Meet the Candidates: Community Officer – Matthew Goodwin-Freeman

Matthew Goodwin-Freeman is running to be UoN’s Students’ Union Community Officer for the 2020/21 academic year. Impact caught up with Matthew to ask him a few questions. 

What are your plans to improve community safety, in particular safety in the Lenton area?

At the heart of my manifesto is a Commitment to Tackle Crime and having lived in Lenton I am aware of the fears many Students have. We need to make sure we support all students if something goes wrong. As the Community Officer it would be my duty to work with Nottinghamshire Police, especially Dunkirk and Lenton’s Neighbourhood Policing Inspector to bring the concerns of Students directly to them. Together we can work on improving the safety and reputation of Lenton: increasing backroad street, increasing Police and PCSO footfall during the nights, making sure there are CCTV cameras covering all potential crime hotspots. And on top of this, we need to have a positive campaign and recognition policy, that promotes the achievements and hard work of Nottinghamshire Police. Promoting decisions made for Students, seeking to increase awareness and Student engagement in what we are doing, so that slowly we can rebuild the perception of Lenton, increasing it’s safety, reducing the likelihood of crime in the process.

“We need to have a real student Discount that doesn’t just come ad go like the buses do.”

In what ways do you intend to improve public transport for UoN students?

We need a real Student Discount! The work of Jacob Collier to ensure a freeze on rising student discounts is a significant step in the right direction, but now we must go back and challenge why prices were increased in the first place. Students should not feel exploited! NCT and NET should not see Students as a potential to increase profits. So as Community Officer, I will be lobbying public transport providers to change their views of UoN students, stop the annual increase of fares, and begin to negotiate a long-term reduction in fares. We need to have a real Student Discount that doesn’t just come and go like the buses do.

There is currently a lot of tension between Lenton residents and students living there. How do you plan to help alleviate this tension?

I think it is important to embrace differences throughout Nottingham and Nottinghamshire’s Communities. There are so many different backgrounds all within the confines of this great city. Where there are tensions, I feel much is down to misplaced views and perceptions of one another. The SU and University should embrace events in all Student areas, Lenton included. With more harmony and connection to local residents, Students can live happier and safer. We need to understand the needs of local residents too – just how they need to understand the reality of many Student’s lives and actions: I want to facilitate these discussions! This will be vitally important over the coming months after Covid-19, I look to reconnect Students, build a wider, better Community, that works for everyone and understands people’s needs and issues!

Community officers work very closely with local public services such as public transport and the police. What will you do to ensure that these working relationships continue to be fruitful and successful?

For many years I have worked with local public services, Councillors, Police Commissioners, charities, Mayors and more. In every working relationship I have invested in there has been a positive and successful outcome. Your Community Officer needs to be someone with this track-record of success. So having achieved award-winning outcomes in both Nottingham and elsewhere, I can tell Students confidently that building, maintaining and succeeding in these working relationships will be no problem. If it mean block out days to hold meetings and negotiations – I will do so! If it means travelling the length and breadth of Nottinghamshire for a single event – I will do so! It takes 100% commitment and passion for the job to deliver the best you can for our Students!

“I am honest when I say that I can deliver my promises! Nothing I pledge cannot be achieved!”

Why should students vote for you as their Community Officer?

Simply, students should vote for me as I can guarantee everything I promise. Everything I have written has been carefully thought about. Much of it I have already achieved elsewhere in the Community. I represent and lead charities and organisations that are already delivering what I promise, because I have been working for the Community for over 5 years! It’s no surprise that I am confident we can achieve these policies, as so many of them have been achieved and implemented outside of UoN.

But what is crucial to realise, is that with your vote and backing, I can implement this work within our UoN Community! We are so close already to making incredible improvements to our daily lives, with even the smallest of changes. But getting your endorsement enables me the ability and duty to deliver this success here! I am honest when I say that I can deliver my promises! Nothing I pledge cannot be achieved!

Voting for the 2020 SU elections closes at 3pm on Monday 11th May.

The link to vote for the 2020 Students’ Union candidates is here.

Aidan Hall

Featured image courtesy of Nina Sasha. 

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