County Council Election, Middleton Cheney, May 2017 – Liberal Democrat Candidate Statement
Mark Allen, Liberal Democrat
I am the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Middleton Cheney Division in the May 2017 Northamptonshire County Council elections.
I was born and raised in Oxford, and went to Durham University where I read Chemistry and gained a PhD in Computational Chemistry. It was at Durham that I met my partner, Eleanor. I moved to the village of Middleton Cheney with Eleanor in 2009 and we live there with our two children and my mother. Eleanor grew up in Chacombe, where her parents still live.
I joined the Liberal Democrats in June 2016, and I'm a newcomer to local politics. My decisions to join the Lib Dems and to stand for election to Northamptonshire County Council both stem from the European Union membership referendum. The referendum result made me realise that our current economic model is not working for many people.
Leaving the EU will not be a silver bullet that fixes our economic problems, and I see no likelihood that central government will make the changes that are needed. Local, community politics is where we can start the work of ensuring that investment creates good quality jobs while protecting our environment.
Education – My children attend school and nursery in Middleton Cheney. We are very fortunate in having good schools and nursery care available so close to home, and I want to be sure that all parents and children in Northamptonshire have the same opportunities.
Adult social care – Both Eleanor and I have grandparents living in care homes in the local area (one in South Northamptonshire and one in Banbury). I have seen first-hand the financial pressures that care facilities are under, and the strain this places on people requiring care and their families. Properly and sustainably funding adult social care must be a priority for the County Council.
Transport – I work as a computer programmer in Chipping Norton and commute to work by bicycle (and tricycle, in bad weather) two days per week. Using vehicles with no suspension has given me a good working knowledge of the local potholes, and a keen interest in making the Northamptonshire roads safe and efficient for all traffic.
Libraries – My first Saturday job was at Temple Cowley Library, and I worked in Oxfordshire public libraries as a library assistant during my school and university holidays. With two young children who can easily get through ten story books per night between them, I would not like to be without the Middleton Cheney library. With local authority budgets under such pressure, I think that it is vital that we fight for the library service.
These are areas that I have personal experience of, but I want to be a Councillor to represent the interests of people in my local area, not to pursue a particular agenda. My most important task would be to gain a better understanding of your concerns in order to be an effective advocate for our community.
Click here to view, download or print the Liberal Democrat manifesto for the 2017 Northamptonshire County Council election.