Alex was first elected as the MP for Cheltenham in 2015, and is now standing as the Conservative candidate for Cheltenham in the 2017 General Election.
Cheltenham is my home town. I live in Charlton Park with my wife and two children, and both go to nursery nearby. I was brought up locally in Foxcote, just by the Kilkeney pub - a well-known landmark to many Cheltonians! My parents still live nearby.
Cheltenham will always be special to me. It is here that I (eventually...) passed my driving test on the streets of Pittville, had my first experiences of night-life in the old 'Gas' night club, and even ended up in Cheltenham A&E aged fifteen after a cycling accident. My family have lived locally since the War, and my grandmother was cared for in later life at the old Delancey hospital in Charlton Lane.
I am not a career politician. I am 40 years old and have fourteen years' experience as barrister specialising in counter-terrorism, homicide and serious fraud cases.
I believe that to be an effective politician, political experience can be a huge bonus. It teaches you how to get things done. Whilst building my legal career in London, I was twice elected as a councillor in Hammersmith & Fulham. There I chaired the Planning Committee for four years, during which time I helped adjudicate on multi-billion pound planning applications which brought investment and regeneration to many deprived areas. I also helped drive down council tax to historically-low levels. It was an invaluable training. But that apprencticeship is now over. I have come back home, and I want to put my experience to use to help make Cheltenham the greatest town in Britain.
I also want to use my advocacy background to speak up on Cheltenham's behalf. Cheltenham is a wonderful town with a lot to shout about. But it feels like our voice is often ignored. We need to do more to get Cheltenham noticed, put it back on the map, and do better at fighting our corner. I want to see us start winning the competition for scarce resources like healthcare. With the right vision we can do it.
I want to hear your views. Let me know how we can make Cheltenham a town of opportunity.