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Candidate Statements - CWAC By-Elections - Neston Ward

Published: 20th April 2021 19:20

Local Government By-Elections 2021 - Cheshire West and Chester Council - Neston Ward

Ballot box

There is 1 seat available in the Neston ward, with 3 candidates nominated. You may only vote for 1 candidate.

Each candidate was invited to submit a statement of no more than 300 words, and a photograph. Statements received are listed below in alphabetical order.

Statements are unedited. Photographs have all been reduced to 130 pixel width (depths may vary).

Edwards, John Derry Lawrence (Liberal Democrat)

Candidate declined to provide statement.

Millar, Keith (Labour)

Keith MillarKeith MillarHello, my name is Keith Millar.

Neston is my home. I grew up here, I went to school here, and with my wife, we raised our family here. I recently retired from Airbus and I want to serve the community I love, supporting Neston families to live happy and healthy lives, while working hard to make our town a better place to live is why I am standing on Thursday 6th May.

Since 2004, I've been a registered carer for a family member and this experience motivated me to become involved in public life, holding the position of deputy lead governor of a local NHS trust to support health, social care and well-being. I care passionately about social justice and equality of opportunity in education, employment, housing and healthcare.

This election follows the sad passing of Labour councillor, Andy Williams, who represented Neston for two decades. Like Andy, I know that Labour is the only political party with a clear vision for our future: celebrating our community, growing Neston's economy, creating jobs, and making Neston a greener place to live.

Andy died at the start of the pandemic, but I know how proud he would have been to see our town come together over the past year. The true spirit of Neston people and local businesses has shone through, serving as a testament a local Neston society's motto, formed in 1814, which says "Bear ye one another's burdens".

During the pandemic I have been building the ventilator machines for NHS critical care. I also volunteered with the community food response and the vaccination programme in our town. I've met amazing people who, like me, care deeply about Neston and have great pride in our town.

Vote for me on the 6th May and we can face the future together.

Wastell, Steve (Conservative)
Steve WastellSteve Wastell

Steve Wastell - Conservative Candidate for Neston Ward. 

The last year has been tough for many of us in Neston. We have all seen the impact of Coronavirus on our family, friends and community. Now, thanks to the miracle of science and our country's remarkable vaccine roll-out, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is the time to look to the future. I'm standing in this election because I want to put our community first. I'm not interested in party political scraps or being a critic from the side-lines: I'm standing to be your Councillor to deliver for you, the people of Neston. Labour have been in charge of our Council for 6 years now, but I share the view of local residents who believe Neston is being let down. It's not good enough. Neston deserves better. And I've got a six point plan to turn things around:

Fix potholes, using the extra £4.4 million provided to the Council by the UK Government.
Protect Neston Tip and bin collections against Labour's proposed changes.
Tackle local dog mess by securing more bins to keep our area clean and tidy.
Protect the Greenbelt, prioritising affordable housing whilst protecting our green spaces.
Fight for better transport by bus and from the train station.
Find a solution to parking problems, especially near schools.

These are the issues that matter to me as a local resident, and they are what you have told me matters most to you.

I'm proud to call Neston my home. It was a great place to grow up and now I'm very happily retired here. But I want it to be better still. With your support that's what I will work to do. Thank you  

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At 22:20 on 20th April 2021, Tony commented:
Mr Millar talks positively about all that has gone on in the community in the past year and his past pedigree seems very positive also. It bodes well for his ability to empathise with the needs and heart of this community.

Compare that with Mr Wastrel, who says he doesn’t want to get into party political scraps but then tears into his perception of Labour’s failings. Any and every council across the land has budget issues now, thanks to the social care crisis, central government underfunding and the issues around the astronomical cost of the pandemic.

No brainer, this one. Keith Millar will be a fine successor to the much missed Andy Williams.
At 10:17 on 21st April 2021, Shelagh commented:
Shame on you, Tony. No sense in bad-mouthing people by calling them silly names. We can leave that sort of thing to the politicians.
At 10:37 on 21st April 2021, Tony commented:
ha! Genuine slip of the keyboard there Shelagh...blame my sausage fingers!
Mike Shipman
At 14:16 on 21st April 2021, Mike Shipman commented:
Whether you agree with them or not, two of the three candidates have been prepared to tell us why they are standing and why we should vote for them. The third candidate does not bother.
At 16:59 on 21st April 2021, poppy6 commented:
It is very sad we are having to appoint a new councillor for this ward due to the sad death of the lovely Andy Williams (RIP).
Mr Westall states 'I share the view of local residents who believe Neston is being let down'???
Errr who thinks Neston is being let down, not me! If anyone thinks CWAC are letting any area down they may wish to know that central Government funding has been slashed to local Government and this is why local councils are struggling so if you want to look for any blame re local councils, look to the reason why - 11 years of Tories in power and the slashing of funding to councils by said Tories. Sorry Mr Wastell, I look further than my nose and would never vote for any Tory while I have a conscience!
' Local authorities have already lost 60 per cent of their central government funding over the last decade, substantially more than any other area of government. It is in the loss of valued frontline community services that the impact of this austerity drive is most keenly felt by communities across England.'
At 17:29 on 21st April 2021, 8H commented:
The Conservative candidate Mr Wastell does have a problem with several of his campaign pledges as they totally contradict the policies of his own Conservative government?? The other pledges on dog mess and school parking policies that he intends to solve will make him renowned across the world if he achieves them!
At 19:09 on 21st April 2021, plantsman commented:
I fully agree with Mike, two candidates have been happy to provide a statement to Neston residents whilst the third shows their distain for the election process.
At 10:47 on 23rd April 2021, collierman commented:
Surely, this can’t be the same John Derry Lawrence Edwards who twice stood, unsuccessfully, for a seat in the Ness Ward and who, in August 2016, then applied to Neston Town Council for co-option (ie there was no election) to the Council. In August 2019 the aforesaid John Derry Lawrence Edwards resigned his seat. A notice for a 'casual vacancy' was then issued by the council and, on 23 September 2019, Aboutmyarea reported “Today, Monday September 23, a further notice was issued, this time to advise of an 'Uncontested Election' - meaning that only one candidate applied and has therefore been duly elected without the need for residents to go to the polls. What is strange, though, is that said elected Councillor is one John Edwards, yes, he of the resignation just weeks earlier”. So why did he, at that time, resign his position on the council? – because he had been accused by at least one fellow-member of being (in Mr Edwards’ own words) “not up to the job of being a councillor”. In June 2020 Mr Edwards AGAIN resigned from the council (why?), yet here is again attempting to impose himself on the town. So what, now, is he proposing to bring to his position, if elected? Certainly, as readers of Aboutmyarea, we don’t know – he ‘declined to provide [a] statement’. With such clear disdain and dismissal of those from whom he wishes to elicit votes, and with no clear and positive indication of how he has represented the people of Neston in the past, is there any reason why the electorate of our fine town should not return the contempt shown by this candidate and vote accordingly? And how does such an indifferent attitude by a candidate reflect on the political party that the candidate represents?
Dennis L
At 23:44 on 23rd April 2021, Dennis L commented:

All Neston councillors are Independent so it is a shame that CWaC councillors aren't too which should put an end to party squabbling at meetings.
Mike Shipman
At 15:21 on 26th April 2021, Mike Shipman commented:
I presume Dennis L is referring to Neston TOWN councillors, who are not party nominees, but stand as independents. However, three decare their membership of the Labour Party and four their membership of theConservative party. And of course, one of the three Neston area CWaC councillors IS an independent.
At 20:41 on 27th April 2021, BHFL commented:
What about the protection of the greenbelt? Mr Wastell seeks to defend the green belt and prioritise affordable housing whilst protecting green space. What does Mr Millar have to say about this increasingly important matter?
Anthony A
At 16:54 on 28th April 2021, Anthony A commented:
A separate but related point. We all have the chance to vote for the Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner next week. A key part of their role, according to their own association, is to be 'the voice of the people' yet there are no statements on AMA from any of the candidates setting out what they offer or how they have listened to the public they are supposed to be serving. Clearly they don't see engaging with the public as very important. You and I pay around £750,000 p.a. for this 'service'.

Disappointingly a bit of digging shows that all four of next week's candidates are politically affiliated. They are supposed to act impartially but I hope you'll forgive my scepticism on that point. I don't understand why they can't be independent of any party.
Dennis L
At 10:51 on 30th April 2021, Dennis L commented:
The main reason for an Independent Council is that all councillors would be able to vote for the best person as leader.
Unlike the days of the late Cllr. Tosh Davies, councillors are now well paid and some may be doing it for the money so it is disappointing to see that my CT Bill that it has risen by 5.1% which means that our CT will double in 14 years when a high proportion of residents are pensioners and get less than a 2.5% rise in their pensions therefore having to make up the 2.6% difference or more from their meagre savings or cut back on food and heat. Therefore why did 2/3rds of our councillors vote for this increase?
They knew that the Gov. has allowed LAs to increase the CT by UP TO 3% (Approx.£122m for CWaC) for Adult Care but did the council require the whole of that amount when the shortfall was only £30m? Otherwise the CT increase would have been hearer a more affordable 3%.
Turning to why our photogenic PCC has not made a statement may be because we may ask him to explain why he wasted £340,000 of our money in legal fees when he brought 64 unproven charges against our then CC whose position then became untenable and he is now the CC for Northern Ireland and the second highest paid CC in the UK.
We may also ask him why the increase for policing in our CT Bill is 7% which means that at that rate the cost of policing will double in just 10 years. Some of that money he has spent on non-policing such as the Parkgate Playing Fields etc.
Also, is our police force giving us value for money?
There are many questions yet to be answered.

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