‘In milk and pol­i­tics I al­ways de­liver’

Coun­cil­lor pre­pares for bat­tle in assem­bly vote

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Steve Bax steve.bax@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

WEST Dray­ton coun­cil­lor Do­minic Gil­ham says he is ready to take the fight to Labour at next May’s Greater Lon­don Assem­bly (GLA) elec­tions.

The 47-year-old was se­lected as the Con­ser­va­tive can­di­date for the GLA seat of Eal­ing & Hilling­don fol­low­ing a vote of 150 party mem­bers at Hayes & Har­ling­ton Con­ser­va­tive Club last Wed­nes­day night.

He will be hop­ing to un­seat Labour in­cum­bent Dr Onkar Sa­hota who won the seat with a 3,000 ma­jor­ity in 2012.

Cllr Gil­ham, who works as a milk­man in Knights­bridge and Kens­ing­ton, said: “I am thrilled to be se­lected as the can­di­date for Eal­ing & Hilling­don and will put ev­ery­thing I can into this cam­paign. In milk and in pol­i­tics I al­ways de­liver.

“Res­i­dents across both Eal­ing & Hilling­don have been aban­doned by their cur­rent Labour GLA mem­ber, who has made no pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion since he was elected. I am the per­son who will change that and en­sure the voices of res­i­dents are heard at the top ta­ble in City Hall.”

The fa­ther of two young daugh­ters, whose wife is a teacher, was born in Eal­ing and grew up in Southall be­fore mov­ing to Hilling­don 22 years ago.

Af­ter spear­head­ing a com­mu­nity cam­paign to stop mo­tor­bikes us­ing a pedes­trian al­ley in Yiewsley, he was ap­proached to be­come a coun­cil can­di­date and elected for the town in 2010, later rep­re­sent­ing the West Dray­ton ward af­ter he moved home.

Cllr Gil­ham op­poses the third run­way and claims Labour won the Eal­ing & Hilling­don seat in 2012 by “scar­ing” vot­ers into think­ing the Con­ser­va­tives in gov­ern­ment were plan­ning to close Eal­ing Hos­pi­tal.

He added: “It was typ­i­cal scare­mon­ger­ing.

“All the po­lit­i­cal par­ties stand side by side in our op­po­si­tion to the Third Run­way and it should have hap­pened like that over the hos­pi­tal.

“In­stead Labour whipped up a fan­tas­tic scare story that peo­ple bought into.”

Cllr Gil­ham plans to spend the eight months un­til the elec­tion cam­paign­ing on “big is­sues” such the need for more af­ford­able homes, fight­ing cuts to neigh­bour­hood polic­ing and op­pos­ing a third Heathrow run­way.

He added: “Onkar hasn’t come out clearly against it. That’s be­cause his pay­mas­ters in Unite and Uni­son are in favour of air­port ex­pan­sion.

“We call him Dr Who? be­cause no­body knows who he is. Peo­ple might laugh but it’s not funny re­ally, this is a guy who claims to rep­re­sent 160,000 vot­ers.

“Ask him what he has achieved over the last four years and there will be a long pause.”

The Tory chal­lenger said he in­tends to be “24/7” in win­ning over vot­ers and ex­plain­ing the rel­e­vance of the GLA (that it over­sees a huge £17bn bud­get for Lon­don).

He added: “I’m very con­fi­dent of my chances in both Eal­ing and Hilling­don. In Hilling­don the Con­ser­va­tives have a fan­tas­tic record and hold 42 seats – that’s no ac­ci­dent. Eal­ing doesn’t ben­e­fit and we need to change that.”

Onkar Sa­hota speaks out on po­lice cuts – p13.

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