I am pleased to launch my campaign for the Bersted division of West Sussex County Council.
I passionately believe in positive campaigning and I wish the other party candidates best wishes for the campaign, hoping no candidates resort to negative campaigning.
I believe I am the best candidate for the job, I was educated in the state sector, leaving school at 16 years with very few qualifications, my parents divorced when I was seven years of age and I was brought up in a single parent household in Bracknell, Berkshire.
I am not a stranger to poverty and understand the real challenges hardworking families are facing.
I am 54 and live with my wife Julia and her son Alan; I have lived in the district for 17 years after moving down from London.
I started my career in a travel agency and in 1984 I founded the flight company Avro with two employees and a lot of optimism.
Over an 11-year period I built the company up to be the largest flight-only operator in the UK, with £140m turnover and 1.25m passengers, and I sold the company in 1995 to Monarch Airlines.
I am still active in business and have wide experience in cutting costs, problem-solving and innovation.
As a district councillor and cabinet member I have had some notable successes by re-organising the council’s offices (reducing buildings from eight to five) and installing 50kw green energy photovoltaic panels on the roof of the Civic Centre with a financial return of 19 per cent per annum to the taxpayer.
My political beliefs are based on common-sense principles of liberty and freedom; I also passionately believe in the conservation of the environment and sustainable transport solutions, and believe more investment should be made in our public transport; children up to 16 should travel free on buses as currently happens in London.
I also believe West Sussex should get more of our money back from the EU, as happens in Kent and Hampshire, and I also believe whether you are pro or anti the EU, we should have the opportunity of a referendum to decide our future once and for all.
Our children should be encouraged to reach for the sky and that where you came from should not be an obstruction to opportunity.
I hope I am a positive example of this and, if elected, will be a strong advocate for the local community.
Prospective Conservative candidate for Bersted