Geoff Carter is 88. He lives in Deanland Wood Park with his wife, both of them clinging onto their independence as long as they can.
But Geoff needs a bit of help every now and then. His house is all on one level, but there are four steep steps between his front door and his drive. All he needed was a second railing, and social services recognised as much. Only nothing was happening.
In desperation, Geoff looked at the leaflet put through his door in April 2017 by Wealden Liberal Democrats. In it, Chris Bowers, our then candidate for the county council in Arlington, Hellingly and East Hoathly, said the Lib Dems were the party of the community. So Geoff decided to test it.
He rang Chris, explained his problem, and gave the story of how he was being pushed from pillar to post by well-meaning but overstretched public servants. Chris promised only that he would try to help – ‘I never promise more than I can deliver,’ says the former councillor and three-time parliamentary candidate, ‘and the only thing I could guarantee was that I would do my best.’
The right calls to the right people coupled with the right questions got Geoff the result he wanted. He was given a date for the railing to be installed, and it duly was. The installer even put up a modern rail that can be easily adapted if Geoff one day needs a narrower gap down his steps.
‘From the time I phoned and left a message to the railing being put up was six weeks,’ says Geoff. ‘And all that after two years of trying that got me nowhere!’
Chris adds, ‘This is what being a Liberal Democrat is all about. Communities work when there’s a bit of help. I don’t feel I did that much, but it’s clearly made a massive difference to Mr and Mrs Carter. Just think how many more people could be helped if several Lib Dems are elected to Wealden District Council next year.’