With the Hastings Borough Council elections set to take place on Thursday (May 3) we have invited each of the candidates to share a little bit of information about themselves.
Here are the candidates for Castle ward in their own words. Candidates appear in the order they appear on the polling card.
Graeme Hampton (Green)
I have lived in Hastings for two years and joined the Green Party four years ago. If elected to represent Castle ward I would campaign for better public transport and cheaper bus fares, including supporting the campaign to save the 28 bus service; cleaner streets; a 20mph speed limit for residential streets in Hastings; water fountains along the sea front and water refills in restaurants and cafes to reduce plastic bottles; more social housing and affordable homes in Hastings. I oppose the plans for a proposed marina development and 1,300 luxury flats in Rock-a-Nore.
Leah Levane (Lab)
I am enjoying getting to know the ward better and I promise to bring drive and commitment to support local residents and businesses. My background is in community work and Town Centre Management; I am looking forward to using those skills here, but firstly to listening to your concerns and ideas.
I am excited by the Council’s using imaginative ways to serve the community despite the severity of the cuts in funding. There is so much to be proud of about the Ward and Hastings but know there are many who need more support and we all need good public services.
Nick Perry (Lib Dem)
Nick has lived in Castle Ward for more than 10 years and works in mental health care (often based at Cavendish House on the seafront). He has a strong record of action in, and caring for, Castle Ward. He will continue to campaign for a greener, better-designed and better-connected Town Centre; will lobby for more and better-quality social housing provision; will work to deliver the Greenway linear park; and will provide effective scrutiny of the Labour Council
Charlotte Lowenna Potter (Green)
I have lived in Castle Ward for the last five years. I work for the NHS and am a member of the Collier Road Allotments. I was involved in local campaigning to oppose the Link Road and the Queensway Gateway Road, which ended up vastly over bduget. In Castle Ward we are very aware of the difficulties people face with homelessness and poor quality housing. We want Hastings Council to take a tougher approach when developers back out of their responsibility to include affordable housing in their plans, as happened recently at Station Plaza.
Stewart Gregory Rayment (Lib Dem)
Stewart has worked in Castle ward for many years and crosses the ward, almost daily, keeping his eyes open for issues that affect its well-being. The regeneration of Queen’s Road and the Borough’s inadequate waste disposal policies (he was formerly a councillor on the London Waste Regulation Authority) concern him. Labour’s hostility to the general public in planning matters is highly suspicious and is something a Liberal Democrat council would change. Stewart runs a trademark & patent consultancy, particularly helping small businesses in Hastings in what are now, uncertain times as Brexit questions the scope of these rights
Judy Rogers (Lab)
I have been your councillor for the past 6 years and remain just as passionate about you its residents. During the six years I have attended residents’ meetings, served on a number of council committees and, for the past two years, have been honoured to be the Mayor of Hastings. Castle Ward is a diverse, challenging and busy ward but standing on the West Hill with its views will never lose its beauty or motivation for me. I hope you will support me to be a part of your Castle Ward team.
John Sydes (Con)
John has lived in Hastings for twenty years, both his children were born here. He loves Hastings, its people, culture, energy and openness. He believes the town could have a fantastic and positive future. He left School at 16 without any qualifications and worked as a Sheet Metal worker and Coal miner. He later studied Politics at Sussex University, this led to a career in advice-giving, specialising in Housing and Welfare Rights.
Kevin Tomlin (Con)
Kevin is married with children and grandchildren and lives in Castle ward his interests are local history, sport, real ale and is a dedicated football supporter. He would like to see the Council clean up the litter and graffiti along the seafront, keep down parking charges to encourage the night time economy and local businesses and enforcement of Anti-Social behaviour regulations to clamp down on problem drinking in public places.
Steven Anthony Ward (The For Britain Movement)
During the past 30 years Hastings has lost its Pier, and Central Cricket ground, and as well witnessed the wanton destruction of Ecclesbourne Glen, and similar damage in other prize natural environments. It is my intention to oppose/challenge any further degradation of Borough assets, as working for to make best use of what survives. Also I am keen to see tenanted housing in the Castle Ward significantly improved. Too many people are held back by poor accommodation upon which landlords are making serious profits, and it is high time their gains were reflected by appropriate reinvestment into their properties
Graeme James White (Democrats and Veterans Party)
I’ve been passionate about politics for many years, but recently I’ve felt extremely disappointed with both of the major political parties, and mainstream politics in general, and I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. The reason I decided to stand for the Democrats and Veterans party, is because they strongly believe in serving the will of the people, which politicians seem to have forgotten. I care deeply about preserving the beauty and character of Hastings, and doing what is best for the people of our wonderful, unique town.