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 West St Leonards in their own words. Candidates appear in the order they appear on the polling card.
West St Leonards
Karl Beaney (Con)
I was born in St Leonards and have lived in the area all my life. I’ve been self-employed since 2004, running my own graphic design business in Hastings. If elected you’ll get someone who is hard working, dedicated and committed to campaigning all year round on local issues and representing all residents and businesses in West St Leonards. We’ve had a Labour controlled council since 2010 and I believe it’s time for a Conservative council that is innovative, forward thinking and has the vision to improve our town for the better.
Matthew Beaver (Con)
Matthew has lived in West St Leonards for the last 30 years and has had the privilege of being the Ward Councillor for 14 years. He knows West St Leonards has an amazing community spirit and would love to see it grow to its full potential to rival the town centre and the old town as a destination that people want to go to. We have wonderful open spaces around the area as well as the beach and these need to be cherished for future generations.
Peter Clarke (Lib Dem)
Peter is an Officer in the London Fire Brigade. He is part of the School Education Team Crossfire, which aims to reduce hoax fire calls, reduce deliberate fires and anti-social behaviour through education. He moved to West St Leonards with his wife, family and two dogs. Peter would like to see more transparency within the council, especially when it comes to planning permission and housing, and in how to raise concerns and objections. He is Chair of the Bulverhythe Protectors who want to see the Combe Valley Countryside Park used for public and educational recreation, not to be built on.
Becca Horn (Green)
I am fairly new to Hastings and to the Green Party, and I settled upon both for the same reason: community. To me, community means a safe and healthy space, a sharing of resources, a place where each person is valued as an individual and as part of the whole. I love the sense of community in Hastings and, as a passionate environmentalist, am ready to stand up and protect it. The Green Party plan to push for Hastings to achieve UNESCO World Heritage status is a bold move. It will ensure any future development proposals are sympathetic, sustainable and ethical.
Matthew McDonnell (Green)
I was born and grew up in Hastings and want to make it a better place to live for everyone. We need improvements in many areas including transport, town planning and food systems. The Green Party has the policies to tackle these pressing issues. I never previously considered being a Councillor, but seeing the serious problems that we all face – the rising cost of living, unwanted developments on our doorsteps and a lack of serious alternatives to driving a car – I’d like you to give me and the Green Party the opportunity to tackle these problems for us all.
Eve Montgomery (Lib Dem)
Eve has lived in West St Leonards since 2012, returning to her family roots on the East Sussex coast. She enjoys gardening, walking on the beach and chatting to people about local history and issues. Eve is an active member of a number of groups in West St Leonards and is a life member of the Hastings and St Leonards Museum Association. She is also treasurer of the Hastings & St Leonards Society. Eve continues to campaign for improvements in West St Leonards and is committed to safeguarding our historic buildings and protecting green spaces from inappropriate development
Julia Price (Lab)
My background is teaching; art and ceramics in secondary mainstream and special needs schools. West St Leonards is a vibrant community; full of regeneration and community spirit. There is so much to be proud of and to celebrate. I have enjoyed working with the Campaign to Save St Leonards Crown Post Office. I would bring the same energy and commitment to working for the constituents of West St Leonards. Please vote for Anne and myself. Allow us to work with you to build on all that is great about this ward.
Anne Rouse (Lab)
Like Julia, I’m proud to be selected to stand as your councillor. I ran a small mental health charity until coming to Hastings and St Leonards sixteen years ago I’m keen on promoting local democracy, green energy, and bringing decent jobs to our town. As your Hastings Borough Councillors, Julia and I will use the Council’s influence to demand better GP services and push for the re-opening of the Essenden Road Surgery. We will work alongside you to create a shared community vision, so that the green spaces, seaside and heritage of West St Leonards can be enjoyed for generations to come.