Simon Smith for Castle
City Candidate Castle
I was brought up in Grimsby. After leaving school I studied at Manchester University and University College London before a 24-year career in Local Government.
After undertaking research at Warwick Business School into the political leadership of high performing local authorities, I had a 16-year career as a planning and management consultant. In over 40 years I have gained extensive experience in listening to communities, public policy and development plan making, managing public services, and building multi-agency, multi- disciplinary partnerships to win funding for neighbourhood and economic development.
My special interest, on behalf of the East of England Local Government Association, is public sector governance and service reviews for transformative improvements in service performance.
I’ve worked in Castle Ward since 1998 and lived in the ward since 2003. My wife and I were married at Shire Hall and our two boys attended Mayfield School, they are now at Chesterton and Hills Road Sixth Form College. We ran the Square Energy project engaging our neighbours in talks about climate change and home energy assessments and set up and run mini soccer teams and helped other parents do the same for Chesterton Eagles Football Club. I love being part of the community and my proudest achievement is to have facilitated the establishment of the Cambridgeshire (and now Peterborough) Community Foundation. It is great privilege to be a Labour Party Candidate to represent the people of Castle Ward on Cambridge City Council.
In life I see three great institutions which shape our life and opportunities as we make our way in the world. These are our families, the economy as the place of work and enterprise and politics as the place of law making and decisions about the public services we have and the outcomes that are delivered.
In politics we have the hard won right to vote for the party which we believe offers us the best set of public services and outcomes. Since 2014, a Labour controlled City Council has been working to create ‘One Cambridge – Fair for All’ by addressing four challenges. The Council has a long, very long list of achievements but here are some of the highlights:
Tackling poverty and inequality: for example, Living Wage Foundation accredited employers increased from 16 to 68 with advice and support services to improve daily living standards and address fuel and water poverty
Achieving a net zero council and addressing the climate and biodiversity emergencies: A new Clean Air Zone for the city centre. Preparing a new Local Plan for the most sustainable pattern of development and construction and investment in grid capacity for electrification of heating and transport. Working with partners to deliver better walking, cycling and public transport options.
Building a new generation of council homes and reducing homelessness: Over 540 new Council homes being built to sustainable standards, for completion by 2022. A target to deliver 1,000 more homes for Council rent by 2030. A range of services dedicated to ensuring a bed is available for every rough sleeper and to ending street homelessness in the City by 2025.
Delivering essential services in the face of Conservative government cuts: Since 2014, Government has cut the Council’s core grant from £5.4m to zero, through better utilisation of the Council’s assets, the Labour Council is generating £2m per annum to protect services.
By promoting its power, to promote economic, social, and environmental being, this Labour Council is giving everyone in the City the priceless gift of protecting and enhancing our collective quality of life and dignity and opportunity to those worst off. This Labour Council is demonstrably an able advocate for the interests of people in the City, an innovative promoter and supporter of community groups, voluntary organisations and charities for the vibrancy and safety of communities. It is effective in the continuous improvement of its services and a prudent manager of the Council’s assets and budgets. No other party can match this record and ambition.
I’m looking forward to the campaign and meeting residents on their doorsteps. I do hope you will give me your support on 6th May to put Castle on the winning side and allow me to join my able Labour colleagues to build on the work of this outstanding Labour Council.