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JAMES RUSSELL JAMES RUSSELL

‘Liberalism is the belief in freedom and, by extension opportunity. The freedom to be who you are; the opportunity to be who you could be.’
– Jeremy Brown

I have lived in Somerset all my life, I spent my teenage years living in Bicknoller in West Somerset and I now live in Bishops Lydeard where I am a Parish Councillor. I work from home as a software developer for a large online company.
In recent years I have been sad to see my home of West Somerset failing. It is one of the most deprived areas of the country and we have some of the lowest levels of social mobility. We have a large wealth gap and a lack of employment and educational opportunities. To me this shows that the current Conservative administration have utterly failed the area, and we need a change.

Photo of Me

As a Liberal I believe in small government with levels of local representation that are held accountable for their actions or inaction. I believe in the freedom of the individual and feel everybody should be protected from abuses of power and authoritarianism.
To deliver this at local level I feel that key services (which have been ignored in West Somerset for far too long) need to be addressed by the future council:
- Public transport
- Employment
- Schools
- Crime prevention
- Community
Although I disagree with the merger between West Somerset and Taunton Deane I feel that a Liberal Democrat led council would be the best thing for the future of the new Somerset West and Taunton council area.

Local Businesses
Puclic Transport
Social Care
Affordable Housing
MY CAMPAIGN

MY KEY CAMPAIGN POINTS


Public Transport
Public Transport
If elected I promise to try and get more economical services that work later into the evening and re-establish the route to Musgrove Hospital. Public transport is absolutely key to people being able to find employment & education.
Poor public transport limits opportunities for employment, education and access to affordable supermarkets. We cannot achieve social mobility without physical mobility, so the new council elected in May must improve public transport links for residents in West Somerset.
Small Businesses
Small Businesses
I ran a small business for nearly 10 years, and I know the struggles small business owners go through. I feel we need to work towards abolishing the broken business rates system and replace them with a Commercial Landowner Levy 'Taxing Land, Not Investment'.
We also we need to encourage further growth of the creative industries that are springing up around West Somerset and Taunton.
Eductation
School Cuts
Our local state schools are struggling to provide the kind of education to which all children should be entitled. Cuts to pupil funding and resources have resulted in a narrowed curriculum and larger class sizes.
In some schools, in addition to their role as educators, teachers are also taking on the roles of school cleaner, caretaker and canteen assistant. Children deserve better and teachers need the resources to do their job properly.
We must reverse these cuts!
Affordable Housing
Affordable Housing
This Tory government's housing policies have directly led to homelessness reaching record levels and further increased social, financial and intergenerational inequalities.
I will fight developers locally that try to work around planning policies and not provide an adequate number of affordable homes on new developments. We need to keep our young people in the area, they shouldn't have to move from the area they love to find somewhere affordable to live.

CONTACT JAMES

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1 West St. Bishops Lydeard, Taunton, TA4 3AU
Phone: 07540 578 386
Email: [email protected]

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