In the run up to the 2021 local elections on 6 May, The Chiswick Calendar is interviewing the major contenders for the South West seat on the London Assembly.
Nicholas Rogers is hoping to retain the seat for the Conservatives by relying on his previous experience in the public service sector, which he says will translate well into a role on the Assembly.
See his interview with Matt Smith below.
Nicholas Rogers interview with The Chiswick Calendar
So Nicholas, I want to get a feel about who you are. Could you tell me a bit about your background and how long you’ve lived in the area?
“So I’m not originally from south west London, I’m from Kent where I was born and where I grew up. I moved to south west London about six years ago I think and we’re here because of my husband basically. His family have lived in Kingston for, we worked it out, well over 150 years! I’ve been coming here for years to see his family. We moved down and I’ve been in Surbiton ever since.”
What is it you do for a living?
“I work in public transport, I’ve worked in railway operations basically for 10 years. I’ve been with Network Rail, I’ve been a manager of Waterloo Station and for five years or so I’ve been an incident controller, so I deal with any sort of accident, incident, emergency, anything like that that goes wrong on the railway network.”
What was it that made you want to get into politics?
“I’ve been interested in politics for some time. I’m a quite old fashioned person in some ways because I believe in public service. I feel if you have something to contribute you should step up and do so.
So I see standing for the Assembly as a way that I can use my real life experience in the railway and being a former special constable, being a community campaigner, I see the Assembly as being a good way to use those skills to step up and make our community in south west London the best it can be.”
Can you tell me about your candidacy platform?
“One of the main things I want to achieve is improving public transport and I want to use my experience to give me a sort of informed voice on that thing. In Chiswick that would mean, for example, fighting to get full service on the Piccadilly Line at Turnham Green which is I’m sure you well know is a massive issue to anyone who commutes in Chiswick.
“I also want to help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and that’s using my experience as a former social constable to make sure that we have proper community policing and that the police are active and visible and out there in our neighbourhoods.
“I’m also keen to make sure that new development is appropriate as well. There’s been some, certainly in Hounslow borough, there’s been some examples of quite poor development so I think we need to make sure new development is beautiful and appropriate.”
Image above: Nicholas campaigning with Cllrs Sam Hearn and Joanna Biddolph
Realistically what do you think you can achieve as an assembly member?
“It’s a scrutiny role, but I think being an assembly member is a unique role because you’re kind of pitched above the local, below the national and it gives you a platform and that’s the main thing, it’s how you use that platform.
“I would use that platform to be a champion for local communities. To engage in local issues, maybe issues which might be outside the remit for an assembly member but if they’re important to local people then I would be getting involved with them.”
What difference do you think you can make as an assembly member, I know the seat has been held by a Conservative for 21 years, would you do anything differently?
“Well I have my own approach, Tony Arbour has served south west London with honour for 21 years. Anyone who has interacted with him, any community group he has helped, is full of praise. Of course, I have my own approach, for example Tony doesn’t have a Twitter account whereas I do. I’d be active, visible and present in the lives of our communities here in south west London.”
Image above: Nicholas campaigning in Hounslow
And my final question is are you a better choice than any one of the other candidates, do you have anything to say about the other contenders?
“They are all, honestly I’ve been on hustings with my fellow candidates and they’re all decent public servants, their heart is all in the right place. If there’s anything that puts me ahead of them it’s my relevant, real-world experience, so going back to that stuff with the railway, my experience as a special constable and my experience setting up and running successful community groups. I think that’s what makes me stand out in this election.”
Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar
See also: SW London Assembly candidate – Labour
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