IN the run up to the General Election on May 6, the Harrow Times is featuring daily profiles on the candidates vying for your votes in Brent and Harrow.

Today features Bob Blackman, Conservative candidate for Harrow East.

For comprehensive election coverage, click here.

Bob Blackman has decided to resign as a councillor in Brent after 24 years in his bid to become the MP for Harrow East.

The sales manager for BT has lived in Wembley for most of his life, and was first elected as the representative for Preston ward in 1986, rising to be the leader of the Conservative group and deputy leader of the council.

He has a wealth of political experience behind him, including a four-year stint as member for Brent and Harrow on the London Assembly, serving on the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, and leader of Brent Council between 1991 and 1996.

It was during his time as council leader that he says he helped bring about a “dramatic reduction in local taxes” and “rescued Brent from the Looney left”.

Bob has run for Parliament three times in the past, and although unsuccessful, he points to a 7.1 per cent swing to the Tories in Brent North in 2005 and the best result for the Tories in Befordshire and Hertfordshire in 1997 when he fought for the Bedford and Kempston seat.

About himself, Bob says he is an avid Tottenham Hotspur fan, and counts rock music, bridge and chess, and reading fiction among his interests.

His top priorities are:

- Opposing over-development

Bob is vigorously opposing the high-density multi-storey developments being foisted upon Harrow as a result of Labour Government diktat. 

- Fair deal for Londoners

Bob is well known for his campaign to ensure that Harrow residents do not shoulder an unfair burden on the funding of the London Olympics in 2012.

Bob is working with the Conservative Council in Harrow to achieve good value for money for local taxes.

- Extra police

Bob has been campaigning in favour of more police on the streets as experienced police are transferred to central London. Bob fought locally to ensure that the new Safer Neighbourhood police teams are brought up to strength quickly.

- Keeping ticket offices open

Bob was instrumental in ensuring that Station ticket offices were kept open after Mayor Livingstone had threatened to close them. As a result the Canons Park ticket office has been saved.

Now Bob is pressing Mayor Boris Johnson to provide more car parking and a lift at Stanmore Station.