Jamie Wake 2014 Independent Candidate for Whitley ward in the Reading Local Elections
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    April 28th, 2014jamiewakerdgcandidate, elections, local candidate, whitley

    Today the Statement of Persons Nominated for election as a Borough Councillor for Whitley has been published and it confirms who will be standing for election in the ward of Whitley.  The candidates (and the wards they actually live in) are:

    • Jamie Wake – Independent Candidate (Lives in Whitley Ward)
    • Janel Blatter – Liberal Democrats (Lives in Katesgrove Ward)
    • Rachel Eden - The Labour Party Candidate (Lives in Norcot Ward)
    • Nicholas Brown – The Conservative Party Candidate (Lives in Whitley Ward)
    • Keith Johnson – Green Party (Lives in Park Ward)

    Surprisingly, UKIP have not fielded a candidate in Whitley and although the TUSC had listed Philip Dixon on their website as a candidate, he does not appear as a candidate on the Statement of Persons Nominated.  With Howard Thomas and his Common Sense Party having moved to UKIP there is also no Common Sense Party Candidate this year.  This leaves myself as the only alternative in Whitley to the main stream political parties this year.

    Looking across all the wards, Labour, Conservatives, Lib Dems and the Greens have fielded candidates in all wards though it’s worth noting that some of these will be ‘paper candidates’.  This means that they are just a name on the ballot paper.  Those individuals are asked to stand to give that particular parties supporters a choice.  This is usually because a party will be directing its resources to its target wards.

    UKIP have fielded candidates in all wards except Battle, Norcot, Southcote, Thames and Whitley.  The Roman Party. AVE are standing again in Battle.  The TUSC were listed as fielding two candidates on their website - one in Whitley and the other in Katesgrove but have instead fielded just one in Caversham.  There are three independent candidates standing: Myself in Whitley, Mark Ralph in Peppard and John Dickson in Thames.

    There is also a by-election in Park Ward this year so my guess is that Labour, Tories and Greens will all be targeting that ward.

    The full list of candidates can be found here on the Reading Borough Council Page http://www.reading.gov.uk/council/elections-and-voting/voting/

    The full document can be found at:  http://www.reading.gov.uk/documents/electoral/27714/StatementofPersonsNominated28apr14LocalElections.pdf

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  • scissors
    April 29th, 2012jamiewakerdgcandidate

    As voters, many of us would probably think that we only have a choice of 4 political parties to choose from when the Local Elections come round.  I know I certainly used to think that.  But I believe that it’s important for the electorate to realise that there are other options.

    Of course there are other parties such as The Common Sense Party, The Roman Party. Ave! and of course UKIP but In Reading there are 4 Independent Candidates standing in this years Local Elections.  They are:

    • Myself in Whitley
    • Michael Turberville in Katesgrove
    • Jamie Chowdhary in Peppard
    • John Dickson in Thames

    Independent Candidates and Councillors are able to respond to the local community in a way that serves the community interest and not a party political interest.  This doesn’t mean that someone who is independent does not have any political views but that national concerns often do not translate very well to the local scene.  Independents act on the true concerns of their local electorate who up and down the UK are now beginning to see the benefits of having a representative who is not bound by party rules and regulations.

    I wish all candidates the best of luck in this years local elections – especially the other Independents who are standing here in Reading off their own back for the right reasons.

    That’s why I’m standing this year – to give the residents of Whitley – my neighbours – a genuine alternative.

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  • scissors
    January 2nd, 2012jamiewakerdgcandidate, community

    Well it seems that I can now use that popular excuse that I have been too busy to write on my blog recently and having scanned my previous entries, I see that I last wrote an artical in November!

    For those of you that either follow me on Twitter, Facebook or know me in the flesh outside of cyberspace, you’ll know that December was a relatively busy month for me and I have used the month to reflect on the choices I have made during 2011 as well as put some thought into decisions that I need to make in 2012.

    As it happens, I used the month of December to take some time out to decide what would be the right direction for me with regards to the community campaigning that I do in Whitley and for the LGBT Community in Reading.  Since my accident I have spent a lot of time with my thoughts though I’m never sure if that’s a good thing or not!

    As many of you know, when I originally made the decision to be more active in community politics, I found all of the political parties to be much of a muchness.   I could have joined any of them as they all seemed to engage in playground antics so I chose to join the party that appeared to do more for LGBT equality that the others – I ended up choosing the Lib Dems and stood in 2011 as the Candidate in Whitley where I encountered homophobia and scaremongering.  Thankfully, I used this experience to launch the OK 2B Gay Campaign and started to make some noise about LGBT Equality which was starting to be heard by most of the local branches political parties – even the party that I had joined.  As part of the OK2bGAY Campaign, I shared Tory MP Rob Wilson’s poor voting record on LGBT Equality and the fact that it took him a number of months for him to write back to me.  I also felt the need to remind the newly appointed Labour LGBT Officer of some of his partys failings which was followed by Duncan Bruce labelling me as acting as the only gay in the village on his blog.  (I love comedy catchphrases as much as the next man – though I’m sure I recall Reading Labour pulling up Reading Lib Dems on a members use of an Ali G Catchphrase.)  That aside, I wish the Richard the very best in his role and I hope at some point that all of the LGBT officers in Reading’s political parties band together to tackle discrimination, in-equality and make a difference for the LGBT Community.

    I also took some stick from a few Lib Dems in Cyberspace when I shared my views of the in-equality on the gay marriage consultation and the so called end of the blood ban.  I fail to see the need for a consultation on Gay Marriage and if we’re a country that promotes equality for all, then it should just be passed as law.

    In Labour and the Lib Dems defence,  Labour appointed a LGBT Officer (coincidentally following rumours of homophobic and transphobic Whistleblowing on various blogs) and at the Reading Lib Dem’s AGM, a motion was put forward to create a dedicated team that ensures that LGBT people in Reading have their needs represented – publicly and not hidden behind closed doors, to give LGBT people a voice on the council and to ensure that any local manifesto also includes campaigns that demonstrate a commitment to LGBT equality.

    I’m not sure if Reading Tory’s have a dedicated individual for LGBT campaigns though if you believe everything you read in the Reading Newspapers, they appear to have enough problems to contend with at the moment.

    I am pleased though that every party voted in favour of a LGBT Support Centre in Reading and it was suprising that even Cllr Rob White (Leader of the Greens) turned up and raised his arm in the air to vote rather than sit on them.  I helped Lorna McArdle write her speech and produced a video for her and I wish all the best with the project which will based at South Street.

    I’m not making the statements above to be harsh or score any sort of political points, just to demonstrate that all parties are just as good and as bad as each other.  None of them set out to make bad decisions but they’re all obviously going to be desperate to keep and/or gain seats on the council and the spats between them all are played out each week in our Local Newspapers.

    Is that what I signed up for when I wanted to make a difference in my community?  No.  That’s why I have made the decision to not be alligned with any political party and leave the Lib Dems.  I obviously have personal reasons for handing my membership back but those reasons are simply that – personal.  My membership to a political party could also be seen as a conflict of interest when it comes to the LGBT Campaigning that I do as well as the work that I do in my community.  I am now sat back on the Committee of the Kennet Island Residents Association and have just become a Trustee of Reading Pride so I’m sure you can see my difficulty!   I informed the local party in December of my intention.

    I do need to add though that there are some really good committed Cllrs accross all of the parties in Reading but then again there are also a few bad ones who do not turn up to Council Meetings and claim credit for other peoples hard work.

    That being said, I do intend to stand as an Independent Candidate in this years Local Elections though.  Being independent means that I can continue to demonstrate my commitment to the needs of my local community rather than the needs of a political party.  This gives the community a genuine alternative that represents them and doesn’t waste time on political playground antics which could be better spent on making a difference.  My manifesto will be released shortly which has been devised following feedback from residents here in Whitley.

    In the meantime, I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

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    I have just got home from the Annual Kennet Island Fun Day and I can honestly say that the day was a roaring success.  The day is a community day in the purest sense of the word and is organised by a small but hardworking residents association that I once had the privilege of chairing before deciding to stand in Whitley as a Local Councillor.

    Jamie Wake manning a stall at the Kennet Island Fun Day

    Jamie Wake manning a stall at the Kennet Island Fun Day

    Being a resident of Kennet Island, Elections came secondary to me today.  When I wrote the constitution for the Kennet Island Residents Association that became adopted by the officers, I ensured that the association remains impartial politically.  Today I was just a resident who had a stall that represented his Travel Agency.  The Labour Candidate, Kelly Edwards, was on site and I got to meet her with Mike Orton and Rachel Eden.  Understandably, I could only make small talk as today was about the Kennet Island Community – not politics or the elections – and besides, I had a stall to run!

    As well as stalls, there was entertainment for the children and a fancy dress competition.  There was also a raffle and me and my partner both won prizes.  I won a set of wine goblets and my partner won 2 return train tickets on First Great Western to anywhere between Reading and Penzance.  I chose not to talk about the elections with residents when approached as I wanted to enjoy the day with the community.

    Then again, Local Politics is all about the community and I am standing to serve that very community in Whitley.   I think it’s telling that I am the only candidate in this election that actually lives in Whitley and I think all political parties should really take localism on board when selecting candidates.  At the end of the day, who else would understand the area except the people that live there?

    One of the things that we’re reminded of at the Fun Day is the growing number of Children on the development and lack of amenities for them.  KIRA Kids Club did well to get the play area installed earlier and having spoken to the technical manager at St James, the park and Boules Green are set to open Mid August.  With the addition of the reopening of the cafe as the Island Lounge (and applying for an alcohol license), that means all parts of the community are starting to be catered for.  So, on the island we currently have:

    • Cafe / Bistro
    • Hair Salon
    • Convenience Store
    • A Meeting Room
    • 2 Gyms (one on piazza and one in the Hilton)
    • A bar (in the Hilton)
    • A Restaurant (in the Hilton)
    • A Hotel
    • Kids Club
    • A Travel Agency

    Soon we’ll have:

    • A Pharmacy
    • A Hospital
    • A Play Area
    • A Park
    • A Boules Green

    Then think of all the people who are self employed from home who can also provide services!  Photographers, Graphic Designers, Web Designers, Recruitment Consultants – to name just a few that I know of.

    Kennet Island is a thriving community within Whitley and I’m proud and privileged to live here and I’m proud to stand here as a candidate in the local elections.  As my partner said yesterday – Local Issues = a local candidate and as many people in Whitley have told me, they agree and I agree with them too.