I WANT to be an independent representative on the town council in West Mersea so will be free to make common sense decisions.

I have lived in Stable Mews, West Mersea for 20 years and been a visitor for 50 years and have seen dramatic changes.

I have recently retired after serving as a police officer and detective for 35 years.

My husband and I purchased our retirement home which backs onto Dawes Lane fields and, after several years, found we were about to change from a beautiful rural area into a housing estate.

I have attended several meetings locally and planning meetings at Colchester Council and was frustrated by the lack of coordination and information they were basing their decisions on.

Look at Cudmore Park. This has been an award winning wildlife sanctuary for 30 years.

The park ranger ran badger watch nights, moth nights, bat watching nights for coach loads of children.

The borough council decided it would put a child's play area there but instead of speaking to anyone they placed it in the centre of the adder nesting area and put fine sand on the base of it....the preferred substance for mating adders!

We are a unique island which is cut off by the tide. We are nothing like any other development area in the north of Essex and have unique problems.

Every summer our population increases dramatically with tourists, beach hut owners, caravanners, youth centre occupants, wildlife lovers, classic car owners, sailors and fishermen not included in occupant figures.

It shows on the roads. As a Dutch tourist recently said: “It is beautiful here, I love your oysters but you have roads like a third world country."

All of our infrastructure is based on volunteers. The firemen, First Responders and lifeboatmen are used for local problems, especially when the tide is across the Strood.

Our health and safety needs to be considered for an already overstretched and bending system.

When Wellhouse Green was built we were promised the infrastructure would catch up, but it hasn’t.

In fact we haven’t got an increase in doctors, a decent building which reflects the growing population and the police station was closed down.

Since 1981, Mersea has had an increase of 180 houses, each tripling their poll tax code when built going from small beach bungalows to huge detached family houses.

We have already done our bit for local housing and we cannot take anymore.

What will happen this summer when all of the occupants of Stanway, Mile End, Colchester, Rowhedge etc all descend on their nearest beach?

I would hate to be a fire engine driver trying to get an engine down Yorick Road at the height of the summer.

I understand we are still in a time of austerity but we need someone to help the council make informed decisions and put our foot down against irrational decision making.

Julie Baker

West Mersea

Other candidates:

John Akker, Peter Banks, Dave Bragg, Jonathan James, Robert Jenkins, Paula Moore, Carl Powling, Sarah Shehadeh, Syvlia Wargent, Sophie Weaver and Chris Wood.