Written over the period of the recent local elections, we interview Ashley Dickenson, the Christian Peoples Alliance candidate in Carshalton Central ward, Sutton.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your party?
I’ve lived in the ward for 30 years this coming August and took voluntary redundancy from the civil service after 25 years, two of these in the Dept of Employment and 23 in the Met. Police in an Admin Support role. I’ve stood in nine elections on behalf of the CPA. I live alone but have lived an active life as secretary, minutes secretary and a treasurer.
You’re standing in the Carshalton Central ward, can you introduce the ward to us and what you can bring to the area?
An attractive and historic area for which I wish to see improvements. At the council elections in 2018 I won 69 votes in this ward which I hope to increase (in 2022 Ashley won 132 votes) through my road safety petitioning for at least one pedestrian crossing in a potentially dangerous spot, not just to assist pedestrians but to keep a check on fast-moving traffic. The concerns I’ve heard are of excessively speeding traffic; narrow pavements; non-existent crossings needed for mums with buggies / pushchairs, besides railings for pavements that I’ve noticed are too narrow.
More widely what would you like to see change at Sutton Council and across the borough?
I’d want to see more CPA representation; this is something I need to work on so that come the next Council elections and the London Assembly elections expected in 2024 we hope to have more candidates standing. In the London Assembly List Results, we came ahead even of the TUSC. We need a moral voice in politics, to speak up on behalf of the unborn, the poor & vulnerable, besides a fairer taxation system, i.e.: turnover tax on multinationals, offset against corporation tax; increased stamp duty on expensive properties, especially where they’re being excessively used as purely for investment purposes: how fair is that when there are homeless on our streets?
When interviewed by the BBC on election night I pointed out the proposed Tramlink for Sutton. Albeit the CPA supports transport that is cheap, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly this Tramlink will count for little unless our shops at the lower end of Sutton High Street can fully thrive again – through our policy of cutting business rates so that they can compete with online suppliers. Online ordering has meant we see little of our neighbours (and that’s another issue) but physical shopping means that at least we can meet our neighbours.
Carshalton High Street (Carshalton Road) still has considerable history about it but there’s only so much pressure that it can take: considering lorries and buses have to pass through it on top of ‘usual’ traffic. So I would consider having lorries re-routed along our Ruskin Road, for their access to Sutton and beyond – even if at certain hours.
How can people find out more or get in touch if they want to get involved?
They are more than welcome to get in touch with me at [email protected] we need candidates in Sutton and Croydon, and I in turn can introduce them to our party leader; we have training days in public speaking. I have many hours in canvassing experience and not least today when I called on a lady who advised me of crossings needed close to Carshalton College, that I shall be taking further.