Q and A with Mel Allcott – City Council Candidate for Claines Ward

The deadline for election nomination passed last Thursday and Claines resident Melanie Allcott was confirmed as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the ward.

Below is a Q and A about why she got involved with her local Liberal Democrat party and why wants to make a difference in her area.

1. When and why did you become a Lib Dem?  
A supporter of the Liberal Democrat Party for some time I became a member in 2010.  I joined to participate in a fair, sensible and well balanced party, offering a real alternative to the extremes of the right and left.  Unable to trust the Labour Party with the economy or the Conservative party with Health or Education, I knew the Liberal Democrat Party was the right for me.
2. Which Lib Dem policy is most important to you?
The most important policy to me is A Stronger Economy in a Fairer Society.  A sustainable and balanced economy is key to the success of the United Kingdom; we need to create job opportunities for all, within both the Public and Private sector.  The 2010 Liberal Democrat policy of increasing the Personal Tax allowance, has been a real success, delivering an actual tax cut, for millions.  The Liberal Democrat manifesto plans to further build on this, increasing the allowance from £10,600 to £12,500, by the end of the next parliament.
3. What do you like about the Claines Ward?
Claines is a delightful ward to live in.  Both urban and rural, it has a unique feel, benefitting from a range of public and private facilities and important green spaces.  There is a real sense of community here. Residents are kind, thoughtful and always prepared to help each other out.  I love the way I can look out of my front window and see either someone I know walk by, a car drive by or a couple of horses and their riders trot by!
4. What will you do if you are elected?
I want to keep Claines the delightful unique, pleasant and safe area that it is, for current and future generations.
I will work hard to preserve both the Green Belt and the green open spaces.  The Green Belt to the North of Worcester is in place, to maintain the rural environment around the edge of city, preventing urban sprawl with other nearby towns and cities.  Green spaces include areas such as The Lodge on Northwick Road.
I will object to speculative development where existing infrastructure and services are not in place, to meet the increased demand.  It is important that development follows a structured, realistic plan, to meet the needs of new and existing residents.  The South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) is the relevant planning document to Claines Ward, covering all areas of Worcester City Council, Wychavon District Council and Malvern Hill District Council.
Thinking about sport and recreation, I will support both the provision of a new swimming pool plus a move back home, for Worcester City Football Club.  Gheluvelt Park has been much improved over the years and is a real asset to the area, enjoyed by many, I will support the continued good upkeep plus further enhancements to the park.
In terms of employment and infrastructure I will support local apprenticeships and employment opportunities within the area, also looking to improve and maintain the condition of footpaths and roads as necessary.
A genuine, local resident, I will be on hand, to help residents as required.
If you would like more information on our candidates and the Liberal Democrats both locally and nationally, you can follow us on twitter @worcesterlibs and on Facebook – the page is entitled ‘Worcester Liberal Democrats.
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The Problem With Football in Worcester

Here is an article that was recently published in the Worcester Liberal Democrat newsletter on the state of local football. We believe more should be done at a local and national level to increase participation and all the benefits that come with it. Football is awash with money; just look at the recent TV rights deal for the Premier League of over £5 billion. 

Football in Worcester has seen a detrimental reduction in participants over the past few years. At the end of the 2013/14 season, the Worcester + District Saturday League was discontinued, a lack of teams being the principle reason. This left no local Saturday football league in the county of Worcestershire. Alongside this, spiralling pitch costs has seen many teams fold, culminating in a farcical league re-organisation during the off-season of 2014 in which teams were shuffled around, not based on their league position, but on which league they wanted to play in – such was the lack of teams staying on from the previous season. There are many reasons for this decline in participation; the lack of, and/or the appalling state of facilities, (many grounds don’t even have changing rooms and those that do are often barely fit for purpose) and the spiralling cost of running a team, from the pitch itself to administration, fines, the list goes on. So the question is – why aren’t we doing anything about it? We are all aware of the benefits of local sport, particularly in this day and age with the so-called ‘obesity epidemic’. Surely more can be done to encourage new football teams to run in the area, and to keep costs down so it can be enjoyed by all, for the benefit of the participants and the community. Lib Dems in Worcester will strive to improve playing fields and facilities.

Written by Worcester Liberal Democrat member, Adam Warner.

For more information of the Lib Dems both locally and nationally, follow us on twitter @worcesterlibs. To get involved with campaigning and policy, contact us at worcesterlibdems@yahoo.co.uk.