"I have lived in a North East Essex village for nearly 25 years with my wife Patricia and our four daughters. We can trace our Essex roots back to the 1700s, Patricia to a family of Church Rectors from Radwinter and mine to farm labourers based near Witham. Clearly my interest in the Countryside must be genetic! After studying marine biology, I started work managing a large Nature
Reserve in Devon, later moving to Hertfordshire to join the County Council there as a Countryside Manager.
Indeed, 2017 is my 30th anniversary of involvement in Local Government, either as an employee or as a member. I was first elected to the County Council in 2001 and have represented the Thaxted Division for the past 12 years. In that time I have held a number of senior positions at the County Council, including Chairman of the Scrutiny Board and I now serve as Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste. Chairing the Local Highways Panel, I have overseen the successful delivery of over £1.2 million of local highway projects, including a new footway for Hempstead, speed limit reductions and speed activation devices across Uttlesford.
As a Chartered Environmentalist, I am keen to ensure that the right balance is achieved between economic growth and development and protecting and promoting the County’s green assets; something I can influence strongly in my present role.
We face many challenges in the Thaxted Division. I have been consistent over the years in resisting over-expansion of Stansted Airport. I have been consistent in ensuring that any housing developments are proportionate and are needed. I recognise the challenges that the highways network presents, particularly throughout a rural area.
I have championed the need for extra measures to improve road safety, such as reduced speed limits, I have championed the need to improve the Rights of Way network, and helped many parishes across the Thaxted Division get issues resolved such as road repairs or inclusion in the winter gritting service, and supported
contentious planning objections.
I offer wide experience of local government at all levels, a good local knowledge of the area and I have an inherent passion to help and serve. As a local butcher once said to one of his customers, ‘talk to Simon, he gets things done’.
As your County Councillor, I have worked hard over the past few years to help improve your lives. I chair the Local Highways Panel which helps fund local schemes and I also chair the Youth Strategy Group, supporting numerous volunteer and outreach projects across Uttlesford."
Fighting to improve road safety. Successes include:
- New speed limits in Hartford End, Felsted, extended 40 mph zones in Thaxted and Little Bardfield, with the prospect of one for Little Easton.
- Vehicle Activated Signs in Great Easton, Hadstock, Great Sampford, Stebbing, Thaxted, Little Bardfield , Hadstock and Ashdon
- A new footway in Hempstead
- Put pressure on the County Council to get road repairs and resurfacing done in a timely and efficient way
- Extended winter gritting routes in Lindsell and Debden
- Helping to improve our Rights of Way network, I have lobbied hard to protect and improve our byways
- Promoted schemes to get damaged byways repaired in Debden and Stebbing
- Consulted with parishes over footpath improvements and diversions
- Worked with local parents to save the Sewards End school bus as the walking route was totally unsuitable
Helped protect and improve our lives and environment by:
- Supporting communities in opposing inappropriate developments, such as excessive housing schemes or quarrying applications
- Being responsible for flood prevention, promoting local schemes to protect your properties, such as the ‘Leaky Dams’ project in Thaxted
- Working with officers to improve our Country Parks and woodlands
- Lobbying to save a critical bus route linking Dunmow, the Eastons and Saffron Walden
Working as a Councillor all year round...
"As Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste, I am responsible for these areas: Waste Disposal, Flood protection, grant giving through the Community Initiatives Fund, Recycling Centres, Rural Issues, Gypsy and Travellers, Country Parks and Energy. In addition, I chair the Rural Partnership, Coastal Partnership and the Flood Partnership Board."
- Active Regionally: I represent Essex on three Regional Flood and Coast Committees, ensuring appropriate investment in flood protection occurs in the County. I sit on the Kent and Essex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority and also represent Essex on the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority, both important in ensuring sustainable use of our coastal and inland resources.
- Active Nationally: I meet Essex MPs to discuss matters of concern relating to Essex. I am a member of the Local Government Association’s Coastal Special Interest Group., a Director of the local government’s Improvement and Efficiency Social Enterprise which offers innovative solutions to local councils.