James Willis, an experienced borough councillor, is the Lib Dem candidate in Gravesham. He grew up in Gravesend before moving to Maidstone for family reasons, and was elected a councillor in 2014, against the grain at a difficult time for the party. On the Borough Council he has specialised in Transport issues and Planning. He has weekly meetings with residents to deal with any concerns they have.
James’s keen interest in transport issues was shown when he stood in the 2010 general election in Dartford. He ran a successful campaign to stop the Dartford Crossing being privatised and won over 7000 votes. He is now working with others looking for innovative ideas to tackle congestion in North Kent and improve public transport and connectivity links across the river.
His personal experiences make him a committed advocate for inclusive education and better mental health provision. At school, his progress was hindered by a hidden disability - ADHD. It was only fairly recently that he got a diagnosis and treatment which has helped him to lead a fulfilling life as a small businessman in office communications, a councillor and a father. He passionately believes that too many children are let down by a system which does not support them with their difficulties and enable them to reach their full potential. He wants education resources to be made available to all as opposed to Theresa May’s plans for new grammar schools for the few. He will be a committed advocate for the children let down by the system and for their parents.
He also knows the stresses that can give rise to mental health problems. He backs Lib Dem former Health Minister Norman Lamb’s calls for a cross-party approach to tackle these issues.
James knows full well the problems that have been caused by Tory failures to tackle problems of transport, housing, health and education. He is pleased now to return to Gravesend, to campaign for a better deal for the people of Gravesham.