Michael Hodges has been announced as the Pershore Division Conservative Candidate for the May 6th 2021 County Elections
Here’s his Personal Statement for the May 2021 Worcestershire County Council Elections for the Pershore Division which encompasses the town of Pershore and the parishes of Bishampton and Throckmorton, Hill and Moor, Wyre Piddle and Pinvin.
I am familiar with the challenges that have faced the Pershore Division over the years. I grew up in Bishampton and went to school in Pinvin. I now live in the heart of Pershore with my wife and family.
Pershore is an attractive place to live. I am a Trustee of the Number 8 Arts Centre, a Trustee of the Avon Navigation Trust and a Trustee of the Friends of Pershore Abbey. I have also recently become a member of the Avonreach Academy Trust – a group of four good and outstanding schools in the area. I know therefore how Pershore and the surrounding villages work. And I am also aware of the challenges which the Pershore Division has faced over the years as it reconciles the pressures imposed by growth and regeneration.
Strong representation of the Pershore Division is needed to ensure proper investment in the future. Arguably this has not been the case for many years. The Pershore Division, for all its attractions, deserves the best investment in highways and social care.
Over the years, as a member of the Pershore Civic Society, I have campaigned successfully to keep our Library Services in the town’s library and have supported the community group formed to put pressure on the Police and Crime Commissioner to invest in traffic calming in the town centre. I strongly support good architecture and am extremely critical of schemes that fall short. We must also toughen our environmental agenda with a “brownfield first” development policy before more of our attractive green fields are developed.
I fully support the additional £30m investment recently announced by the County Council which is for the improvement and maintenance of local roads and pavements.
Post COVID 19 I believe that the massive investments made by the County Council at Worcestershire Parkway and at Pinvin Crossroads will make life easier for residents in the Pershore Division. But we must continue to be vigilant and ensure that any future major development is tempered with prior investment in infrastructure. Building back better must start with infrastructure – not the other way round. The £140m being spent by Worcestershire County Council in the current year on infrastructure projects is an indication of this commitment. We must also protect what we already have and ensure that existing transport services are not killed off through lack of support.
As the South Worcestershire Development Plan goes through its first 5-year review I believe that it is important to moderate growth with measures that protect the environment. The impact of new housing can be positive in our schools and high streets, but it must be balanced with proper investment in all the services required to support recovery.
I believe that we have a duty to protect the most vulnerable adults and children in society which is why I support the additional 1% increase in funding for adult social care and 1.5% for general services. Worcestershire County Council spends 70% of its £346m annual net revenue budget on vulnerable adults and children. Our duty is to spend this wisely.
I believe that politics is about people and, if elected, I promise to be a strong voice for the Pershore Division. I will continue to play an active part in the local community.
About Michael Hodges
Lives with his wife Karen and family in Pershore
Practising Chartered Surveyor
Member of the Avonreach Academy Trust
Trustee of Number 8
Trustee of the Avon Navigation Trust
Trustee of the Friends of Pershore Abbey
Member of the Pershore Abbey Choir
Member of Pershore Civic Society
Member of the Worcester Branch of GNFE (formerly Gideons International)
The 2021 AGM of the WWCA Pershore Branch will be taking place via Zoom on Monday 15th February at 7.00pm. Unlike previous years the event will not be followed by Dinner but we hope, nevertheless, that our members will take the opportunity to meet together to elect the 2021 Committee and to hear our plans for the forthcoming year. The PCC and County Elections will be taking place in May and this will be our opportunity for members to hear more about the Pershore Division Conservative Candidate.
Please contact Val Wood on 01386 554235 for the Zoom Link and Agenda.
The Pershore Branch of the WWCA will be holding our AGM and Annual Dinner at The White Horse Hotel in Church Walk, Pershore on the 16th February 2018. Tickets are £12 and can be obtained from Val Wood on 01386 554 235.
The St. Andrews Centre in Church Walk will be the location for this year’s Christmas Buffet from 12.00 – 2.00 pm on Saturday 9th December.
The event is likely to be as popular as ever and is reasonably priced at £10pp.
Christmas jumpers, delicious mulled wine, good tasty food, a Christmas raffle and a convivial atmosphere are to be expected.
Harriett Baldwin MP and Anthea McIntyre MEP have confirmed that they will both be joining us.
For the past few years we have been fortunate enough to have been able to hold a garden party at Western House in Pershore by kind permission of Mrs. Susan Ellis. Boat trips, tea, cakes and Pimms have featured in the past. This year the Pershore Branch of WWCA is once again planning to hold an event at Western House on Sunday 10th September at 3pm. Save the date!! More information will be released soon.
Latest statistics just released should be widely acknowledged and celebrated!