I love Grimsby but there many things I do not like about it and that is one of the reasons I decided to stand.
Grimsby is not grim it has lots going for it, it is not dead on its feet and has many people at all levels determined for it to prosper.
People should not worry too much about ‘Skint’ and the like, we do have real problems here that have not been fully addressed and anybody saying otherwise is in denial or their lives do not fully bring them into contact with these problems.
Unless the problems are understood and fully defined any solution will not resolve these issues. It is of no real benefit to anybody living, working or investing in Grimsby if things are swept under the carpet or saying it is not my problem.
To me you are either part of the solution or part of the problem.
The tribal nature of politics does a great disservice to the people. This is then compounded by the relatively short time between General Elections. Too much effort is wasted by unpicking the other parties work and the overriding desire to get re-elected instead of focusing on truly addressing the problems and then being judged on merit come election time. (It is no surprise there is voter apathy with Contradiction Politics to the fore).
A real game changer for Grimsby would have been the Nissan factory coming here, in my mind that would have been realistic compensation for the loss of our fishing industry with a promise of a very long future instead of the fickle nature of some the food factories. (Swung to Sunderland by a Government Grant).
(Nissan have invested £3.5 billion and created work for thousands) However, that opportunity has gone.
The Wind Farm/Turbine industry we are told promises much for the Port of Grimsby but how much for the local economy and how much goes elsewhere? What about the long term? How dependent is it on subsidies?
We have suffered over the years by being too dependent on a narrow economy.
I believe some of the main problems of Great Grimsby are:
Inability to match aspirations of many people looking for jobs.
Which embraces transport links/jobs (especially providing a living wage.) Shortage of affordable housing, people leaving the town, employers attracting workers to the town, drug or substance abuse. It has not fully recovered from the loss of the fishing industry, nor getting enough funding from Government.
Shortage of skilled workers and employability skills (Including communication, teamwork and attitude).
Need to continue to push for more training and apprenticeships in general to improve skill sets and thus attractiveness to potential investors
Congested road system
throughout the town where a large volume of traffic goes through the town that does not need or want to.A Ring Road is needed from the A180 to the A16.
Historic lack of overall and long term planning.
Does not look like changing anytime soon and is not helped by the absence of a Local Plan.
Perceived view of Grimsby
Highlighted by ‘Skint’ recently but also by past media coverage.
Not helped by too many boarded up/empty properties, long standing derelict sites, poor historic follow up/maintenance of schemes.
Large waterfront areas in central Grimsby that are almost criminally underdeveloped with a visually unappealing hulk near the bus depot (opposite the Fishing Heritage Centre) that has been there for so long it is possibly pre-Viking!
Victoria Street West street scene that offers a golden opportunity for post graduates to study sub-cultures and the behaviour of the species.
Visitors here for Christmas taking away memories of a trip down Victoria Street West on Boxing Day afternoon with overflowing bins, copious quantities of litter all over the street.
A town centre that many people avoid at late night shopping periods.
A long standing pervasive state of denial exists over this, a thriving town centre is a given for a successful local economy and a reflection of the town itself.
On the 20/11/14 a female member of staff was assaulted during late night shopping by a very young lad and the behaviour and attitude of many but not all the youths around caused problems all night (Click here). Another year but same problems.
Following this I offered a comprehensive solution, (Calder Plan). All that is needed for certain people to accept the problem exists then employ a number of readily available measures.
Shopping presently struggling to match that on offer at nearby regional centres although trying to compete.
No ‘bus station’ that could match that definition. Poor parking provision.
A recently improved railway station access that could have been so much better with more vision e.g. one way in from Garden Street allowing passengers not having to go out into the rain and walk to get a taxi.
Affordable housing, people leaving the town, employers attracting workers to the town, drug or substance abuse. it has not fully recovered from the loss of the fishing industry and not getting enough funding from Government.
Flooding is a truly dreadful experience for a householder, it is a really debilitating process that for those involved that seems to go on forever. Even when it all seems sorted out, the fear of a repeat is still in the back of your mind.
I know I was severely flooded twice in a two year period.
For businesses it can really mean the loss of the business and jobs for employees, if that is avoided it can still take a long time to recover and customers may be lost forever.
For both there is a knock on effect of no insurance or more expensive insurance.
There needs to be effective defences backed by processes in place for a truly fast resolution of any problem caused.
Simple measures like regular gulley cleaning and dyke cleaning or dredging need re- instating and maintaining. There should be no building allowed to be constructed without generous drainage and water disposal measures.
The present system of a weekly waste collection for the green coloured bins need to be maintained for all households.
I want to champion Grimsby, help co-ordinate addressing these problems and to promote Grimsby widely. Thus improve the quality of life for all those in Grimsby and assist in our town prospering.
I was recently involved in the campaign to stop the Bargate Club becoming a Tesco store. I was more than happy to help and was able to send a letter with unique and relevant information to the planning committee.
But more importantly this shows that when a group of determined people come together in a calm collected manner to voice their legitimate concerns success can be achieved no matter how big the opponent may be. Well done to that group.