#Canvassingquestions – St Albans interviews – Michael Weaver (Harpenden West)

Why do I want to be a Councillor?

I have been a Town Councillor for 9 years, which has been a great apprenticeship for becoming a District Councillor. This year I have been Harpenden`s Town Mayor. I now feel I can bring to the wider district in St Albans the benefit of all the experience and expertise that I have gained from having lived and traded in this area for 45 years.

Things some not in my campaign literature

  1. Being a past President of the St Albans Chamber of Commerce I have a long association with the commercial and in particular the retail sector in the City Centre in St Albans. Having been Chairman of Harpenden`s Chamber of Commerce and having run a well known retail store in Harpenden. I have a sound knowledge of both the St Albans and Harpenden`s trading centres. I was also a founder member of Harpenden First. This organisation promoted one of the most popular community events not only in Harpenden but in the whole of the County, the annual Christmas Carnival. Now run by several volunteers with Town Council support a dedicated Committee can claim the success of attracting around 14,000 people into Harpenden`s town centre on the Carnival day.
  2. In recent years I have been a part time lecturer and tutor at Barnfield College in Luton teaching Accounting and Business Studies and writing and teaching a course in how to start a business.  In addition I became an adviser at The St Albans Enterprise Agency helping many to start their own business.
  3. I have been very much involved in the widest range of local community activities throughout the whole district.  As well as organising town centre events I have been involved with much local charity fund raising.  Noted for my determination to complete all the tasks set for me or by myself I have had the stamina to run 3 London Marathons and climb Mt. Kilimanjaro raising around £30K.  Despite such activities being curtailed after an accident this has not held back a determination to continue battling on in any way I can.

Indeed the disability I now have, has given me a greater insight in to the needs of the disabled.

What difference can I make?

For a large portion of my life I ran a very popular retail store (C & A The Ironmongers) in the centre of Harpenden.  Jokingly referred to by some as “Arkwright – open all hours”, I became well known and trusted in the town.  Also being keenly interested in politics, having graduated several years ago at the LSE, a main focus for me has been doing everything that I can for keeping our town centres vibrant and the hub of our communities. That focus has not just been in Harpenden.  I am fully conversant with what happens and is needed in St Albans, ( St. Peters Street in particular)  having been a President of the St Albans Chamber of Commerce and am still a Director. Further having made studies in town centre management I have the experience and expertise to do much to achieve the goals of keeping our centres vibrant.

What are my top three things that I like in the District?

  1. In Harpenden the care and attention given to its magnificent common for everyone to see especially approaching from the south.
  2.  The magnificent Cathedral and its historic surrounds. The City has a wonderful history stretching from the Ice Age, evidenced by the pudding stones which were left behind, the ancient ruins of Verulamium on the Gorhambury estate,  the actual building of the Abbey and the two battles of the Wars of the Roses.
  3.  The wide and undulating Verulam Park, with the small but attractive River Ver running through Kingsbury Mill in St Michaels.  On a summer’s day anyone can see the huge asset St Albans has in its park.

Why vote for me?

Having the advantage of such a long and wide relationship in the city and district its environment and all the people who live here not only have I built a reputation that is trusted but I have also been recognised as someone who has the dedication and indeed the stamina to actually “get things done”.

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