Mat has lived in Syston for over five years having grown up in the Thurmaston and Syston area.
He is married with one child, has a degree in Economics and is a Leicester Tigers season ticket holder.
Mat works in Adult Social Care and has first-hand experience of the pressure government cuts are placing on local public services.
Mat believes passionately that local people should be involved in local decisions – which is why he believes it is important to elect someone who lives in Syston to represent the views of Syston people.
Because our public transport system is run by private companies, the Conservative-led County Council were recently unable (or unwilling) to do anything to stop Arriva cutting the Number 6 bus route to Syston, leaving pensioners and families on Goodes Lane and the Hobby Horse Estate effectively stranded with no service. This is not acceptable. The County Council seems to consider public transport merely as a burden rather than a vital means for reducing air pollution, congestion and parking problems that blight our town. Better public transport is also a way to support sustainable local business opportunities outside of Leicester and Loughborough and the County Council should be working with public transport companies to make this happen. It is a scandal that the tax payers of Syston have no right to examine the contracts between the County Council and private companies and I will lobby for such contracts to be made publicly available. Future contracts should prevent private companies being able to wriggle out of providing the services they agreed to put in place. The County Council must work with transport providers to promote and improve public transport, ensuring greater coverage and more frequent buses to provide a decent service for the people of Syston.
The County Council have recently published their Strategic Growth Plan in conjunction with the City Council and the Borough Councils in Leicestershire. One of its main proposals is to build the A46 Expressway – or Leicester Eastern Bypass - to allow further housing developments and factories along its route. It is unclear how such costings can be estimated, or how a proposed link to the existing A46 can be managed without the demolition of existing homes around the Hobby Horse estate and Fosse Way – but this will undoubtedly cost tens of millions of pounds and a great deal of upheaval for very little benefit locally. It would appear that the Council wants hundreds of new houses built on greenfield sites, around Syston and Barkby, for commuters into Loughborough and Leicester, putting extra strain on our local health and education services – and affecting the health of our children with the additional pollution this construction will generate. The Green Party believes the County Council should adopt a model of a balanced local economy with more promotion and use of existing commercial properties to provide sustainable employment and business opportunities in our towns and villages. The County Council should acknowledge the changing nature of work ( i.e. the huge increase in self-employment) and the opportunities that high speed broadband brings by creating the right environment for entrepreneurs to capitalise on the unique opportunities that Syston has – not making it an even bigger supplier of workers heading into the City Centre.
Health and Social Care services are in crisis. The Conservative-led County Council continues to cut packages of care for old and vulnerable people as a result of underfunding by the Conservative government in London. The County Council chooses to pay private, profit-making, companies to provide these reduced services. Taxpayers cash should go towards providing good quality services not private profit. People who have paid into the system for their entire lives deserve a decent level of care in their old age. The County Council, as it currently stands, is failing to provide this. I would push for services to be directly provided by the County Council, making them accountable to the public, with decent rates of pay and conditions for frontline staff – not bigger profits for private shareholders at the expense of the most vulnerable in our community.