MEET THE CANDIDATES: Mark Archer (Independent)

MARK Archer - the only non-Conservative councillor elected in 2007 - looks to retain his Manea seat.

For those of you who do not know me, I am Mark Archer and for the last four years I have had the privilege to serve as your district councillor.

I am Manea’s Independent candidate once again for the forthcoming district council elections.

I live in Manea with my family Samantha and Paul and I have always been deeply involved in our community.

I am standing for election as I want to continue to represent the people of Manea and be your voice about the issues, which really matter. Especially now as the Conservative cuts start to bite, hitting rural communities the hardest.

I am dedicated to bringing everyone within the community together whether you were born in Manea, or have chosen to make your home here, as I have.

Manea is a lovely place to live and Manea folk are fantastic. We have always had a great sense of community, we are fiercely proud and independent and we like to do things ‘our way’

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In order to know what makes a place tick and understand its needs, you need to be part of that community, involved and engaged, as I always have been.

It has been an absolute privilege to represent Manea for the past four years. Finding I was the only opposition councillor did come as a bit of a shock, it has been a ‘white knuckle’ ride, and a very challenging four years.

I have enjoyed every moment of it though, and I am extremely proud to have been chosen by the people of Manea and what I have achieved on your behalf.

I believe I have had a positive impact and helped to improve life in our community.

The Conservative-led coalition’s cuts are going to ConDem rural communities like Manea to years of hardship and declining services.

I will continue to fight to ensure that we get our fair share of these ever depleting resources. Manea needs a strong Independent voice not silenced by party political constraints.

I am not campaigning for any political party but on behalf of the residents of Manea.

Locally, I am strongly committed to improving village life and I am heavily involved in many projects and groups throughout the village.

I have been a member of Manea Parish Council for more than five years and hope to be re-elected this year.

I am Chairman of the Parish Council Pit Committee which has managed the running of Manea Pit and undertaken the improvement works since the council purchased the site on behalf of the village.

I am the current Chairman of the Manea Street Pride Group and Manea in Bloom which have been involved in numerous projects around the village to help improve the public spaces and who carry out regular litter picks around the village.

Since these groups were formed, we have worked with the Parish Council and other organisations such as Manea Brownies to create picnic areas, seating areas and flower beds around the village.

We have planted thousands of spring bulbs and hundreds of trees throughout the village and are working to improve the gateways into Manea.

I am Chairman of the Manea Rail Services Action Group (MRSAG) which has been campaigning for improvements to our rail services since 2008.

I am the current Secretary of the Manea Allotment Association and with the support of the Parish Council was instrumental in securing the new allotment site which now has over 40 tenants. I am also a member of the Village Hall Committee and Manea Gala Committee.

Although I am not a religious person I support the local churches in their fundraising endeavours as I can see how important they are to our community. I even help the local Conservatives with their fundraising, although they do have a funny way of showing their gratitude!

And in my spare time I run one of the local pool teams at the Rose and Crown on a Thursday night and can often be found at the Bingo in the Village Hall on a Friday evening.

Fenland is still one of the most undemocratic authorities in the country, a virtual ‘one-party state.’ Without a strong opposition there is no one to ensure that the views of all the people of this district are heard and that we all get a fair deal.

For the first time in many years, almost all the seats in the district are being contested and we now have an ideal opportunity to effect real change in Fenland.

The Liberal Democrats, Labour and UKIP have kindly decided not to field candidates in our village, allowing Manea the opportunity to be part of this move back to a more democratic Fenland.

Manea therefore has a simple choice; to re-elect your sitting councillor, a strongly independent, successful, effective, influential, local resident who has learnt to work with other councillors when necessary to ensure that Fenland is run for the benefit of all its citizens; or to elect a candidate who is an outsider, part of the tired, out of touch and complacent ruling party.

Villagers should be voting for what they think is right for Manea and who they think can best represent and understand their views. Vote for someone local with a proven track record of commitment, dedication and success.

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