Send us news by text, start your message Knutsford News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Candidates speak out ahead of Over Ward election on February 7
VOTERS will go to the polls next week to elect a new councillor for Knutsford’s Over Ward.
Yvonne Bancroft, who is chairman of Knutsford in Bloom, is standing as an Independent candidate, alongside Paul Hamilton as a Conservative and Gerald Norden, who runs an opticians on King Street, is standing for UKIP.
The election, for Over Ward, will be held on Thursday, February 7, and is to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Bernadette Emmett in December.
The election is estimated to cost the town council between £6,000 and £7,000, with the count being held at Manor Park Primary School – straight after the last vote is cast.
This week the Guardian profiles those who are in the running.
Gerald Norden told the Guardian he would make sure he would be accountable for the town’s residents.
“I believe Knutsford needs free-thinking positive action,” he said.
“I have worked in the ‘real life’ working world of business for over 40 years – I know many of the serious concerning issues that the community cares about, locally and nationally.
“Knutsford has importance in its own right – my particular concern is that those appointed to rule and control essential services provision, appear at times, to be unaccountable for questionable decisions – this in a democracy, is unacceptable.
“‘Common sense’ is my watchword – and I listen to others who share this same view. The re-cycled political establishment, no doubt will offer ‘business as usual’ – the choice is yours.”
Paul Hamilton is married to town councillor Barbara Coan, and lives in Over Ward. He told the Guardian parking and healthcare were high on his priorities.
He said: “I live in Knutsford and am married with a grown-up family, who were all educated in Knutsford. I have been an Over ward resident for 26 years, was previously employed but am now a full-time carer.
“I have an intimate understanding and knowledge of the local area and care deeply about Knutsford. It’s important to preserve our heritage, enhance open spaces and maintain town centre viability.
“Promoting and encouraging sustainable economy and growth are high on my agenda, as are roads, parking and healthcare, and as a Conservative councillor I will be a team player, supporting our town council’s efforts to obtain value for money in maintaining services like the town market, cinema, allotments and community centres.
“I will work alongside fellow town councillors, outside bodies, voluntary groups, businesses and the public to enhance our town and local environment and to seek improvements.
“I am able to commit time to local issues, I will be approachable to all and will genuinely listen to your thoughts and ideas.
“I aim to be your ‘voice’ on the town council, bringing new ideas as well as working together to benefit the interests of the residents, community and the town.
“We will be guided by common sense and considered opinion to ensure a realistic outcome, putting forward comments and seeking answers, working together to benefit the interests of the residents, community and the town.”
Yvonne Bancroft, who has been in charge of the town’s floral displays for the past four years, said the town’s shops were the lifeblood of the town.
“I have lived in Knutsford Over Ward with my husband for 13 years,” she told the Guardian.
“We chose to live here because of its wonderful character, heritage, entertainment and amenities.
“Knutsford’s individuality and independent shops are the life blood of our town, bringing in visitors.
“They are our future, and we must protect them.
“If residents, groups, the business community, Knutsford Town Council and Cheshire East Council all work together, with Cheshire East listening to what we the local community want, we as a town could achieve so much more, more effectively and efficiently, delivering better services.
“We have all seen how bad planning by remote unelected officials has destroyed many towns and villages, creating soulless new towns.
“I care about Knutsford, and don’t want to see poor management and decisions destroy it, and I know that most of you also feel the same way.
“I pledge to do all I can to retain Knutsford’s heritage, character, open spaces and services, ensuring our town thrives.
“As a town councillor I would want to hear from you to put forward your views and represent you as best as I can.
“I care about Knutsford and I care about you. Help me to make a difference, vote independent, vote Yvonne Bancroft.”