Journalist wants to give local residents a voice at County Hall
A national newspaper journalist has been selected as the Labour Party's candidate for the Bamburgh ward in May's Northumberland County Council elections.
David Paul, a former northern editor of the Sunday Express who now runs a media company creating television dramas with his wife Clare Grant, says he is delighted to take on the challenge.
The seat is currently held by Conservative member Coun John Woodman.
Mr Paul, of Warenford, said: “What matters for people in Belford, Seahouses, Beadnell, Bamburgh and all the surrounding villages is that they get a councillor who can stand up for our community at County Hall.
“I believe I have the maturity and life experience to do that.
“As a journalist I have reported on some extraordinary moments in politics. I was in Downing Street the night Margaret Thatcher was toppled by the Tory Party, in Warsaw the night Poland was admitted to the EU and in Kabul when Afghanistan held its first democratic elections in living memory.
“But the importance of local politics in our part of the world and the achievements a good councillor can deliver for the people he or she serves are all too often forgotten.
“I hope to persuade many people in the Bamburgh ward to vote Labour, perhaps for the first time in their lives. To me it’s common sense that with Labour likely to retain overall control of the county council, it’s better to have a Labour councillor representing you and your family.”
Father-of-three Mr Paul, 55, is the Northumberland community ambassador for the Children’s Society and a governor at Alnwick’s Duchess’s Community High School and Belford’s St Mary’s Church of England Middle School, which his children Ella, aged 17, Harry, 14, and Bonnie, 13, attend.
He was previously a governor at Seahouses First School when he lived in the village.
Mr Paul added: “As a parent I’m all too aware of the uncertainty and worry families are currently enduring as the area adapts to a two-tier education system. With the on-going budget cuts being forced on schools by central government it has never been more important to have a strong voice speaking up for children in this corner of Northumberland so they get the best possible education.
“There are of course other concerns. The area is attracting ever more tourists which is great for many local businesses, but someone has also got to speak up for everyone who lives and works here, whether they are aged eight or 80.
“We need to protect all that is so good about this beautiful place with sensible planning decisions while making more new homes affordable to locals to buy or rent.
“It’s always worth taking a fresh look and seeing if we can do things better with the resources available. Can something be done to revitalise the High Street in Belford? Perhaps car parking regulations might be tweaked to help shops in Seahouses boost their trade? Can we do more to finally get super fast broadband available right across north Northumberland?
“While those who have worked hard all their lives deserve to be cared for properly in their old age, I want to fight to ensure the elderly in particular have easy access to good social and health care.
“I hope to win at the polls on May 4, but whatever the result it would be great to play a part in getting record numbers to vote because I firmly believe local politics matters.”
Mr Paul wants anyone who has any local issues to email him at email@example.com