Melton Borough Council Egerton ward by-election: Who will you vote for?

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Five candidates are vying for the vacant Egerton ward seat on Melton Council.

The candidates hoping to win the seat are Michael Blase (Labour), Marilyn Gordon (Independent), Andrea Lovegrove (Independent), John Scutter (UKIP) and Maddie Smith (Conservative).

A by-election will be held on Thursday (May 5) to decide which of them will become the successor to former Conservative councillor Peter Faulkner who resigned from the council in January.

Here the candidates have their say:

Michael Blase (Labour) who has four grown-up children and five grandchildren, said: “It would be a great privilege to represent my local community on Melton Borough Council.

“When not hard at work as a project manager at a Leicester engineering company, I am an active committee member of Residents’s Action Group - Egerton (RAGE), our local residents’ group.

“Being active in RAGE is a major part of my life. It is very rewarding working to provide a happy, harmonious and pleasing neighbourhood.

“If elected I will work tirelessly to get things done for Egerton Ward residents - because I am one! I will make our voice heard. We urgently need an end to the parking and traffic problems in the

ward and in town. We need more and better paid jobs in Melton. I ask for your support in returning me as your Labour councillor.”

Marilyn Gordon (Independent) I’m a true Meltonian, born and bred, and was a local councillor for Melton Borough Council between 1999 and 2003 and again between 2011 and 2015 and was also the Mayor between 2013

and 2014.

In addition, I’m also a born-again Christian. On a note of faith, as Mayor, I arranged for new Christmas lights depicting the Nativity to be placed every year between Caffe Nero and Thomas Cook Travel Agency. It had been a long time prior to Christmas 2013 that Melton had the Nativity in lights!

As a councillor I initiated a ‘Helpline App’, specifically to be downloaded to mobiles, which incorporates all the relevant helplines to enable people to receive help when they need it. This is extremely advantageous for young people and others experiencing suicidal thoughts. This is in conjunction with ‘Lost for Words’. To receive the ‘app’ go to www.lostforwordsapp.co.uk

Andrea Lovegrove (Independent) is a 48-year-old wife, mother and born-and-bred Meltonian.

She attended the Grove School, Sarson, King Edward VII Upper School and Melton College from which she graduated with a BTEC National Diploma in business and finance, following which she went on to enjoy a 10-year career with Mars (Pedigree Petfoods). Andrea lives in Thorpe Arnold with her family where she is whole heartedly involved in community and fundraising events.

She said: “I particularly enjoy helping others whenever and wherever possible and over the years have been actively involved with the Friends of Brownlow School, Melton Foxes Junior Football Club and Melton Mowbray Young Farmers’ Club, with whom I’m still associated with in an advisory capacity.

“If elected I hope to bring a fresh, younger perspective to the council and represent the residents and families of Egerton ward openly and without any political restraints.”

John Scutter (UKIP) has lived and worked in Melton Mowbray for 20 years. He said: “When people think of UKIP what is often overlooked are the 2015 manifesto policies relating to social care, pensions, welfare and disability and childcare and the family written by its members.

“From protecting the rights of the disabled, returning work capability assessments to GPs or specialist consultants with access to medical records, abolishing the annual assessment process for continuing healthcare funding in respect of those suffering from terminal illnesses, the abolition of the bedroom tax and keeping free bus passes - UKIP has demonstrated it is the party which cares for all.

“If elected as a councillor for Egerton ward I would respond diligently to your concerns, interests and priorities and work in co-operation with other councillors and the Residents Action Group Egerton to that end.”

Madeleine Smith (Conservative) was born in Sunderland and started her nursing career at Harlow Wood Orthopaedic Hospital (Nottinghamshire). Her training continued at Leicester Royal Infirmary, gaining her SRN, and she became a senior sister, specialising in general and emergency theatres.

Moving into the private sector brought her to Melton working for Mars (Pedigree Petfoods) as an occupational health nurse. She then returned to University Hospitals of Leicester as an occupational health nurse advising on their commercial business contracts and staff health.

She also set up and taught first aid for years at Brooksby Melton College.

She said: “I’m married with three sons and three grandchildren. I’m active in the community where I’m a Melton Lions member, running the Swimarathon for local charities for four years, and I’m also a Melton Mencap trustee.

“I’m a member of Melton Borough Council’s Local Plan Reference Group, working to shape the borough’s future.

“I promise to work hard and will always put Egerton residents first.”