Crispin Acton (Wanstead Village, Lib Dem)

Crispin ActonCrispin Acton

Crispin Acton is a Liberal Democrat candidate for the new Wanstead Village ward in the upcoming Redbridge Council elections. Here's why he thinks he deserves your vote on 3 May.

I retired after 41 years of work as a civil servant in the Department of Health in early 2017. Health must be a strong interest, as I am now a postgraduate student in public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, studying part-time. I have a particular interest in alcohol, drugs and health.

I also have an interest in history, as that was my degree subject at university, and I usually have a history book on the go as my reading material.

Other aspects of my life include being an active member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic church in Wanstead.

I have lived in Wanstead for 21 years, having moved here from Brentwood in 1996. I am mindful that many here enjoy a good quality of life in Wanstead, although some do not, and we should all be able to look for support when we face difficult times – Redbridge Council plays an important role in social care and other essential services.

While living in Wanstead, I joined with neighbours to support our campaign for traffic calming in and around Wellington Road and Wellesley Road in 2012 after a child was injured here. I spoke at the then Area Committee meeting where this was discussed. The campaign was successful, although it took two years to come to fruition.

Having recently missed the W12 bus on my way to an outpatient appointment at Whipps Cross Hospital, I believe that 30 minutes is much too long to wait for such an essential service. Transport for London needs to review its decision to cut the frequency of this route.

I joined the Liberal Democrats in 2001, partly because of the party's consistent and strong support for this country's membership of the EU, as well as its principled commitment to a fully democratic society. I have seen how the EU matters in my work on health and how the UK is stronger in global bodies, like the World Health Organization, when we work closely with other European countries, which are so similar to us in many respects.

The world is an uncertain and fast-changing place and it is unwise to think we can repeat past glories by working alone.

The major problems facing our local health services especially concern me. I believe that Redbridge Council can help to shine a light on these problems and show where local needs are not being met. Barts NHS Health Trust and other local NHS trusts are facing severe funding problems. These are not likely to be improved by Brexit; indeed, they risk becoming worse.

Redbridge Council elections will take place on 3 May. Visit wavidi.co/vote2018