Council does a great deal to support businesses and voluntary groups - you may not hear much about that, perhaps because they have it right!
Melksham does have numerous and excellent volunteers, and The Council does a good job of looking after them. They have made a huge difference - be it litter picks, Melksham in Bloom, or in supporting rail travel (where I have personally volunteered). National stats (on the rail speciality) suggest that every £1 spend on supporting volunteers results in £4.20 worth of value provided - long may we continue to have s strong volunteer culture, and nurture it.
Party, or quasi-party, politics has little place in Town or Parish councils. Please select who you vote for based on the person, not on the organsiation ticket they're running on.
Soundbites - about me* I have lived in Melksham for over 20 years (Wiltshire for 40 years) and love the town and people
* I also ran a business here in the South Ward from which I am recent retired
* I live in the ward I am standing to represent (no parachute to a "safe seat"!)
* I am only standing for the town council as I beleive that role will take a great deal of my time to do properly. Even though retired, I am aware that I could take on too much and be too thinly spread, which is not my style.
* I am standing as an Independent candidate; I have no electoral connection or arrangement with other candidates, but I will work closely with all others over the term of office - I have a track record in doing that for the good of Melksham.
* Since my wife and I moved to the area in 1999, we have been actively involved with community and projects of immediate and ongoing benefit to Melksham. I am best known for my work on public transport, helping to regain a more appropriate train service and ensure buses were not slashed back. This work has brought me national awards, but the real reward is seeing people benefitting from the improved service - with 25 times the number of journeys being made
* I was elected President of the Chamber of Commerce (usually a one year term) and held the post for seven years.
* I am looking to represent you for the full term of the next four years with a view to carrying on for the following 4 years too. We are going to see changes like we have never see before during this period.
* I have never stood for election to any town, parish or county election before, nor served on any through co-option. I have, though, attended many meetings and worked well with councillors of all political colours, partnering, promoting and achieving causes for the common good.
* Running a council is running a business - looking after staff, volunteers and customers. And I have run a customer facing business in Melksham with an incredibly low staff turnover, which rose to be no.1 out of 16 in customer reviews in Melksham.
* During the campaign, I will be delivering information door to door, happily talking with people I meet when out and about, writing to the local newspaper, and making my case online, available on the phone or in person if people want to meet (my garden or yours?). Delighted to hear from people and become better informed. But I will not be knocking, uninvited, on doors. Call that "cold calling", call it "canvassing" it may win some votes, but it also puts people off. And - especially on the tail of Coronavirus lockdowns - it's a significant intrusion that is simply not the right thing to do.
* I openly publish my views, my philosophy (see top links on this page). Rarely a turncoat, I can be swayed by good logic, changing times and circumstances, and the common good. Unlikely to change my views or standards just to win election!