I have been a Councillor for Feltham North since 2002. My 10th anniversary has passed earlier this month. I am incredibly privileged and proud – so much has happened to me both as a Councillor and personally in that time. When I was first elected, I had not been married an entire year. A 10th Wedding Anniversary and three children later, here I am.
Being Deputy Leader of the Council was also something I enjoyed. It was very hard work and I was part of an administration that made a difference from massively improving the maintenance of parks, turning around the complaints procedure, raising the profile of planning enforcement and putting an end to the inevitability that Council Tax should increase every year in Hounslow. As I have said many times, my biggest (and only major) regret is that I did not achieve a good outcome at the Feltham Arena site.
There are four main things in my life at the moment:
- My family
- Representing Feltham North on the Council
- My job/career
- Leading the Conservative Group on Hounslow Council
I have been considering my position on the last of the above over the past couple of months. I am not prepared to compromise on the top three and the workplace is an ever more competitive place for us all. I am pretty much on top of my casework and I am enjoying my children growing up.
The Conservative Group AGM is on Monday evening. I decided for certain a number of weeks ago that I would not seek the nomination to continue in the post of Group Leader. I announced this to the Group on 25 April.
Of course, there will be some who think that the role of Leader could have been done better. I hope that this happens going forward. None of us are indispensable and there is always room for improvement.
At the beginning of my tenure as Leader I said in the Chamber that when I agreed with the Labour administration, I would say so. I have kept my word. I have also stated that this Labour administration is not close to being as bad as the one I saw between 2002 & 2006 (it was the pits). However, there are a number of areas where the Council is going backwards and their decision scrap a constitutional provision that Mayoralty should not only go to one Group was disgraceful (they supported the provision when in opposition).
I became Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group in 2004. I became Leader of the Group in 2010. I have certainly have had my turn. It has been a great experience. My replacement will have an important role over the next couple of years. My political priority is always Feltham North. I will also do what I can to advance the fortunes of the Conservative Party in this Borough.