Peter Garbutt is was elected as a councillor for Nether Edge & Sharrow in May 2019.
“I’ve worked in many jobs in my life – on building sites, in cold stores, selling door to door, as an accountant – giving me a good understanding of the pressures of life.
I’ve spent the most recent years teaching. It’s a job that has taught me about the importance of community. A school is a community, but there’s not much outside of school for young people, nor indeed for people of any age, to get involved in.
That’s why one of my major focuses, if elected, is to help build community capacity, with a common aim of improving everyone’s quality of life in these stressful times. Whether it’s community gardening in Batt Street. the Lansdowne or Common Ground, sharing our favourite songs together, litter picks on Leyburn Road or South View Road, or street art on Abbeydale Road, I want to help grow it.
One of the most positive ways our community has come together in the past few years is over the street trees issue. I’m proud to have been a part of the way the protectors have changed the council’s actions for the better. As a councillor, I will be well placed to ensure our streets flourish.
One of the major problems of our times is the extent to which we depend on the car. Neither our failing public transport nor our almost non-existent walking and cycling infrastructure make getting around without a car easy. This has created huge issues around air pollution, parking and general gridlock. Air pollution around Lowfield School, Sharrow School and Abbeydale School is a scandal I will devote time and energy to tackling. Councillor Alison Teal and I have been looking at ways of stopping anti-social parking, on Hill Street, in the Empire Road area, and at the school drop-off at Sharrow School. As a driver myself, I’m desperate to leave my car at home when possible, and I’m determined to find ways to make it easier for everyone to do that.
When I first joined the Green Party, my main reason was our systemic way of tackling climate change. Over the thirteen years I’ve been a member, I’ve come to recognise the central part communities have to play in our personal, city-wide, national and international efforts to address the issues.
I am, therefore, committed to helping our communities in Nether Edge and Sharrow develop their own responses and thereby creating a better and more sustainable life for us, for our children, and for generations yet unborn.