The 35 year old Salford born councillor has evidently come through some challenging times in his life, there is no doubt that it has certainly affected the way he conducts himself in the town. His energetic commitment to change the quality of life in his ward is driven by a tenacious attitude to improving and building upon his foundation work.
David’s current profile as a town councillor is a far cry from the cold and isolated world of homelessness, violence and ignorance. His former days were spent in squats and sheltered accommodation in Salford and we learn that his cloudy past has certainly helped to forge David into the community man he is today.
As a result of parental disagreement, emotional conflict and pressure at home, a common factor in homelessness, David spent almost two years of his life homeless with only the occasional bed to sleep in.
“I would never listen to the advice of my father – he had clear visions for me and didn’t like my friends and I suppose took the view that I was better of out of the house – In defence of him, he didn’t know I was living like this for a long time, and did actually take me in again, but having gone through that I had become very independent and was very proud, so didn’t accept any help”
A disagreement with a drug dealer over a nephew’s behavior resulted in David being severely beaten causing him to suffer permanent sight problems and headaches to this day. One random attack in Ordsall left David with a broken jaw when a man hit him squarely in the face without any provocation.
Even with all of this difficult history, David still has the greatest respect for his father and has never shown any bitterness towards him. Although living in disused flats in Salford above drug dealers squats, interspersed with spells in sheltered accommodation near the precinct, his father believed that this period of his son’s life would make him a man, stand on his own two feet.
A sense of pride prevented David from ever disclosing his homeless status to his father. Although offers of accommodation came from friends and family, he wanted to prove that he could get through it by himself.
With support from staff at Walter Greenwood and the combined help at Orsdall Job Centre, David was finally able to start living normally again. Amongst other jobs he had, David also worked difficult hours at a nursing home to raise deposit monies for his own accommodation and began his proud walk out from the darkness.
In 2006 he married Emma and with their now three year old son Ben all moved to Knutsford in June 2008 to be closer to Emma’s family.
David was compelled to join Knutsford Town Council to give something back in the community and to the people who had been so kind to him. He has always seen himself as an activist, trying to make improvements to the area in which he lives by joining community groups and fundraising teams. Sadly doing all of this in Salford was not easy, approaching businesses and councils, they did not give up funds or time as readily as he expected.
Since becoming a Knutsford Councillor, David has found people and businesses more respectful of his work and his commitment, thus making it a easier to draw support local projects and causes with funds and better support. He was officially sworn in in March, after winning the election for his ward, and since then has continued to support Knutsford and Over Ward.
“People want to listen and involve you in their work, and as long as that very small amount of power is used for good, then I can use that to represent some of the fantastic community workers in Longridge / Shaw Heath and further afield and finally give them a voice so it is not like banging your head against a brick wall trying to get funding or listened to about an idea.”
David is no fool, his background enables him to keep his wits about him, to challenge problems where they lie and to overcome difficulties in the system. He does not stand alone in the community, there are many behind his work and who support him in his drive to enrich the area.