Paul Bateman

Candidate - Banwell and Winscombe

#I moved into Banwell at the age of 3, schooling in Worle and have been a resident in Banwell for 48 years. I am very passionate about the place I have grown up in and its surrounding villages.

At the age of 16, I started  an apprenticeship at a local plant hire company. I was made redundant when the company closed. With my drive, determination and ambition I became self employed purchasing a JCB digger, over the next 20 years my business expanded purchasing further JCB's and haulage machinery and employing a team of staff. We have been engaged in several multi million pound contracts with companies (BT, British Gas, Weston Power Distribution and the Ministry Of Defence). This has given me considerable experience and understanding of the construction and contract environment. I am also a local farmer running the family farm specialising in the breeding of Angus and Hereford beef cattle.  
 
In 2002 I was given the opportunity to assist in setting up Kunkujang Tractor Aid, a charity which sends out tractors and cultivation equipment to villages in the Gambia, West Africa. This has grown and now our Belarus Tractor dealership regularly exports tractors, agricultural parts, 4x4's and lorries to The Gambia, Senegal, Nigeria and Kenya.
 
Whilst in the Gambia I conducted several agricultural training programs in village schools and at the University of Gambia for farm workers and I am in the process of setting up an EU funded training and agricultural engineering programme.
 
I am a great believer in helping those less fortunate than ourselves both at home and overseas, with education programs we can help people to become self sufficient once more and gain back their pride and self respect.
 
I have served on Banwell Parish for many years where I have gained a vast knowledge of the planning system and Council procedures. I have been Vice Chairman of Parish Council, Chairman of Highways and (acting) Chairman of the Finance Committees. I have also been a trustee for three trusts, two of which are in Banwell and I am founder member of the Banwell-Potigny Twinning Association.
 
I have also served on the Banwell pre school Playgroup Committee, obtaining funding from Mr Mohamed Al-Fayed for the project there. I have been a school governor at Banwell Primary and later Brymore in Bridgwater where I instigated the overhaul of safeguarding procedures for pupils at Brymore.
 
I am currently Governor of the Weston super Mare Lodge of Moose International. We regularly organise fundraising events and functions and have donated various sums of money to local, national and international charities including; Free Wheelers, Air Ambulance, S.A.N.D.S (still birth and neonatal death), Make a Wish Foundation, Luhimba Project, Farmlink, Macular Disease and Weston RNLI. I feel the experience and skills I have gained from Moose International can be taken forward in to the role of an Independent District Councillor.
 
Banwell, like most other villages and town within North Somerset, has an issues with road maintenance and its infrastructure, we need to look at the contract management of the companies currently being used to carry out this work to make it more efficient and cost effective. We need to change the working practices of our highways officers, to enable them to free themselves of the red tape that restricts their ability to do their jobs. The traffic congestion on our rural and urban roads, along with virtually no investment in their infrastructure is another issue that needs to be addressed. We need to find a suitable solution to alleviate the constant delays along with the damage to privately owned vehicles, caused by our neglected road network, which has a massive impact on individual drivers, and road safety.        
 
I believe local politics should be at local level, as an Independent candidate I have no party politics to be governed by and the freedom to voice the concerns of my ward constituents who voted me in.