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Welcome to my campaign website. Thank you for electing me as your Wiltshire Councillor for Corsham Without and Box Hill. I look forward to representing you over the course of the next four years...
Over the coming months I'll be working closely with Dick Tonge for our community. I regularly attend our parish and town councils meetings and Corsham Area Board meetings and I'm looking forward to meeting you; either at one of these meetings or during the coming months as I visit you and your neighbours.
I'm a local man, originally from Beanacre and now living in Corsham. I know many people in the villages between Melksham and Corsham. When I was growing up my father was chairman of the Melksham and Corsham Round Table, and was a partner of an agrichemicals firm. Thanks to him I was raised on Wiltshire’s farms and an active part of village and charity events. I've loved this area ever since because, like you, this is my home.
Several years ago I studied Politics at university in Manchester, specialising in local government policy. I've subsequently studied a postgraduate MBA at the University of Bath School of Management. I currently work for Nationwide building society, based at the head office in Swindon, in the business transformation team. Before this, I worked as an area manager for a housing association, with responsibility for community areas in Berkshire, Hampshire and Dorset.
I'm currently a town councillor in Melksham but will be standing down from this position to represent Corsham Without and Box Hill. I am a former Deputy Mayor of Melksham and during my time in office supported Help for Heroes and our local Girlguiding and Scouts groups.
I have a track record of bringing together local councils to resolve important local issue. In my opinion, the first responsibility of a local councillor is to represent the views of our villages, the second is to broker the best deal possible for our community.
Outside of local politics I'm a trustee of Corsham Almshouses and have a keen interest in protecting the historic buildings in our area. Alongside the Almshouses, we have many iconic landmarks in our villages and across Wiltshire that link us to our history and I'm committed to seeing them as part of our future.
I'm a churchwarden in the Church of England and a member of an amateur village cricket team. Also, I'm grateful to be a small part of a very active Conservative branch which organises all manner of fun events, from quiz nights to hog roasts. Get in touch if you can join us at any village events; I'm confident you'll enjoy it.
I see the future of decision making for communities being at the local level. This means ever greater localisation of decisions from Wiltshire Council to towns and parishes and from central Government to Wiltshire Council. A major devolution of health budgets to Wiltshire Council is a real possibility and I believe this is the most effective way of joining up services and improving quality and results for patients.
I believe in traditional values; especially that of personal responsibility. Within this, I believe that individuals and their families make the best decisions about their lives and government should consciously avoid getting in the way of this. Wiltshire Council must continue to be cost-efficient and creative in delivering vital services to the most vulnerable people in the county; we all recognise this. But I also believe that more can be done to free community groups and villages to meet their own needs and aspirations, as was the case before government interfered at a high cost to the taxpayer and common sense.
Through the coming months you will be hearing from me with updates on our campaigns. I'll be providing details through leaflet drops, door-to-door visits and posts on Twitter. I also regularly attend parish, town and Area Board meetings and village events.
When I made the decision to apply for selection as the candidate for this division it was because I enjoy spending time as a member of our community and believe I can make a difference for our villages. Having an on-going discussion with everyone else in the community is a fundamental part of my role. So I always appreciate hearing from and meeting you to learn more about the issues that are most important to you. Please get in touch and we can talk through any ideas or questions you have.
Ben's Latest Projects
My Election Address - March 2017
Dear Resident ,
On 4th May you will be voting to decide how your council is run for the next four years. Looking at the changes we’ve seen in our area is a reminder of how important it is to get it right. To help you make your decision, these are the principles I’m standing for:
Wiltshire Conservatives are investing more in our roads than ever before with over £27m being spent next year compared with the measly £8m the Lib Dems were spending when they ran the council. I want to keep investing to make our roads and pathways safer and reduce the risk of flooding. The My Wiltshire App has made reporting safety and flooding issues quicker, easier and cheaper than ever. It’s a real success story!
We need to invest in our families; to support our excellent schools, protect our children and care for our vulnerable residents. This isn’t just the responsibility of government, I’ll work with anybody that shares this commitment.
I also want to make sure that local people are heard when planning decisions are made. Like you, I want to protect our woodlands, fields and community facilities for future generations.
A strong, responsible voice for our community
I’m working hard to get the best deal for our community.
I met with Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire, to discuss his plans for keeping a police presence in the Corsham area. Many of us know our local officers by name which proves the success of community policing. It’s the most effective way of protecting children and vulnerable adults.
I visited Help for Heroes’ facility in Tidworth to give my support to the work they do with injured veterans in Wiltshire. I truly believe that the passion and commitment of charities and community groups like this is indispensable to our county.
I met with James Gray MP about improving broadband in our area through the Wiltshire Online programme. Wiltshire Council have invested in superfast broadband across the county and I support further investment.
We also discussed the huge success of the Springfield Campus; including the recentlynamed Stephanie Millward swimming pool. Wiltshire Conservatives have risen to the challenge to save our much-loved services and I’ll keep standing up for our community centres, halls, play areas and libraries.