Old Marston Parish Council – candidates’ statements

Continuing the guest blog by Colin @theabingdontaxi, here are the personal statements from those candidates in the Old Marston Parish Council elections who have so far provided them. See the original article.

Nils Bartleet
Telephone response, 22 June
In a wide ranging telephone conversation about local issues, Mr Bartleet stressed that the Parish Council was not about politics, but about providing another voice for local people. The present parish council has a good depth of knowledge of local issues. The parish council’s role was especially important in respect of planning applications, where the parish can recommend the city, who are the planning authority, to “call in” an application.

Mr Bartleet represented the area, along with Risinghurst & Sandhills on the county council for many years, where he was environment spokesperson. He has a good knowledge of highways issues, which are becoming increasingly important in the civil parish, where present parking restrictions end at the old city boundary. Other recent issues which have generated a lot of public interest in the village have been the new sports pavilion proposed for Boults Lane and the parish council’s allotments.

John Batey
Letter response, 24 June
Mr Batey moved into his house in Old Marston 46 years ago, as soon as the builders left. He served 12 years as a police officer in Oxford and latterly was a teacher for 25 years, and held two headships before retirement. A former member of the parish council and former chair of the Old Marston Residents’ Association, he has a strong interest in the education of young people and among other roles, has served as a school governor locally.

Mr Batey hopes that the parish council is still as apolitical as it used to be and he feels very strongly about the proper use of public money, that the parish council should be transparent, vigorous and pro-active. “I look on councillors as being representative of all parishioners, acting responsibly and being responsible. Although it has limited powers in comparison to the city, it can still fulfil vital local functions and should be active in seeking to use those.”

Michael Cadd(7)
Telephone response, 21 June
Mr Cadd has lived in Oxford since 1954 and worked in the garage trade for thirty years. He and his wife owned a pub in the village for many years, he still lives here and has been a member of the parish council for eight years.

Peter Cox(10)
Letter response, received 25 June 2014
Peter Cox has been a resident of Old Marston since 1980, which he describes as “the best ever move for me”. He had worked in editorial position for local company Pergamon Press in Headington and latterly in engineering, for W Lucy Co. in Jericho. Peter has been a member of the parish council since 2003 and since that time has looked after the Parish Burial Ground, on Elsfield Road, which he describes as “full on from March to November”. He is very keen to remain a member of the parish council.

Tony Greenfield
Letter response, put through my door on 22 June
Mr Greenfield was born in Wallingford and educated locally. He ran a successful plumbing and gas business for 38 years, which took up a lot of his time, although he was at various times also a neighbourhood watch co-ordinator in Marston, president of the Oxford Lions, played flat green bowls and enjoyed gardening and photography. He has been married for 46 years and he and his wife have two sons and two grandchildren. “A hands on type of person, not one to sit around just talking but to get stuck in and deal with matters as they arise.”

Patricia Hall
Email response, 22 June
Pat Hall has lived in Old Marston for 44 years and her children were all educated at the local primary and middle schools. On retirement as an NHS manager four years ago, Pat was co-opted onto Old Marston Parish Council and she has enjoyed this time immensely. She says that Old Marston is “without doubt, a great place to live” and she would like it to remain so. Probably the most pressing problem at the moment seems to be traffic, but a parish meeting soon “should help to decide what people want and what we can deliver.”

Duncan Hatfield
Email response, 22 June
Duncan works for a local taxi company and each year helps with the children’s Holiday Club at Saint Nicholas Church, in the village. He is currently the Deputy Chairman of Old Marston Parish Council, where he set up and maintains the parish council web site, facebook and Twitter accounts. Each year, he organises a litter pick around Old Marston, bringing together a team of volunteers from different parts of the parish, which has helped make Old Marston a more litter free place. Duncan was previously part of the committee responsible for developing the recreation ground by Mortimer Hall. “If re-elected, I will set up a committee that will scrutinise all of the council’s expenditure and finances.”

Charlie Haynes(9)
Telephone response, 23 June
Mr Haynes is a lifelong resident of Marston, his family have lived in the village for hundreds of years and he has been a member of the parish council for 32 years, the last 15 as Chairman. He stresses that the work on the parish council is not about party politics at all, but about doing the best they can for the residents of the parish. “Being involved in many local organisations over the years has given me the opportunity to have an impact on local issues making Marston a better place for us to live.”

The parish council is limited in what it can do, but nonetheless does have one of the best football pitches in Oxfordshire, at Boults Lane and is currently working on replacing the outdated sports pavilion there. They also own and run allotments at Mill Lane, recreation ground at Mortimer Hall and a well kept village burial ground on Elsfield Road, as well as arranging for hedgerows to be cut back and detailed scrutiny of planning applications within the parish, which are submitted to the city council.

Barry Lewis
Telephone response, 21 June
Barry was born in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk and worked in the construction industry, before retirement in 2001. He was a carer for his wife, for many years. In retirement, Barry has been active in the local community and has been a member of the parish council since April 2009. He has served on the planning committee and takes a special interest in issues relating to the highways and roads of the parish.

Peter Williams
Letter response, received 25 June 2014
Dr Williams has said he would prefer his letter not to be for publication and as this option was made available to all of the candidates to use, if they wished, this has been respected.

The following candidates did not respond: Michael O’Keefe, Peter Sarac, Angie Tiwari. Some candidates delivered their letter asking for information to the chairman of the parish council, who took the trouble to make a half hour telephone conversation explaining the role of the council. The individual names of those candidates who delivered their letter to him are not known and it is also not clear whether they expected him to respond on their behalf. Additionally, Peter Sarac is the only existing member of the parish council seeking re-election not to have a profile on the parish council web site.

(7) Old Marston Parish Council, web site, ‘Profiles’, http://www.oldmarston-pc.gov.uk/michael_cadd.html, as consulted 23 June 2014
(9) ibid., http://www.oldmarston-pc.gov.uk/charlie_haynes.html, as consulted 24 June 2014
(10) ibid., http://www.oldmarston-pc.gov.uk/Peter_Cox.html, as consulted 26 June 2014

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