Part One Personal Information
Anant M Vyas
Independent Parliamentary Candidate
Milton Keynes North
Nationality: British [United Kingdom]
Country of Birth: Kenya
Follow Anant on http://twitter.com/anantmvyas
Part Two Career
Please provide a summary of your life and career (1000 characters)
I arrived in the UK in Dec 1970 as a British student to study and to contribute. I worked in Hotel & Catering Industry to support my education and living expenses. As UCCA did not even consider making a conditional offer into Medical School, I saved up to complete MHCIMA [Full corporate membership of Hotel Catering & Institutional Management Association].
I have lived in Stantonbury, Milton Keynes since Dec 1979 & have contributed locally, regionally and nationally via over twenty fora e.g. Chairman of School Governors; Parish Councillor; Local Election Candidate in Wolverton; fundraiser for various charities; Charter Mark Assessor; consultee to MK Council building an Older People’s Home with care provision; contributed to IDeA (Improvement & Development Agency) Workforce Development, Race, Social Inclusion, Housing Maintenance expert evaluation, Knowledge, e-learning, e-Gov, e-champions network; held Older Peoples Champion by BGOP (Better Govt for Older People); CPPIH (Commission for Public Patient Involvement in Health) appointed member & elected Deputy Chair MKPCT PPI Forum; ODPM (Office of Deputy Prime Minister) invited contribution in Equality & Diversity Seminars; held First Reserve Non-Executive Director MK Community NHS Trust; held Quality & Outcomes Framework (QOF) Reviewer by MKPCT; Championed Equality & Diversity persuading powerbrokers via Local, Regional & National Conferences. For further and better details of my life work, I urge you to visit my websites. Thank you.
Please describe why you would like to represent this constituency in the Westminster Parliament and any local issues on which you would campaign (500 characters)
For the past 32 years I have worked within the Housing and Adult Social Care Directorate of the best council in England & Wales and have commuted to and from London for the past 30 years since moving to Milton Keynes. In the words of its previous leader of the Council “It had transformed from the basket case to beacon status.”
I am not a professional politician. I am a peoples champion and an exemplary public servant both professionally and in voluntary sector in recognition for which I was conferred with this country’s first Community Ambassadors Leadership Medal in 2004 and 2006. I also champion improving public services.
I implore you to help me convert that resounding public service mandate into your independent and credible voice within our esteemed Parliament, achievable only through this selection and then election victory. To that end, apathy, in a democracy, is as repugnant as seeing World War II or even Haiti disaster food rations being wasted or squandered.
I have natural affinity and loyalty for Milton Keynes in which I have lived. Having represented the wider community in innumerable national, regional and local fora I welcome this opportunity to serve the citizens of Milton Keynes in our own Parliament which, imminently and inevitably is in dire need of reform not only along the aspirations of The Jury Team but also must reflect the multi-ethnic diversity that elects it.
YOUR needs guide my conscience-led input & outcomes. So please tell me about them.
Why do you think people would vote for you? (500 characters)
I am a self-motivated, positive and dedicated professional with a highly successful background in Housing and Adult Social Care service delivery. Committed in providing exceptional customer service and quality services of the highest standard to a variety of audiences. Ability to manage staff, budget and resources within the context of high performance frameworks and Best Value. An exemplary leader with the aptitude to motivate, influence and enthuse others in order to improve performance, reach targets and achieve goals. An extremely confident and diplomatic individual with a very high level of sociability.
CAREER SUMMARY – Please describe your current paid and / or voluntary roles
1979 to present Estate Officer/Manager, London Borough of Camden
One of the largest London Boroughs, with an excellent 4 star CPA rating for delivery of services to the community. February 2008 voted the Best Council in England & Wales by the independent Audit Commission
* Responsible for the performance and provision of housing and estate management services within 3 Electoral Ward based teams in Hampstead
* Housing Strategy delivered in accordance with Best Value and high performance frameworks
* Continually assessing the needs of residents and proactively find ways of meeting them
* Deliver services in accordance with council and customer expectations and always to the highest possible standards
* Deliver housing finance and maintenance in accordance with PFI regeneration milestones
* Innovatively improved systems, procedures and processes, particularly around the pre-allocation of voids, reducing the lists of homelessness and improved the quality of life of waiting list families stuck in B&B cramped accommodations.
* Positively contributed to the Councils CPA rating, reduction of homelessness, anti-social behaviour and consequently reducing security costs associated with these aspects
* Founded and implemented 24 hours Concierge Service and tenant led steering group that has evolved into a TMO [Tenant Management Organisation].
* Influenced & persuaded senior officers and Councillors to improve and implement services in numerous areas of equality pursuant to the diversity of the citizens.
VOLUNTARY ROLES: Please describe any previous paid and / or voluntary roles
Over the last 30 years, I have played an active role in community and Inter-Faith activities, in particular with my work for the Hindu Council UK. My views, experience and expertise have enabled to bring about change and review to a range of Government policies and practices.
* Views have been shared with John Prescott and Hazel Blears, COIC [Commission on Integration & Cohesion] & iCoCo [Institute of Community Cohesion] on consultations regarding implementation of policies relating to Communities Plan and Community Cohesion.
* Appointed as Executive Member & now Officer as the lead with Ministry of Justice increasing electoral engagement, participation, and impact also on equality, diversity, inclusion and integration
* Lobbying at Ministerial level
* Ambassador for the Community
* Awarded Honorary Milton Keynes Community Ambassadors Leadership Medal for my enduring & proactive role in tackling issues in all equality strands.
* Currently elected unopposed as a Member to the Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Members’ Council to represent Stantonbury, Stony Stratford and Wolverton 7 April 2010
1978 to 1979 Cashier Clerk/Housing Assistant, London Borough of Camden
* Responsible for providing Total Quality Housing Reception, rent collection, clerical and admin services to the District
* Met the needs and expectations of the Council and its customers in an efficient, cost effective, reliable and effective manner.
1971 to 1977 Restaurant Manager, Strand Palace Hotel London – Trust House Forte
In multi-national, multi-billion pound catering, leisure and hotel business operating around the world including other Hotel & Catering Firms within UK
* Effective And efficient operational delivery of restaurant and functions services;
* Management of 56 multinational employees, resources, budget, contractors and quality service delivery
* Managing staff training, motivation and significantly reducing staff turn over
1964 to 1966 [1977 to 1978] Restaurant Manager, Vyas Family Restaurant, Mombasa & Nairobi Kenya
* Contribute to the family economy
* Efficient running of the business with existing staff and customer base during pre-university years, holiday term periods and during pre-directional change between 1977 and 1978
Woodend County School, Milton Keynes – Chair
Local Govt Elections Selected Candidate for Local Elections
Friends of Lotus Children, Milton Keynes Board Member and fundraiser
Milton Keynes Bowl, Virat Hindu Summéllan Member of Management Committee
London Borough of Camden, Housing Dept Member of Customer Care & Staff Care Working Group
MK Community NHS Trust Non-Executive Director
Camden Housing Champions Group – Group Member
Camden – Chief Executives Serving Camden Project – member
Camden – contributed to ODPM (Office of Deputy Prime Minister) commissioned research into Equality & Diversity as a selected member from Camden Corporate Staff Panel Group
Service First Unit, Modernising Public Services, The Cabinet Office Charter Mark Assessor
IDeA and IDeA Knowledge Experts Group and IDeA e-champions network Member of Workforce Development Group + contributed to Social Inclusion, Race Equality & Housing Maintenance as an Expert Evaluator.
The Commission for PPI in Health MK PCT PPI Forum Deputy Chair
HCUK [Hindu Council UK] Executive Member & now Executive Officer
Stantonbury & Great Linford Parish Council Parish Councillor
MK General Hospital Scanner Appeal Confederation of the UK & Europe
Hindu Samajes Committee Member
Shishu Kunj Charity Committee Member
Milton Keynes Council Neighbourhood Development Consultant
Better Govt For Older People, Cabinet Office Older People’s Champion
Milton Keynes Gen NHS Trust Quality & Outcome Framework Reviewer
Milton Keynes Partnership – Independent Consultee MK2031 Community Plan implementations
Submitted Paper [04/12/04] My vision of delivering Sustainable Communities through Community Cohesion, Social inclusion, Equalities, Social Justice & addressing settled disadvantage within the ODPMs Community Plan in Milton Keynes & surrounding areas as a Joint Question to ODPM, Milton Keynes Partnership Committee, EP, Health & Social Care Partners of MKSM (Milton Keynes South Midlands) Health & Social Care Project, SEERA, SEEDA and the respective Central Government Colleagues. It is noteworthy that my suggesting amongst other things introducing healthy cooking lessons in schools, nutrition, science applied to health, compulsory games, inter-school athletics and modular expandable homes-for-life which are now being designed by Lord Roger and built in The Oxley Park, Oakgrove Millennium Community, Tattenhoe Park, Milton Keynes & Basingstoke, Hampshire.
Stood as an Independent Candidate [05/05/05] on the platform of social inclusion, equality & diversity in the Parliamentary Elections in MKNE Constituency after taking full part in the preceding Hustings.
Contributed to Discrimination Law Review (leading to Single Equalities Bill)
Milton Keynes Council Member of Core Strategy Group
Part Three Education and Interests
Allidina Visram High School, Mombasa, Kenya
Cambridge School Certificate + GCE O Level Joint Examination – Highest Second Grade: English Language [distinction], English Literature, Oral English, Mathematics, Biology, and Physics with Chemistry, History, and Gujarati.
Held School Prefect, implemented changes to PE making swimming and inter-school athletics compulsory for all except for those with exemption certificates. Played in school football, swimming and athletics team.
Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College, Chandigarh, Punjab, India
Pre-Medical Science Examination – High Second Grade: Zoology, Botany, Chemistry, Physics, English, Additional Optional English.
Played in College Football, Cricket and Athletics Teams
Dept of Geology, Punjab University, Chandigarh, India
BSc (Hons) incomplete – Geology, Palaeontology, Crystallography, Chemistry, Botany, English.
University of North London, Holloway, N7 6NJ
HCIMA Certificate in Institutional Management – Passed with special merit in Management Studies including use of Qualitative & Quantitative Statistical Analysis and methods in management problem solving, Business Studies, Law, Accounting, Economics, Science applied to health, Nutrition.
Ealing School of Management Acton, London W3 +
13 weeks course in Accounting, Inflation Accounting, Finance and Corporate Strategy; Strategic Planning.
University of Tottenham London – Institute of Housing Qualifications – First Year. Was accorded an exemption from Management Studies in the final year on the strength of my management qualifications and extensive management experience.
Please describe any hobbies and other interests you may have (500 characters)
Arts and crafts including cooking, photographing nature and historic places, learning about other Faiths, research into Sanatana Dharma [Hinduism] as rational, spiritual, sciential humanism and the undeniable link between the ancient knowledge contained in the ancient Vedic texts of the beginning of the universe and Quantum mechanics and physics, the evolution to human form, the emotional intelligence of successful living and neuroscience pointing to our spiritual rather than physical nature and the Quantum Physics persuading us that what is reality is not what we see and experience with our eyes. It’s a tall order.
Please select an area of interest, describe your reasons for that interest and tell us your personal political views on that topic
Charities, Communities, Equalities
As a public champion and equalities champion I have through the aegis of HCUK contributed to DCLG initiative with Hazel Blears at the first consultation on ‘Face to face and side by side’ strategy. COIC & iCoCo accepted my suggestions on community cohesion. My challenge to Hazel Blears was that her favoured Faith funding to the British Muslim community of more
than £40m to fight terrorism was, ironically, producing the very community tensions that her Government wants addressed via COIC. Clever strategy that!
Personal Political Views (500 characters)
Communities receiving such obscene generosity from the Govt are as embarrassed as those, which despite representations and lobbying have received a two-fingered response. This inequality is causing the very community tensions that the DCLG wants addressed via its vaunted Commission on Integration & Cohesion. A nice little earner as Dell boy would say keeping the Labour Govt in business in perpetuity addressing terrorism.
Does the divide and rule policy create an unmistakable feeling of Deja vu?
Parenting, Youth, Education & Skills
Having served as Chair of School Governors [1983 – 88] also representing within the Schools Governing Council, I had suggested equality of access to education for females within certain Asian Communities, compulsory Science applied to Health, Nutrition, cooking skills, sports and Inter School Athletics am I glad that Ed Balls has them to accept some of my common sense suggestions. Good, solid and credible education is the passport to social mobility especially for those with settled disadvantage
With social mobility comes social capital and with inclusion and equality ><diversity >< solidarity [the three pillars of social stability] comes social trust to build sustainable, stable and peaceful community that can be at ease with itself leading to cohesion. Since 1944 Education Act delivering tripartite system under Conservatives, the standard of education in the UK has suffered under successive governments mucking about with sound bites “Education; Education; Education” delivering ill-equipped, incompetent workforce for the global economy.
Personal Political Views (500 characters)
I work in a London LA within Housing & Adult Social Care for 32 years & have equally innovative, voluntary experience in the health economy. Hence I can cover Local Govt, Housing and Planning and Adult Social Care & Health and with confidence & credibility. My public service commitment, attributes, community governance, work & voluntary experience gives me an enviable, analytical and authoritative insight into major spheres of life including confidence & ability to hold power brokers accountable
Discrimination persists. I am not a cynic but a realist. The fact is none of the equality legislations since 1970s, including the recent Disability Discrimination Act, The Race Relation [Amendment] Act 2000, Best Value 2001+ have delivered. Now this; The Equality Framework for Local Government. I will believe it when I see equality in all spheres of British life reflecting the diversity that comprises multi-ethnic Britain meeting their needs consistently, reliably, cost-effectively & on time.
Local Government – Housing & Planning, health, social care & families
By now any one would have guessed that the issue very close to my heart is social, environmental, educational, economic and political justice. How does one go about delivering it? It must begin with the root and branch reform of all our systems both within local and central government not forgetting our private, commercial, voluntary and charitable sector. Every person at every level in every section, department, and directorate must deliver recognising that what s/he does invariably affects another
Please give us your views on any other political issues, which are important to you, ensuring that you mention any national or local issue on which you will be campaigning
Yes and much more. This is what I wrote in a recent article submitted to Ethnic Minority Business Enterprise.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
Despite Joseph Rowntree Foundations Findings of February 2007 that British Hindus are most likely to vote of all the religious groups common in the South Asian electorate, there are many who do not.
As I begin to consider writing influencing and persuading the South Asian Diaspora within the UK to further increase their electoral and civic engagement and participation in the eventual hope of making our local and central government representative of the very diversity that elects them, India, the largest, the oldest and the most diverse democracy in the World, had the most envied efficient, effective, e-Gov General Election 2009 with estimated 714 million eligible electorate. Simply staggering e-Gov electoral achievement given the levels of illiteracy and low levels of e-literacy.
Ramachandra Guha is the author of India after Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy writes Like the 14 others that preceded them, the Indian elections of 2009 will be marked by colour, intensity and a mass involvement of individuals in democracy unmatched elsewhere in the world. But unless governance itself becomes more transparent and accountable,
India will continue to be plagued by corruption and inefficiency of a scale unacceptable in a modern state presuming to speak for and serve the people.
He could easily be also describing the state of affairs in the British democracy given the illegal Iraq Assault, cash for honours during Tony Blair & Lord Levy term and the current epitome of blight on the House of Lords by Labour Peers seeking cash for legislative favours. Having said that the Conservatives have not exactly been free of sleaze either. As for the Lib Dems I am not certain whether they mean what they say about proportional representation or they intend to perpetually “Shadow Box” behind the shadowy party. Whatever the political pundits predict, I am writing as an Independent with the intention of gradually altering the political landscape befitting the diversity that comprise the multi-ethnic Britain today. The reason is that that diversity is in a state of unsettled flux because of current political manipulations especially through the most needed resource “funding”. Communities receiving obscene generosity are as embarrassed as those, which despite representations and lobbying have received a two-fingered response. This inequality is causing the very community tensions that the DCLG wants addressed via its vaunted COIC [Commission on Integration & Cohesion]. “A nice little earner” as Dell boy would say keeping the Labour Govt in business in perpetuity addressing “terrorism”. Does the divide and rule policy create an unmistakable feeling of Deja vu?
This is a wake up call. Ask yourself why. LONDON, UK, January 20, 2008: A government-sponsored opinion poll in Britain has found that religion has displaced race as the most divisive issue facing the nation. The survey, conducted by the respected Ipsos MORI research organization for the Governments Equalities and Human Rights Commission, says 60 percent of respondents believe religious intolerance has become a bigger headache than racial tensions among Britons. Ten years ago, government policymakers had ticketed improving race relations as the No. 1 demand on their social agenda? Ask yourself who is responsible for this?
This is also having a political chutzpah to hold the current government accountable and at the same time holding a mirror at all the major Political Parties to discharge their obligations towards the BBAME [British Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic] electorate and civic participants per the IDeA [Improvement & Development Agency] findings: The main point is to get a diverse set of councillors and for that you need to start with a diverse set of candidates. In this respect England is a long way behind
America. A survey of candidates commissioned by the IDeA last year found that nine out of 10 candidates describe themselves as white British or Irish. Asian British candidates comprised 0.7 per cent, while no other ethnic group exceeded 0.2 per cent.
Three-quarters of candidates agreed that political parties should be responsible for recruiting candidates. Professor Michael Thrasher, Co-director of the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Elections Centre at the University of Plymouth, who carried out the research, said: This years survey again emphasises that we need to look closely at the process of candidate recruitment. But responsibility for any change largely lies with the local political parties and their methods for finding new recruits they need to look beyond their own networks and engage with the wider social community. The councillor census showed that people from BAME backgrounds were less likely than white people to have been asked to stand for election.
Is there any other information you would like to provide? (optional)
I stood an Independent Parliamentary Candidate in MKNE Constituency 05/05/05 because in my experience the successive governments have failed the BBAME electorate. My election strap line was: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi, which was used by David Cameron in his address to British Hindus in Shri Jalaram Mandir, Leicester and may even have influenced the Obama campaign.
I also stood as a European Parliamentary Candidate in South East on 04 June 2009 supported by the Jury Team.
Democracy works best when political institutions, parties, parliaments, and local government are close to voters. This requires that voters are able to make their needs understood; elected representatives explain what they are doing to meet those needs; and mechanisms are in place to make this communication possible.
Amongst the BBAME electorate the South Asians must begin to value public life as and equally rewarding as the business or personal progression. More and more South Asians ought to begin to live for others and stand as Councillors in Parish and local Councils and also for the Parliament as I did for all three.
Exemplariness is not the best thing but the only thing that people find persuasive enough to follow. For that reason any one of the BBAME community thus enthused to stand in any future election must only do so if his/her heart is burning with desire for public service, improve our lot and help settle the fluxed and tense diversity to be at ease within itself and not for plundering the public purse filling one’s pockets by manipulating the system like quite a few MPs and Ministers have continued to do since May 1997, I might add, with impunity. In comparison the Government’s stand trying to recover the obscene severance payouts, and that too, to incompetent and negligent CEOs of the Financial Institutions sounds hollow and hypocritical.
The BBAME businesses and professionals are aware that every decision that influences their lives and livelihood is political. We must ensure that this message, demonstrating the importance of being politically engaged, also reaches the grass-roots of the BBAME communities thus empowering each voting individual to ensure that the right to vote and stand for election is not wasted.
Whilst we hanker about equal playing fields we had better ensure that some of us are primed and ready, with our feet firmly spiked against the starting boxes to explode at the first bang of the starter’s gun. Tunnel vision, positive mental attitude, stamina and competence are essential attributes as is the ability to be attuned to and serve the public and repeat the business.
But then my view may be deemed vyased.