Alex Bentley, the Labour candidate for Milton Ward, was recently paid a surprise visit. He was working in his tailor’s shop on Albert Road, when a gentleman came in and announced, “Excuse me, I would like to shake your hand.”
The stranger had read a profile of Alex that was recently printed in Southsea Lifestyle magazine. Although the feature focussed on Alex’s successful local business, it also made a reference to his time as a councillor in Portsmouth, when Alex fought to bring 20mph zones to our streets.
That action saved this gentleman’s life. He recalled how he was hit by a car on a residential road in Southsea. Doctors told him that, if the driver had not stuck to the 20mph limit, the impact would likely have killed him. When he read that that the go-slow zones had been introduced because of Alex’s determination, he had to seek him out and say “Thank you for saving my life.”
Today Alex says,
“I went into local politics to help people in our community, so it was very humbling to hear this man’s story. I remember how hard it was to persuade other councillors that we should introduce the 20mph speed limit in Portsmouth. It was controversial at the time, but I knew it would make a difference, so I stuck to my guns and brought others round to my way of thinking.”
As Alex points out,
“Now, of course, 20mph limits have been brought in all around the country. Other councils saw how successful the policy was in Portsmouth, and over the years they have followed suit. Those speed limits save lives everywhere, every day.”
When it comes to parking and traffic issues in Milton, and Portsmouth more generally, Alex has plenty of new ideas.
“I’ve got a vision for how we can solve congestion and make our roads safer and more efficient for everyone – pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. I have lots of ideas. If I’m elected in May, I will be bringing them to the council chamber, and I hope we can make a real difference for the city. I’d like to see Portsmouth City Council setting the standard again.”