Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Jennette's Five Minutes with....Cllr Mark Rusling

This is an extract from London Assembly member Jennette Arnold's latest newsletter:
"This week I talked to Cllr Mark Rusling, Waltham Forest Councillor and Portfolio Lead Member- for Economic Development and Corporate Resources.

1. How long have you lived in Waltham Forest?
I moved here in 2008 to buy my first house, having previously rented in Hackney. I made sure that I stayed in Jennette's constituency!

2. What made you decide to become a councillor?
I have never liked the attitude of seeing something that you don't like and, while not doing anything about it yourself, saying 'someone should do something about that'. If you think something should be changed, you should do something about it! 
Local councillors sometimes get some stick in the media - not least from this government, which should get its own house in order before it criticises anybody else. Yet, there is real power in local government to change people's lives for the better. I wanted to do that.  
3. As well as a local councillor you also hold the portfolio of economic development in the borough. How do you see the local economy developing in the next ten years and how will Waltham Forest continue to grow its reputation as a leisure destination?
We need to help those parts of our economy that are thriving to grow even more - healthcare, creative industries, food processing, among others. And, most importantly, we need to make sure that they are employing local people. If local people don't have the skills they need for those jobs, then that is where we can step in and offer courses so that our residents can get the very best jobs on offer.

As for leisure, the William Morris Gallery is an internationally-renowned destination. If you haven't been since its total facelift, you should get down there. I love the Vestry House Museum, in Walthamstow Village - those gardens make you forget that you're in inner London. And of course there is the jewel in the crown of football in East London - Leyton Orient. We're a great leisure destination."
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