I have represented Tankerton since 2011 having previously taken a keen interest in the role the local authority plays in the area, wider town and district for some time, be it working as a local journalist, playing an active part in local groups or just as someone who is interested through having had ancestors in the town since at least 1725.
Tankerton offers some of the most spectacular views of the coast of anywhere in Kent - or indeed beyond - and I was delighted to convince the city council, prior to my election, to make Tankerton Slopes and beach a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Field. This offers both long-term protection and a way of securing funds for future investment, something I hope to play a key part in to ensure the area remains, and is increasingly considered, the jewel in the crown of the district's coastline.
I don't believe government of any level - national or local - should exist to interfere excessively in people's lives, but instead exist to create an environment where people can live happily and know where to ask for help as and when needed. Councils often make the mistake of telling residents what they think they want, rather than listen to concerns and ideas and act accordingly. I aim to ensure, whenever possible, people can see their thoughts and suggestions make a real difference.
However, with ever-increasing demand for housing development there can be conflict. While Tankerton has avoided the large-scale housing developments seen and proposed elsewhere in the district, it is essential a real mixture of places to live remain. While there appears to be a drive towards extending every building upwards and outwards, maintaining a mixture of bungalows, small houses, larger houses and apartments is important if the ward is to remain vibrant long into the future.