Pat Bennett (Wanstead Park, Conservative)

Pat BennettPat Bennett

Pat Bennett is a Conservative Party candidate for the new Wanstead Park ward in the upcoming Redbridge Council elections. Here's why he thinks he deserves your vote on 3 May.

I have been part of the Aldersbrook community of Wanstead Park for over a decade. Having recently retired from the postal service, I am keen to 'give back' to this wonderful community.

In Wanstead Park, we have a lovely environment with plenty of green spaces. We need to preserve these areas, not just for now but for future generations. I am a member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and I am actively involved in trying to protect their habitat, especially on Wanstead Flats.

I take a keen interest in the issues that affect my community and I was involved in the petition to bring back the free garden waste collection service the council charged for in 2017. We managed to get the council to do a U-turn on this by demonstrating the support for reinstating the service back to how it was.

I would like to serve as a councillor for Wanstead Park to represent everyone and to provide an experienced voice on the council. I want to ensure everyone is consulted and not dictated to by the council. Consultations should be a two-way process, where all parties engage. This has not been the case with the recent parking consultation in Aldersbrook.

Consultations should not be a rubber-stamping exercise to raise money from residents or to impose new regulations on an area where they have not been properly scrutinised. This can and has led to poor decision-making and serious unintended consequences, not least, in the case of parking, the displacement of cars to smaller and smaller areas. The new scheme also threatens the viability of our cherished High Street. Decisions arising from the consultation should be based on everyone consulted with the majority decision being carried. This has not happened.

In recent years, I have seen a significant decline in our municipal services, such as street cleaning – a recent survey mentioned that over half of our residents think the council is doing a poor job of keeping the streets clean. There has been more anti-social behaviour, including street drinking, aggressive begging and the dumping of household and green waste in prohibited areas. These issues need to be tackled immediately. If elected, I will pursue this stealth tax on parking permits without proper consultation. I will work to ensure the free garden green waste scheme is kept permanently, not just brought back for election year! I will also work with my colleagues to slash the £5m temporary manager and 'interim consultant' bill.

We are your candidates actively involved in the community and we seek your support to ensure the new ward of Wanstead Park presents a powerful voice for all residents.

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