Me, personally ...

I come from a computer science background so the first thing I did with this website was to write about facts and problems and to say what I would do to improve things. Several of you have asked me to say something about myself. Well, I don't know quite what to say but here goes ...
I was born and grew up in the little seaside town of Weymouth, in Dorset. Quite a lovely little town - though less lovely now than it used to be. The Council there have done some very damaging things and wasted a great deal of money doing it.

I came up to Bristol for University, had a great time and liked Bristol so much I stayed and have been here ever since, living first in a flat in Lower Redland Road and then renting a room in Woodstock Road.

I gradually saved up enough money to get a mortgage - mind you, those were the days when you could buy a small house for 4 or 5 times your salary ... unlike the 10 times or more these days!

I bought an ex-Council house in Sea Mills because it seemed really peaceful. Our road wasn't such a rat-run then, with fewer people avoiding the main roads.

For most of the time I've been here, it's been terrific. I used to be able to get into work in town easily when the Portway had two lanes, most of the way, in each direction. Now, of course, one inbound lane is a 24-hour bus lane - empty for most of the day, while all the cars form a huge, polluting tailback.

I used to enjoy doing a spot of gardening and occasionally eating outside with friends.

That fell away when the land at the end of our gardens was opened up for the building of some tiny flats.

This meant our gardens were constantly overlooked and kids could easily break in while we were out at work.

That was despite almost all of our street signing a petition which was presented to, and ignored by, the then Council.

I would hate that to happen to anybody else. Planners should think: if they wouldn't want it in their own backyard, don't inflict it on other people.

Since then, those tiny flats have been demolished and more, larger flats have been built there - still overlooking our gardens and destroying any privacy but at least a fence has been erected to make them less accessible.

I know this may sound like a handful of moans but one good thing that has come out of it is that I am much more aware of how important it is to take into account how any road changes and new buildings affect local lives before they are implemented.

Unfortunately, it seems the Council as a whole do not always remember this eg a small shop in Fishponds is going out of business because his road has been blocked off, to relocate a bus stop, and he no longer gets any passing trade.
Why wasn't that considered before moving the bus stop ?

I've worked in a number of IT jobs, ranging from being a programmer/analyst, through training and pre-sales support to system management - for a couple of small organisations and some rather larger ones such as the University and Hewlett Packard.
I've also worked for myself and run my own company.

I enjoy a range of hobbies: some sporty ones like badminton, squash and tennis and some relaxing ones like watching movies and reading books. Another hobby is amateur dramatics and I've performed with various groups around Bristol (eg AAD, Apollo, Bristol G+S, Horfield Theatre Company and Tapestry) and outside (eg Clevedon G+S, Clevedon Players, CLOC).

I'm standing for Mayor because, even though Bristol is a great place, there are so many things that could be better and some things which are actually getting worse year after year (an obvious one being the mess of traffic and transport in the city).
There are other issues where I believe the Council is going in the wrong direction eg selling off our greenspace and care homes.

Some people say the Council makes life harder for them and that's the opposite of what a Council is for!

Somebody needs to sort this out - for everybody who lives and visits here - and that just isn't happening.

While I've been out walking around Bristol and meeting people, one lady asked "So, you want to be Mayor, do you". My answer, then and now, is ... in many ways, no! I don't want to be Mayor for the sake of being a mayor.
   BUT I do want things to change. I do want to undo some things which are harming Bristol. And I do want to set our city on a better path. A more efficient and caring path. A path where everybody feels they can contribute and their voice will be heard. And a path where people know the Council is on their side and will be helping them achieve their potential, not hindering them. That's the sort of Bristol I want to live in and which I think most people also want.

It's time for an ordinary person like me to guide the Council to benefit ordinary people.

By way of balance, perhaps I should say that, over the years (and recently leading up to this election), I've met Councillors and people who work for the Council and some are very helpful but others seem to have lost track that the Council is there to facilitate our lives, not to rule over us. I hope you'll elect me and give me chance to ensure that's how it is.