A Letter to the Editor from Amanda SMITH of Whitby (who is contesting the Streonshalh ward of the Scarborough Borough Council local elections for the Green Party), introducing herself to the Borough electorate. Amanda has been a serving Whitby Town (Parish) Councillor for the past eight years and has already been elected (unopposed) for the next four years.
Dear Mr. Editor,
I am Amanda Smith and I am standing as the Green Party candidate in Streonshalh. I have lived and worked on Church Street for the last twenty three years. I have a husband and daughter and together we run Artefacts. I have been a town councillor for over seven years and my love of Whitby and all things green have led me to the Chairmanship of Whitby in Bloom. People often ask me why I do it; it is a good question, but the simple fact is that I enjoy putting a smile on someone’s face, that makes me happy to serve this wonderful community.
Whitby has many strengths; its people, its heritage and its environment. It has a few problems as well; too many cars and not enough parking, having to travel across moors to reach a city and all its facilities, too few affordable homes and too many second homes. Living in Whitby is expensive when compared to the average local wage and well paid employment is difficult to find. But these are things we can change.
Like the NY Enquirer, I am a passionate believer in free speech and believe that without transparency and openness democracy is dead. Government, be it local or national, needs people to put ethical behaviour before party politics, community safety and sustainability before personal gain. A councillor’s first duty should be to help those least able to help themselves.
Whitby needs a publically funded, publically provided sustainable health service, we need to be confident that no matter what time of day, or what the season that we can access the best medical care this country has to offer. It shouldn’t matter whether the illness is physical or mental, whether you are old or young, whether you are a resident or visitor; if you need help, you should receive it.
Whitby also needs a quality education system as every child deserves to reach their full potential. I passionately believe that great teaching is not about rote learning but about exploration and discovery. It is about showing a child the joy to be found in reading, the fun to be gained from playing with numbers and the sheer jaw-dropping wonder of the world around us. And when we leave formal education we deserve a job which pays a living wage and a home which is secure, affordable and suitable for our needs.
I believe Whitby needs investment; investment in sustainable local energy production, investment in a public transport system that provides a public service, investment in flood prevention and mitigation measures, investment in our heritage, investment in our future.
May 7th is a very important day for this community, it could herald the dawn of change or it could return the same old, same old. Voters have a once-in-four-years chance to change the face of Scarborough Borough Council, I’m hoping they grasp this opportunity!
Amanda SMITH, Whitby. 26th April, 2015.