Parish Council 2018 – Michael Williamson

As a candidate on May 3rd 2018 in the Parish Council elections, I thought I would just give a few thoughts as to why I am putting myself forward.

I have lived in Waterbeach for over 45 years with my wife, Jane. We have two grown-up children, both of whom attended Waterbeach Primary School.

I have been a member of Waterbeach Parish Council for many years and have served a number of terms as Chairman. Most recently, I have been Chairman for the last four years.

I was also County Councillor for the Waterbeach Division (Waterbeach, Landbeach and Milton) for eight years from 2005-2013.

When voting for a Parish Councillor you are selecting someone for two roles. Firstly, someone who will help to develop our village environment by spending wisely the funds under our control. I believe that we have achieved this over the last four years of my chairmanship. Our village green spaces are looking better that they have looked for many years, and our sports facilities (judging by the reactions of visiting teams) are some of the best in the local area. This is due to the efforts of our grounds staff, Robert and Les, and I regularly receive complimentary comments on their work.

We have installed a wonderful skate-park, the envy of many local villages, and we have just converted the old skate-park into a new toddler area (with much of the design work supervised by Councillors Barbara Bull and Brenda Johnson).

We are about to extend our village cemetery on land given to us by the Ministry of Defence, and we have also purchased, jointly with Landbeach and Milton, a Mobile Vehicle Activated (speed) Sign to try to address some of the speeding issues in our village.

We have done all this and, at the same time reduced the Parish part of the Council tax paid by our residents by 9% for next year, something with which, as Chair of the Finance Committee, I am particularly pleased.

Looking forward, we have over £250,000 in our bank from developers to help us improve village amenities. I want to see this spent wisely on projects that you want and, as already publicised in our Newsletter, we want your views.

Our other role is to represent the village (together with our District and County Councillors) in the wider area. Waterbeach is under huge pressures from developers and we try our best to mitigate the adverse effects of this pressure.

I have published my views on some of these issues on my blog (see, for example, my comments on the Waterbeach Station move and my long-standing opposition to excessive development on the Barracks site) and am always available to listen to views. I keep an eye on discussions on social media (but you have to remember that many people do not read this or contribute and views expressed there may not be particularly representative).

In my last four years as Chair of the Council I have tried to focus on the future and not rake over the past. We have been through some difficult periods but I very much hope that we can put these aside and work together to keep Waterbeach a really good place to live. Looking forward I want to see us talking to developers, especially those on the Barracks and adjoining site, to try to ensure that any development enhances, as far as possible, our local community.

Do contact me using the form below if you would like to raise any local matters. I’ll respond either personally or via this site (but won’t mention your name if I reply publicly).

Published by Michael Williamson of The Willows, Long Drove, Waterbeach, Cambridge CB25 9LW.