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 Maze Hill in their own words. Candidates appear in the order they appear on the polling card.
Paul Hunt (Lib Dem)
Paul Hunt is a recently retired school chaplain who has also served as Priest to HM the Queen. He has known the town since childhood and is aware of the need to preserve our local history as well as to plan sensitively for the future. “St. Leonards has a distinct identity and history from Hastings and this must be recognised more by the Council, especially in planning. Real partnership with civic and residents’ groups is the key.” Paul Hunt has lived in West Hill Road for more than 10 years and is a Freeman of the City of London.
Brekke Larsen (Lab)
I’ve lived on the West Hill in Hastings for 12 years. My former Geography students would be amused to hear me still talk with concern about housing, transport and the environment. These days I factor in an older person’s perspective rather than that of a working mother: we need more homes nationally, for young people and older people downsizing. How accessible are services and events for those who do not drive? Are there areas too dark to feel safe? The balancing act in the decisions we reach regarding the costs and the environmental impact for the local area interests me hugely.
Rob Lee (Con)
Rob was elected to the Council in 2014 and is the Leader of The Conservative Group on the Council. From cleaner streets to better job opportunities and from having public toilets in the town centre to building affordable homes, he believes that Hastings and St Leonards has more potential to be unlocked and only a Conservative-led Council can do that. Away from politics Rob enjoys music, cooking and gardening.
Chris Lewcock (Lib Dem)
Chris is a retired university lecturer, research manager and town planner. He is a former Kent County Councillor. He wishes to see improvements in the quality and amount of housing to meet local needs; greater attention to detail and quality in Council handling of major projects; and more responsiveness to local concerns in Planning. Chris wants greater emphasis placed on the protection and better use of Hastings and St Leonards’ great historic and architectural assets, to support local employment and prosperity. He supports the campaign for a Glyne Gap station.
I’ve lived in Hastings for more than seven years and work in the arts and culture industry. I’m standing in Maze Hill for the only party that offers a genuine alternative for those who are concerned about social justice and policies that address environmental issues with the urgency they deserve. After all, we in Hastings are on the front line of climate change. Voting for the Green Party will protect what we all love about Hastings and vastly improve the things we don’t.
Andy Patmore (Con)
Andy has lived in Maze Hill Ward for 7 years. he loves the area he lives in and wanted to give back to the community that had welcomed him so much. He got involved with starting a local community association to improve my area and was then encouraged to take it one step further and stand to be a councillor. Elected in 2016, he is proud to say that he represents the people in the ward that he lives in. He is also a trustee for Hastings and Rother Voluntary Association for the Blind and Magdalen and Lasher Charity.
Chris Saunders (Green)
Over the last decade I have seen The Green Party move from a single issue party to one that presents radical and progressive opinion on all aspects of political policy. It is a democratic party in the true sense of the phrase, and it is one that I feel proud to represent in this election. We are campaigning on affordable housing, a 20 mph speed limit for residential streets, and opposing the proposed Harbour Development with the alternative proposition that Hastings and St Leonards should apply for UNESCO World Heritage status.
Mike Southon (Lab)
I am a 60-year-old retired tax consultant who was raised in St Leonards. I have been a trade unionist all my working life, and am an active member of the GMB union. I have been an active Labour Party member for over 35 years. Maze Hill needs Councillors that: are prepared to listen to the concerns of the electorate and to fully represent them in the Council Chamber; are a visible presence in the ward; are easily contactable and fully accountable to the local electorate; and report back and keep in contact throughout the year, not just at election time.