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BRUCE MEREDEEN - Liberal Democrat District Council candidate for the Wealden ward of FRANT & WADHURST

Bruce MeredeenBruce Meredeen is a 60-year-old self-employed computer engineer who has lived for 16 years in Wadhurst, where his business is based. His two children attended Uplands Community College and he's been a Liberal Democrat party member for the past two years. "For far too long, Frant and Wadhurst have had only Conservative District Councillors," says Bruce. "Their party has not only failed people locally, but has failed the country and is responsible for the potential disaster of - especially a no-deal - Brexit."

Bruce acknowledges that Labour's District Council candidates in Frant and Wadhurst have been hard-working, influential Parish Council colleagues, but believes that their national party is unfit economically to govern the country, being led by dangerous ideologues who are enabling Brexit. "Labour therefore does not represent the moderate politics of Wealden," says Bruce, "while Liberal Democrats in local government consistently work at street level for local residents."

Since Bruce is the only LibDem candidate running in his two-member District Council ward of Frant & Wadhurt, he is urging non-Conservatives, former Labour supporters, independents and all those without strong party commitments to cast their two votes for him and for Beth Martin, the Green Party candidate. "I truly believe Wealden needs a more representative District Council," says Bruce, "with ideas and initiatives rooted in the character of its communities."

Bruce has been deeply involved in Wadhurst village life: amongst other things he's been Chair of the Tennis Club, has sang with Wadhurst Aloud, has taken part in Wadhurst Culture events, including as a band member for village productions of Grease and Hairspray, and is a supporter of various local charities. He knows Frant well, from visiting his clients and as a regular customer at the village store, as well as attending concerts at St Alban's church.

Bruce is just completing six consecutive years as a Wadhurst Parish Councillor, where he was a member of a number of Committees including Environment, Highways and Transport, Community, Recreation Ground Management, Finance and Resources, and the lead Councillor for Communications. He has always worked constructively with members of other political parties and independents. Amongst his local achievements, Bruce played a significant part in getting a pedestrian crossing at Wadhurst Primary School put in. He was also instrumental in introducing Councillor surgeries and making greater use of technology to communicate with local residents and businesses. Additionally, he led on re-organising the Wadhurst village annual meeting and improving the Annual Parish Council Newsletter. He strongly supported the (now shelved) Hall and Field Trust proposals, which planned to redevelop sympathetically Wadhurst Commemoration Hall and Village Centre, though he also acknowledges and respects that a majority of Parishioners opposed it in the Parish Poll.

If elected to District Council, Bruce pledges to listen carefully to the views of the whole community in Frant and Wadhurst, to represent it diligently at District level and to work constructively with colleagues of all parties and none. He believes that that the villages' historic sense of community need to be respected. "Significant change", he says, "requires proper consultation and gradual, sensitive implementation as demonstrated by the Wadhurst Neighbourhood Plan process."