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 St Helens ward in their own words. Candidates appear in the order they appear on the polling card.
Andy Batsford (Lab)
Being a local councillor is not about wearing silly costumes and eating buffets, it is about standing shoulder to shoulder and campaigning with residents about the issues that really affect their day to day lives, and delivering an excellent service. I am a father of three boys who have all grown up in Hastings so I am passionate about making this town a great place to live, determined to improve access to quality education, jobs and homes. And when residents retire they are supported, respected and are able to access the services they need and deserve.
Antonia Berelson (Lab)
If elected as your Councillor I plan to use my energy to further support the community of Hastings and in particular the residents of St Helens. All of my children are of school age and I am acutely aware of the issues affecting education in area, with almost all of the available state education below the national average and starved of appropriate funding. The skills I use on a day-to-day basis as a nurse are ones I think can be of great use as your councillor - listening, caring but also knowing what a hard days work is and the pressures of juggling the life of a young family and work can bring.
Lucy Mary Brennan (Green)
I am an artist and art educator and have lived in Hastings since 2010. I have two children and was secretary of Blacklands Parent Teacher Association before it became an ARK Academy. I joined the Green party to support their campaign locally for affordable housing, accountability in planning and development and mostly for their focus on environmental issues. The Green party are committed to effecting positive change, where possible, at local level. In a town like Hastings, with such a strong community spirit, this is a very powerful strategy.
Martin Clarke (Con)
Martin is proud to have been the Councillor for St Helens ward since 2015 and has been working hard with residents since then. He is pleased to make real progress on many issues that local residents have been concerned about and has represented the ward in the Hastings Borough Council Chamber. Because of his time in both business and local politics, Martin has the skills and experience that enable him to fight for a better deal for residents. He attends Kings Church and plays tenor saxophone in the band, and he also enjoy doing gigs in town from time to time.
Emlyn Jones (Lib Dem)
I am a retired local GP and have lived and worked within the Hastings Borough for 39 years. I have been attracted towards a socially responsible politics since a teenager and have voted for the Liberal Party followed by the Liberal Democrat Party since voting age. I joined the Lib Dems after the disastrous 2015 general election when I felt that there was quite an unfairly negative campaign against the party. I follow party policy in believing that Brexit is going to adversely affect the country, and by extension local funding. As a former GP I have an insider’s perspective on the local NHS.
Bob Lloyd (Lib Dem)
I have lived in St Helens Ward for 12 years, my daughters attended both Blacklands and Helenswood Schools, where my wife taught, and I served as a governor for 8 years.
My local priorities are the promotion of social housing, and safe cycling provision. Other important local issues are, the redevelopment of Pilot Field, planning issues in general, the traffic management on The Ridge, speeding on a number of local roads. I have been a Lib Dem supporter since its formation. I campaigned in the referendum to remain in Europe, and believe our interests are best served within the EU.
Matt Lynch (Con)
Before relocating to Hastings, Matt spent a number of years on Northampton Borough Council - which included a long tenure on the council’s planning committee - and was appointed mayor of Kettering in 2005. Today, he works as a shift engineer for Stagecoach in Silverhill. Matt is a keen motorcyclist and enjoys walking his two German Shepherds - Katie and Tye. If elected, Matt will focus his efforts and energy on sorting out Hastings Borough Council’s broken planning department. He will also petition our highways department to do something about the dreadful state of our roads and pavements.
Carol Susan Prior (Green)
I moved to Hastings in 2001 and set up community choir Shore Sounds. Since then I have taught singing in schools, and performed at the Stables and live music venues. As a working class feminist and lesbian I have been part of movements for social change throughout my life, and relish the opportunity to tackle the real issues of our time: social inclusion, social justice and the protection of our environment. I’m a keen walker and cyclist and took part in the campaign to improve the local 28 bus. I am strongly opposed to the Hastings Harbour plans.