I think it’s fair to say I have held almost every role within the voluntary Party – from the bottom up. Starting in my local Branch, I quickly moved on to Branch Chairman, followed by Association Officer and for a period of time Chairman of the Association. For two and half years I also acted as a Board Representative for the Party Board in Sheffield before stepping down from the role in Spring 2012.
In 2001 I was elected as a Borough Councillor – serving for two terms (8 years) – and beating, on both occasion,s stiff Lib Dem competition – lots of door knocking and outworking the opposition required. In this period I served as Portfolio Holder for Infrastructure and also Portfolio Holder for Waste & Recycling. I was also fortunate to be elected to the role of Deputy Leader of the Council.
I have stood three times for Parliament – at the 2005 General Election I contested the Sheffield Hallam seat against Nick Clegg MP. I am proud that we were able to take 2% off his majority on this occasion. In 2010 I was the Parliamentary Candidate for Penistone & Stocksbridge – the Party’s one target seat in South Yorkshire. At this election our fantastic campaign team, led by the hugely energetic and committed Debbie Toon, achieved just over 8% swing from Labour to Conservative – in real terms, dropping the Labour majority from over 9,000 to just over 3,000 votes! Latterly, in 2016, I stood in the Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough by-election.
In all of my political activity I believe that hard work and focused commitment can really make a difference for all people. It is the small things that help peoples’ lives to be more comfortable and I honestly think that a committed and hard working candidate and representative can make a huge difference within their local community.