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Coventry City Council

Meet the councillors!

My CV

Councillor for:

8 years

Party:

Conservative

Council job:

Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group

Profession:

Criminal Defence Paralegal

Photo:

Kevin Foster

I am preparing to attend the meeting this afternoon where the future of extended care at Howes School will be decided after speaking at a citizenship class at Sidney Stringer school

Favourite Thing: The Cathedral Ruins and the many proud Coventrians I meet everyday.

Me and my council work

I am Deputy Leader of my Group and also a member of the West Midlands Fire Authority.

Since I was first elected in 2002 I have held a range of positions on the City Council including Chair of Scrutiny, Cabinet Member and was Deputy Leader of the Council for two years until May 2010. Since May I have focused on my work in Cheylesmore, the ward I represent on the City Council. This work varies from dealing with day to day problems caused by the failure of the council to provide services to helping develop plans for a new Community facility, with a much better Youth Club, at the heart of Cheylesmore. I am also a Governor at Whitley Abbey Secondary and Manor Park Primary Schools.

I am also one of 3 Councillors who represent Coventry on the West Midlands Fire Authority. My Uncle was a Firefighter for 32 years until his death in 2002. This is an area of Council work that means a lot to me personally and is vitally important. In addition to ensuring Coventry has the appropriate level of Fire cover to keep local people the Brigade also does a lot of Community Fire Safety work, including home Fire Safety Checks. If your family has not had one call please call 0800 389 5525 to make an appointment.

My Typical Day

Normally start the day with a few hours on e-mail/checking Facebook for any messages, then council meetings in the afternoon followed by residents meetings in the evening.

As someone who is fairly active both locally and in the media I get a lot of e-mails from both residents wanting my help and officers asking my opinion. I am very happy using e-mail and this normally takes up a good chunk of my morning as I like to clear out as much of my inbox as possible when the day begins. This is not always possible as some days I can receive a lot of correspondence, some of which will involve complex issues that will require me to spend some time on them.

Most formal council meetings are in the afternoon and I will also have briefing meetings with senior council officers to discuss issues that may be coming up in the near future, as well as issues that have been raised with me. Whilst attending these meetings is the key part of being a Councillor I have always believed it is as important to be actively lobbying for your community outside of them. In many cases pro active work that is not done in meetings can deliver the best results.

I normally spend evenings on casework and attending residents meetings. Many of my constituents work and therefore returning their calls or meeting with them has to be arranged at a time when they are likely to be home. Some Councillors hold their Surgeries during the day when it is convenient for them, but I beleive you need to consider the needs of your residents, rather than your own, so hold mine in the evening or on Saturday afternoon.

What I'd do as "Youth Champion"

I would not only represent your views at the council house, but get out across the city to meet youths be that at school or in a local park or club to hear what you have to say.

I would not only represent your views at the council house, but get out across the city to meet youths be that at school or in a local park or club to hear what you have to say. For the position of Youth Champion to be effective it cannot be about a councillor just taking the title and using it to justify their own opinions. They must get out and meet young people across the city, not just in the confines of school but at local parks, youth clubs and places where they gather.

Sadly a number of Councillors in this competition have focused on making party political remarks, rather than provide real answers to questions. A political sound bite may sound good, but it does not help move any issue forward. I want to be a constructive voice for young people who connects with Coventry’s youth so that I am their voice, pushing their opinions, and getting real results.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Honest, Determined, Focussed

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Phil Collins.

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Going on the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls. You get very wet, but it is great fun.

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

1. Lose some weight. 2. Have a bit more time to myself. 3. Not having to worry about money.

What did you want to be after you left school?

A lawyer.

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

This will sound dull, but I never was. I was one of the few at my Secondary School to never get a detention.

What's the best thing you've done as a councillor?

Getting a new Community Centre built in Whitley (part of my ward).

Tell us a joke.

Pupil: Would you punish me for something I did not do? Teacher: No of course not. Pupil: Thats great because I did not do my Homework!

Vote for me!

My profile link:
http://coventry.bigvote.org.uk/profile/kevinfoster/

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