Cheshire East Council Election 2023: Candidate John Smith

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The candidates for the upcoming Cheshire East Council Election, representing Handforth have been announced.

Handforth residents will have the choice of six candidates to fill two seats on CEC when they go to the polls on on Thursday, 4th May. 

The candidates standing to represent Handforth on CEC are:

  • Nisa, Ribia - Labour Party
  • Hutchene, Simon Glynn - Conservative Party Candidate
  • Robertson, Matthew Kirkland - Conservative Party Candidate
  • Smith, John Michael - Independent
  • Smith, Julie Anne - Independent *
  • Earl, James Andrew - Liberal Democrats

I am publishing brief interviews with each of the candidates, in the order in which I receive a response to my request. Use the tags below to locate the other candidate interviews published to date.

Please tell me about yourself - occupation, where you live, how long you have lived there, interests, family?

One of four brothers, I and my family moved to Handforth in 1963. In 1981 I moved away from Handforth and worked in different parts of the country in Logistics/Project management and moved back to this area in 1998. In 2006 I changed direction and qualified as a Driving Instructor and have helped hundreds of pupils pass their driving test.

Are you a member of any local groups or societies?

I am Chairman of the Friends of Stanley Hall Park in Handforth. Since the Friends group formed in 2015, we have installed a skatepark, a seated picnic area which caters for wheelchairs and buggies and repairs to the footpath. The group raised the £137,000 costs of these items by securing grants. I look forward to continued involvement with Handforth Parks with the Friends of Handforth Green Spaces Group.

I am currently the Town Council representative to the Friends of Handforth Station group and hope to continue my involvement and see the lifts for access to the platforms installed and carpark built on land between the Youth Centre and St. Benedict's Church which has planning approval.

Why have you decided to stand for election as a town councillor?

I was elected to Handforth Parish Council in May 2015. I became Chairman of the newly named Handforth Town Council in May 2021. In 2019, my wife Julie was elected as a Handforth Ward Councillor at Cheshire East Council. Over the past 4 years, I have seen first-hand the work which Julie has been doing on behalf of the Handforth Community.

Although hard work, it has all been worthwhile as measured by her success in improving Handforth. With my support, I am sure that jointly, we can achieve even more for Handforth which our community fully deserves.

What do you consider to be the important issues facing Handforth?

There is a considerable amount of funds held by Cheshire East Council which is due from the S106 agreements made by developers to mitigate the effects of developments in the Handforth area, going back several years. My aim is to free these funds and have them applied to projects in Handforth as intended.

What do you hope to achieve and how in the next 4 years?

The Town Council has been involved in negotiations with Cheshire East Council to take the Youth Centre building under the Town Council control. The aim is to turn a Youth Centre into a Community Centre so that all residents may benefit and use.

What experience and personal qualities will you bring to the role?

On election in 2015, I had concerns regarding road safety and Anti-Social Behaviour in Handforth. I managed the implementation of CCTV in the centre of Handforth.

This system is continually being improved to identify those individuals whose behaviour is not acceptable to Handforth residents.

Why should Handforth residents vote for you?

Following the unwanted spotlight on Handforth in 2021, I took over as Chairman. I hope that my Chairmanship has enabled the Council to move on and continue its improvement. This could not have been achieved without the support of Handforth Town Councillors.

John Smith will continue to represent the Handforth East Ward on Handforth Town Council. There will be no election as the 4 seats were uncontested.

*current councillor.

Tags:
2023 Cheshire East Council Election, 2023 Election, 2023 Independent, Handforth Ward
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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Michael Thompson
Tuesday 2nd May 2023 at 1:56 pm
I have read Cllr Smith pitch at becoming a CEC Councillor and what he claims to have achieved in the past 4 years. All I can see is that the local HTC precept has risen. I note that HTC has not published the real cost that the youth centre would cost the electorate year on year, if HTC takes over the lease of the property. I would assume that CEC are happy to relinquish this white elephant on the community of Handforth. Furthermore what had Cllr Smith done to maintain Honford Hall as the designated "community centre" within Handforth.

Cllr Smith states that s106 should be released by CEC. As such funds are specifically allocated and ring fenced who is better at deciding where such funds should of be spent?