Malcolm Swallow (Wanstead Village, Lib Dem)

Malcolm SwallowMalcolm Swallow

Malcolm Swallow 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 am delighted to be standing in Wanstead Village for election to Redbridge Council (I stood in other wards before). I have lived in Redbridge all my life, except for seven years in Leyton in the 1980s. I was educated at Churchfields School in South Woodford, followed by Buckhurst Hill High. After school years, I started work as a trainee accountant, qualifying in 1979.

In all my working roles, I have always been commuting on the Central Line – it's like a red ribbon through my life. My wife hears my frustration with the service, but as a council, Redbridge should do far more to coordinate interaction with TfL to improve it.

Despite being a chartered accountant, I try to look positively at challenges in the world around me and come up with practical solutions. I've never been interested in 'doing it that way because we've always done it that way'. I enjoy talking about issues and problems and looking with an open mind for new solutions that do not cost us money.

Only recently I had a Labour canvasser on my doorstep, and as we talked, he was agreeing with lots of my ideas and views on issues locally. I didn't have the heart to tell him my allegiances have, throughout my life, been with the Liberal movement. I am a Liberal because I see no point, or future, in dogmatic shouting at others who don't agree with my perspective on things. Some of my best friends support other parties but we respect each other and have some great debates.

I work for Abell Morliss, my own accountancy practice, where we look after small businesses. This has helped me gain awareness of what people trying to get started in business need: friendly advice from people who have done it, not stuff out of books. They need their council to lead in providing resources so they can get their feet on the ground. We know about silicon roundabout in London. What about a tech ribbon from Wanstead to Gants Hill? With leadership, the resources will follow.

Looking at our High Street, Redbridge Council should actively encourage diverse local retailers to come here so that we keep a broad spread of shops. I love a cappuccino but... the Sunday markets could be developed to be more extensive and put Wanstead on the map. We all want more hipsters walking our streets!

Evergreen Field? Come on guys, just take the fences down, there is no other solution.

Housing? Even in Redbridge, there are loads of sites we can use for housing before taking an inch of Green Belt, and the council should lead developers to where these are.

And it goes without saying that I am 100% behind continuing weekly rubbish collections and extending easy recycling opportunities.

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