Gary for Lincoln Lib Dems

A blog following my political ramblings, for Lincoln and beyond

  • Lib Dem candidate for Glebe Ward. Involved in Mental Health Activism, Computing, Environmentalism and Gaming

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Archive for the ‘Local Politics’ Category

Suicide as Big a Killer as Cancer

Posted by Gazbook on April 16, 2010

The way out or Suicidal ideation

Image via Wikipedia

Having already known that suicide has been the biggest killer in men under 35 in the last 3 years, it came to my attention today that suicide is the biggest killer in young people in the world; second to road traffic accidents. Also in Lincolnshire, suicide is the biggest killer after cancer.

All these topics were discussed prior to and during an NHS meeting on self-harm today. Although there is a misunderstanding that people who self-harm are attempting suicide, as many use  self-injury as a coping mechanism and a lifeline. This can be for a variety of factors, such as a release of endorphins (one of the body’s pain relief chemicals).

At the same time, those who self harm are at an increased risk of committing suicide; ranging from one suicide for every 200 cases of harm in people up to 35, to the alarming figure of one suicide for every person over 75 who attends A&E because of self-harm.

It is amazing then, despite these statistics, that mental health and suicide is still seen as such a taboo in the UK.

Although (as far as I’m aware) NHS services don’t come under the remit of the county council, social services do. And while everything seems happy-go-lucky with the new NHS Walk-In centre on Monks Road, they do not accept visits for mental health problems. A person was even turned down treatment for presenting at the Walk-In centre with serious cuts to their arms that needed medical attention; even though the centre can actually treat physical symptoms of self-injury.

One of my most important aims, both outside government in a campaigning/activist role and inside government as a council candidate, will be to reverse this trend of reductions in day services. It has taken years for a day service review to finally be carried out.

I will also make sure that buildings being under-used that are owned by the council (such as the “NHS Work Skills” building on Mint Lane) are opened up for community use. There is so little to support the average person, especially those feeling suicidal. And even groups that have nothing to do with mental health problems, like games groups and art groups, have massive therapeutic benefits- for the entire community.

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Being a Cyclist Feels a Burden

Posted by Gazbook on April 16, 2010

London Cycle Hire Scheme

Image by suburbanslice via Flickr

After travelling to Berlin more than a month ago, I was amazed at how advanced their transport and cycle network was in comparison with our own. Roads were virtually empty (well by London standards anyway!!). Buses and Trains had sensible approaches to ticketing (forget Oyster cards and turnstiles; you’re free to get off and on when you want, but if you don’t have a ticket you’re fined a hefty amount). And the support for cyclists was amazing. Cyclists were catered for in near enough every part of the city, and every shop had bike parking outside so you didn’t have to walk halfway through town to get from your bike to the shop.

It was this that inspired me to start cycling to and from places in Lincoln again. Plus I needed to lose some weight!!

However, I was flabbergasted at the attitude of many motorists when attempting to take to the roads. I had cars pulling in front of me or speeding past me, and been close to many accidents in the last few weeks. You also feel like a burden to other road users, with scowls from on-coming cars in a narrow lane or motorists hitting the accelerator too hard as they overtake you.

If elected, one of my priorities will be to sort transport out properly. We should have properly designed cycle paths, not bits of red paint randomly placed on the road to achieve cycle path targets. And we should encourage walking, cycling, and public transport. Especially for short journeys.

However, those that do need to drive should not be disadvantaged either. Major changes such as minimising disruption to road users at the rail crossing on the high street need to be made. The barriers come down for what seems like hours before a train actually passes, whilst just outside of Lincoln there are crossings near schools on a “stop, look and listen” basis. And the trains are going much faster through these areas then as they come through Lincoln Central Station!!

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Gary for Glebe Ward; Welcome!!

Posted by Gazbook on April 15, 2010

Lib Dems logo

Image via Wikipedia

Greetings and welcome to my new political and campaigns blog for Lincoln City Council’s Glebe Ward. Throughout the next few weeks (and beyond!!) I will blog about what I would like to change for the City Council, my views on present politics and give you a place to comment on my thoughts.

As a quick starter, I have lived in Lincolnshire all my life and moved to Lincoln 4 years ago. I’m 22 and currently studying a humanities degree with Open University, and most of my employment focuses on Mental Health Service User representation in the NHS and national mental health charities. In particular, I am also a national advisor for two children’s mental health charities; YoungMinds ( and Right-Here (

My main areas of interest are Mental Health and Education, as well as participation in politics.

My main hope is to put in place ways for anyone in Lincoln to quickly put forward their ideas and opinions on decisions made by the council, by using the internet, newsletters and regular surgeries to keep in contact. I also will create regular opinion polls so that I can be accountable to the people who voted for me, rather than to a political party or ideology.

I am standing forward as a Liberal Democrat as I feel they are the only party putting people, rather than politicians or millionaires, in power. I feel they are the only party that want to get in power so they can give it away, through a change of the voting system, a change in parliament and more local government.

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