Martin Smart for King’s Hedges
City Candidate for King's Hedges
I’m Martin and I’ve represented King’s Hedges residents on the City Council since 2014.
Originally from Bristol, I moved to Cambridge in 1994 to organise a City Council children’s festival called PlayFest, that ran for three years. When we started a family, I stopped work to look after our twins and, later on, our third child. During that time, I became more involved in local community organisations such as Woodcraft Folk, and especially those in the areas of disability, sport and art. Over the years I’ve been a part of many groups, as a volunteer, coach, parent helper, committee member, and latterly, the school Parent Teacher Association, school governor, and Chair of Governors.
I really enjoy representing King’s Hedges, and in particular, being able to help residents in my role as a councillor, whatever that need might be. It’s also important to me to be involved helping run our city, and making sure there is a robust administration for Cambridge, something I’ve often spoken about with residents on the doorsteps of King’s Hedges. The previous administration had lost £11m in failed Icelandic banks investments, £645,000 in a mismanaged Folk Festival ticket sales contract, and then miscalculated the accounts by £1m, causing budget chaos. It was a failed administration, and I knew a Labour administration would do much better.
I’m now Deputy Leader (Non Statutory) of the City Council and a member of the Executive, the group of councillors that provide leadership for the city. I’m also Chair of Planning and take a particular interest in this role, informed by my interests in architecture and design, and in how planning helps shape the city as it grows around us. I’m also Lead Councillor for Cycling and Walking, a role I’ve held since being elected in 2014. As a lifelong cyclist, and more recently, a keen walker, I work to promote both.
I’m a Governor at North Cambridge Academy, a member of Kettles Yard North Cambridge Open House Community Panel for the arts and a committee member of Disability Cambridgeshire.
I work as an exams administrator in schools, but that work has come to a halt with Covid. Instead, I’ve been working as a hospital porter at Addenbrookes to help with the effects of the pandemic. Our NHS has risen to the challenge that coronavirus has presented and it’s been an honour for me to work alongside other longer serving employees; health care assistants, doctors, cleaners, managers, nurses, porters, and all the other people that make our NHS work.
Since taking back control of the City Council in 2014 we have protected essential services; the bins have been emptied, the streets cleaned, and, even more importantly, we haven’t wasted city residents’ hard earned money. We’re tackling the climate and biodiversity emergencies and working hard to achieve a net zero emission City Council by 2030. The Labour administration have shown strong political leadership, striving to make the city fair for all, building 500 council houses and 1,000 more on the way, plus tackling the challenge of homelessness head on, getting so many people off the streets and into accommodation. We are truly turning lives around and working with our residents to make a better city for all of us to live in together, one Cambridge, fair for all.
As one of your elected representatives I will perform his role to the best of my ability. I consider that I have a moral duty to do the right thing and will alway be driven by that. I stand for a fair society where everyone has an equal chance to make what they can of their life and will always challenge discrimination where I come across it.
I understand the nature of the problems that some of us face in our lives but will always present a positive approach, and believe that a can-do attitude is best for the challenges that are faced both by the individual and by society – both in living a good life, and in creating a better world for us all to live in.