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 Silverhill in their own words. Candidates appear in the order they appear on the polling card.
Dave Carey-Stuart (Green)
I have lived in St Leonards for 22 years, working as a self-employed roofing contractor. I am a volunteer for the Snowflake nightshelter. I support the Green Party’s opposition to the Hastings harbour plans which would be disastrous to the rich heritage of Old Town Hastings. Instead, we need affordable, community housing, on brownfield sites such as the Broomgrove power station site in Ore. I support the implementation of a 20 mph speed limit in residential areas, which has improved community life in towns both in the UK, such as Lewes, and many towns in Germany and the Netherlands.
Claire Hamill (Con)
Claire Hamill was born near Middlesbrough, Teesside, in 1954. She is the eldest of seven children. She grew up in a fishing village near Whitby called Staithes. She signed a recording contract with Island Records in the early 1970’s and made two albums, promoting them throughout Europe and North America. She moved to East Sussex in 1985 to bring up her family in the countryside and settled first in Crowhurst, before moving to St Leonards in 1995 where she continues to live and write songs, one of which was recorded by Eva Cassidy.
James Hollis (Con)
James went to school in Sussex and attended university in the North East of England and in Vienna, Austria. He has have had voluntary experience of working in the charitable sector in both the UK and abroad – experience, which includes disaster-relief fundraising in the wake of the hurricane Irma disaster that devastated the Caribbean last September. Alongside charities he is passionate about international relations with a focus on European affairs and education with a focus on children and young people with learning difficulties. He lives in St Leonards and works in the tourism and hospitality sector in Hastings.
Margi O’Callaghan (Lab)
I feel proud to have been selected as a Labour candidate for Silverhill Ward. Many will know me from the local primary school where my children have attended, which I become a volunteer and took an active part in the PTA. We will continue to promote Silverhill in council meetings and remain the voice of the residents. The Ward will benefit from the strong partnership that myself and Nigel bring. It will certainly be an advantage to bring to the ward both a male and female councillor to ensure equality in decision making and supporting the community.
Chris Saunders (Green)
I became active in The Green Party shortly after I retired from 10 years working on a Brighton drugs and alcohol programme. For me the Green Party is the only political party that understands the real issues of our time – social inclusion, social justice, and the protection of our environment. Hastings is a wonderful town, but I am aware there is much that needs to be done to ensure that we do not lose our amazing heritage on the back of bad planning decisions, such as those that might arise from the Harbour Development Proposal.
Nigel Colin Sinden (Lab)
I’m proud to have been asked to stand as your Ward councillor to Silverhill for a third time. I grew up in Eversley Crescent as a part of a well-known family. The fact that I have remained your councillor for the last six years lets me know that I have been of use and have helped when needed. I have been able to promote Silverhill as the Town’s Deputy Mayor which gave me great pleasure and I often think it is linked to the friendly start I gained in the Ward. I’m part of many council committees, local charities, resident’s associations and contact groups.
Jon Smalldon (Lib Dem)
With a Labour council and a Tory MP, Hastings has the worst of all worlds. We need proper investment in our transport infrastructure, public and active transport and parking so that nobody needs to queue forever just to turn onto the Ridge or park on the seafront. I want to see a proper focus on community work to make our streets safer and our spaces cleaner. Hastings has a vibrant cultural life and we should do more to support and nurture that. Whatever the outcome of Brexit, we have to work together to make Hastings the best place it can.
Susan Stoodley (Lib Dem)
Susan was born and brought up in Kent and settled in St Leonards in 2015 where she now runs a small business. Susan believes that social and affordable housing should be high on the Council agenda and with increasing pressure on Council finances it is essential to manage spending efficiently. Areas like West St Leonards should be prioritised for funding over the already thriving community of Hastings Old Town and green spaces should not be sold for development. Homelessness is an increasing issue and the council should be raising awareness of the problem and involving the local community through volunteering