Labour and Coop Candidate for Herts County Council (Stevenage Old Town Division)
Hello, I’m Richard Henry. I’ve been a Stevenage Borough councillor for over 25 years most of those in an executive role holding a number of portfolios. My current responsibilities cover Children, Young People, Leisure and Culture.
I served a four year term on Hertfordshire County Council from May 2013 to May 2017. I was the Labour spokesperson for Adult Care & Health for 2 years then spokesperson for Community Safety Waste & Recycling for 2 years.
We successfully challenged the tory plans to build an incinerator in a housing area. We also fought as a labour group for greater support for our local schools to bring them up towards Hertfordshire academic achievement levels.
I challenged the Conservative administration on many issues particularly the poor pay and conditions of work for home care workers. Recently due to failing organisations the County Council have had to bring some home care back in house.
I will push for all home care to be brought back in house. This will help to ensure there are consistent standards and that staff get a living wage and the conditions of work that they deserve.
I have over 30 years’ experience as a social worker, many of those working for Hertfordshire County Council so I know how it operates and will continue to challenge from my own direct experience.
I continue to be concerned about the terrible state of some of our roads, pathways and the cycle network. I am a keen cyclist and will lobby to have our pathways and cycle network made accessible and safe. This will also support the green agenda.
The Conservatives drastically cut funding to many centres that offered vital support for some of our most vulnerable children and families. We will look at how we can expand home start and ensure family centres become the first point of contact for parents and carers.
Public health information clearly shows that a higher proportion of families in Stevenage and other large towns like Watford and Hemel Hempstead have poorer health and greater social inequalities, but the Tories still give out monies to the 10 districts and boroughs in Hertfordshire on a 10th share each. This means that affluent areas like, Three rivers and St Albans get the shame share of funding – that is just not fair nor right.
County Council services should not be profit motivated but a service to Hertfordshire residents. I will fight for a fair distribution of funding and services and if we win control of the council we would be in a position to target spending for those most in need and take back in house key services such as Highways, home care and educational services.
I will of course represent residents and local community groups and any concerns you raise about County Council services. I will work closely with the Old Stevenage and Symonds Green Councillors to improve local services and tackle environmental issues. I have supported the St Nicholas Church through my local community budget and I am also committed to protect the unique heritage of Old Stevenage. I will work with the community and use my local community budget for local projects that will make a real difference.