I live in Wessington with my family, and owner of Amber Valley Wines; your local vineyard.
I was the part-time Chief Executive of the United Kingdom Vineyards Association, now WineGB, the national trade association for English and Welsh wine growers and producers. I stay involved as a volunteer member of that body. Here in Derbyshire I tend 2 acres of vines with help from my wife and daughter.
Our 1/2 acre orchard is planted with cider, dessert and local varieties of apples. Indeed we may be the only orchard outside of the National Collection in Brogdale, Kent, that has all the Derbyshire varieties.
I am focusing my time on leading the County Council, local issues and running our local businesses.
We also own a little holiday cottage business, which is mainly run by my wife, Kat.
Since May 2017 I have been the Leader of Derbyshire County Council, hopefully to lead this administration to a second consecutive victory beyond 2021. I have been privileged to be a County Councillor since 2009, which the last time beifre this that the Conservatives controlled the authority, prior to that DCC was 28 years under Labour rule.
I'm a great believer in supporting local communities to look after local services and local needs where possible. Issues that really get me going are planning, particularly inappropriate speculative rural applications that have come about as a consequence of NPPF and local authorities not having a robust Local Plan, such as Labour controled North East Derbyshire.
Thank you to all who voted for me back in 2017, and to all those that voted Conservative in Derbyshire, giving us an opportunity to deliver efficient and effective services for you and your families.
Local Planning Issues
A big local issue just about anywhere you go but within my division particular issues in Ashover and Wessington have been causing real concern. North East Derbyshire has been slow to deal with creating its Lolocal Plan, which has led to inappropriate development. What are your thoughts? Conservatives in North East Derbyshire have challenged Labour to sort it out.
Transport & Highways
February 15, 2016
Since taking control of Derbyshire County Council Conservatives have invested millions in improving our highways. Between April 2018 and end of March 2019 over 72,000 potholes have been repaired! In a normal year it's usually just 20,000. We put back £6million into the budget that Labour took out and just completed an £8.4million capital investment in our roads with more to be announced.
Fairness In Local Govt.
February 15, 2016
Impacts of local cuts should be locally determined and fair. They should not disproportionately impact one area more than another. Labour cuts in recent years have impacted on rural areas and increased isolation in rural families and elderly people. Conservatives have worked to redress this. What are your views? Have you been impacted?