I am standing as an independent candidate to represent Brindle, Hoghton & Withnell (part) in the Chorley Borough Council elections on the 5th May.
Why am I standing?
I stood before in 2004 and believe the time is now right to stand again, given the state of European, National, County and Local politics today – no one seems to be speaking up for the “average person on the street”, especially those miles away from the Town Hall, County Hall, Parliament or Brussels / Strasbourg.
I am not a member or supporter of any political party, point of view or Leader; I can find good and bad in all the parties – be they left, right, anti-European or Green. All I want to do is represent the people of Brindle and Hoghton.
I am 63 years of age being born in Preston and brought up in Blackburn. I have been associated with the area for over 45 years, having married a Brindle farmer’s daughter at Brindle St. James’ Church in 1974. I have lived in the centre of the village since 1983 seeing my two sons educated at Brindle St James’ Primary School.
After many years in sales and marketing roles in the corporate sector, I set up a recruitment business in my front room back in 1996 called “Placing People First”. I expanded it across the country before ‘retiring’ in 2007.
I now do charity work, give history talks and organise battlefield trips.
I have played an active part in the local community over the years, being a School Governor, a Parish Councillor (1998 to 2012) and was Chairman of Brindle Parish Council from 2004 to 2006.
I was a Trustee of Brindle Community Hall from 2001, serving as Vice Chairman and then Chairman until 2012. In that time I was part of a dedicated and hardworking team of local people who raised over £250,000 for a new building that opened in 2006; I helped write the business plan and l was heavily involved with the fundraising and marketing for the project.
In 2002, I co-founded Brindle Historical Society but left in 2012 to concentrate on my main passion of the First World War. I have researched and written two books about local men in the conflict – ‘Brindle & Hoghton Pals’ and ‘The Chorley Pals’.
In February 2015 I set up a Facebook Page “Brindle and Hoghton history” with a daily ‘Blog’ which has nearly 1,500 ‘Likes’ and is followed by locals, ex-Pats and even Politicians.
In 2007, I co-founded the Chorley Pals Memorial Trust with Lindsay Hoyle, the Member of Parliament for Chorley and Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.
Over the past nine years we have raised money for a memorial to the Chorley Pals (who included four men from Brindle and Hoghton) as well as delivering a National Lottery funded project, ‘Chorley Rememebers’ which included a new civic war memorial with the names of the fallen and a very successful ‘Remembrance Experience’ exhibition at Astley Hall.
In 2010 I was recognised for my community work at a reception for “Community Heroes” at 10 Downing Street.
Recently I have finalised the plans for a programme of events in June and July to commemorate the sacrifice of the Chorley Pals on the Somme in 1916.
I am also working with Chorley Council on a ceremony to unveil a memorial stone to James Miller VC who won Britain’s highest gallantry award on the Somme in July 1916 – he was born in Hoghton and brought up at Ollerton Fold, Withnell.
What do I stand for?
As an Independent, I place people and local issues first.
- I am against Fracking anywhere in Lancashire.
- I want to see the local environment and Green Belt protected.
- Better two-way communication within all sectors of the community, as well as with the Council and other relevant organisations.
- I dislike exclusion or discrimination of any kind – wanting to see everyone help or be helped to play their part in a vibrant, thriving community.
If elected, I will…
- Definitely keep in touch, using what ever means I can – notices, social media, the Internet and good old fashioned ‘word of mouth’.
- Listen to local people, businesses, groups and schools putting forward their concerns and views, when and where appropriate.
- Challenge inappropriate development locally and projects by the Council that are not viable or offer value for money.
- Ensure that we all get the services expected and pay for, and delivered to a high standard.
- Look to work with all parties, organisations and services to make the area a better place to live, bring up a family, run a business or retire.
- Encourage the two Parish Councils and our County Councillor to become far more pro-active than reacting to things – especially when it comes to future plans, highway matters, speeding, Policing and environmental issues (including dog-fouling and fly-tipping).
- Promote and assist local businesses set up and develop – from farmers, home workers, retailers, manufacturers to those in the catering & tourist industry (but not to the detriment of the local countryside).
- Only support a ‘local’ group, either physically or financially, where most members are from the two villages, actively promote themselves or play their part in including all local people – irrespective of age, race, religion, politics, sexual orientation and the like.
On a practical note
If elected, I will set up a “Brindle and Hoghton Heritage group” with everyone on the electoral roll automatically being a member. It will aim to get people involved – to research, record, protect and conserve the two village’s history and heritage for future generations; there may even be some volunteering or physical work opportunities on projects. In addition, it could also be used as a forum for a stronger voice and action should Chorley join with South Ribble Borough Council and other authorities across the County, in the near future.
I will offer any assistance I can in getting new community facilities in the area, especially on the Hoghton Village Hall site.
Seek an urgent review of traffic calming measures in the two villages – the Brindle village scheme was introduced in 1997 and nothing since, whilst nothing has been done on Bournes Row or along the A675.
What do I promise?
I promise not to join or align myself to any political party or group, be it formally or informally.
As Winston Churchill put it in 1940: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat”. Basically, I make no promises except to do my best for everyone in the community – first and foremost.
What can you do?
Simply go out and vote for me on May 5th (or make sure you send your postal vote in good time).
Should you wish to get in touch, please click here or your an call me on (01254) 854298 or write to me at 42 Smithy Close, Brindle, Chorley PR6 8NW.
You can also follow me and see updates on my Facebook Page “Steve Williams – Independent”.
- To download a poster, please click here (PDF, 2.8 Mb)
Published and promoted by Steve Williams of 42 Smithy Close, Brindle, Chorley PR6 8NW