Candidate Biographies May 2021
HBC & ESCC Elections, 6 May 2021: Liberal Democrat candidates
HBC Ward Candidate ESCC Division
Ashdown: Martin Griffiths [Ashdown & Conquest]
Martin moved to St Leonards from a village in Kent 5 years ago and lives in Ashdown Ward. Having worked in legal practices for over 40 year he brings experience of governance and decision-making, and wants our councils to make better decisions, and put an end to their current lack of openness and meaningful consultation with residents. His priorities are to see that our local roads and public transport infrastructure are improved; to increase the availability of good quality social housing, and to ensure that good Planning decisions are made, whilst protecting our valuable green spaces.
Baird: Robert Wakeford [Baird & Ore]
Robert has lived in the Borough for a number of years but his working life has been in London, so he has been trying to adapt to lockdown just as everyone else has had to do! He is married with two young children. He wishes to see better technology infrastructure for the Borough; greater public participation in Council decision-making; and higher, greener standards in Planning.
Braybrooke: Lee Grant
Lee began his career as a mental health professional and worked as a cognitive behavioural therapist and a service manager for the NHS in primary and secondary care. He founded and is now clinical director for Efficacy providing independent cognitive behavioural therapy to individuals and groups. Lee is a lecturer practitioner at Kings College London and provides post-graduate training to mental health professionals. Lee wants to bring a focus on wellbeing and joined-up policy making to our Council.
Castle: Katy Hunter-Burbridge [Braybrooke & Castle]
'I am a retired voluntary sector worker and part-time taxi driver. I want all non-Conservatives to work more closely together on local social justice and environmental issues. Priorities include enabling a coherent, affordable and accessible public transport network. Engagement: to include supporting the roll-out of a high-speed internet network. Housing: to take a tougher line with developers on affordable housing provision. Lib Dems want to halve the number of Councillors and reduce the wasteful use of taxpayers' money on costly consultants. These are my priorities: to ensure our local taxes are more beneficial to the governed, rather than the governing.'
CSL: Stephen Milton [CSL & Gensing]
Stephen has two daughters and has lived in St Leonards for 30 years. He is managing director of a local company which implements business IT projects and provides services for the construction industry. Stephen is a Humanist and enjoys walking, playing table tennis and keeping track of the latest scientific developments. He wants to see the Council supporting the town's economic base - particularly small and start-up businesses - as a means of transforming it into one of the top places to live and work on the South East coast of England.
Conquest: Veronica Chessell
'As a director of a small business in Hastings with my husband, who grew up here, I am interested to improve transport links to and within the town; to promote cultural events, venues and the seaside location - these are huge assets to the local economy, with potential to increase employment opportunities. As a mum with a young family, I am grateful for our incredible green spaces and am committed to protecting and extending them, as well as wildlife resources. Thinking of the world future generations will inherit is important to me, and I support schemes that will protect our environment.'
Gensing: Susan Stoodley
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's agenda, and with increasing pressure on Council finances, it is essential to manage spending efficiently. Neglected areas of the Borough should be prioritised for funding and development, and green spaces should be safeguarded. As the Borough copes with the return to a new normal after the pandemic, it is even more important the Council focuses on targeting funding for projects that will benefit the whole community.
Hollington: Anne Gallop
Anne is retired and has been a Liberal Democrat councillor in Sutton and a GLA candidate in the past. She is passionate about the Borough's heritage and wants more to be done to protect and promote it. Anne knows that Liberal Democrats on a Council contribute to transparency and cross-party co-operation, and she wants local residents to be more involved in the Council's decision-making - particularly when it comes to hard-to-reach groups.
Maze Hill: Jonathon Stoodley
Jonathon qualified as a barrister, working for the UK government before becoming an official of the European Commission in Brussels where he lived for 30 years. Upon returning to the UK in 2017 he moved to St Leonards and became politically active. Having worked to support individuals and businesses in the EU, Jonathon would like to see a council more responsive to local residents' interests, offering better value for money, and more supportive of those in need. He is Deputy Chair of the local Lib Dems and Treasurer of the local branch of the European Movement.
Old Hastings: Gene Saunders [Old Hastings & Tressell]
'I am standing for election after 10 years running the Land of Green Ginger, on the High Street! I also spent 14 years working in senior positions within Local Government, so I know how to get things done. After 15 years of Labour and Conservative Councils, parts of our Borough are still among the most deprived in the UK. The Liberal Democrats have the policies and determination to turn this around - in partnership with residents. I will be standing for County too because I have concerns about local education facilities and resources, and how they are determining life chances.'
Ore: Jon Smalldon
Jon has lived in the Borough since 2014. He is married with two children and works for a charity in London. He wants to see proper, greener investment in our transport infrastructure, and good traffic management so that nobody needs to queue forever just to turn onto the Ridge, or to access the seafront. He wants to see more community development work to make our streets safer and our open spaces cleaner; and for residents generally to feel listened to by the Council. Hastings has a vibrant cultural life and we should do more to support and nurture that.
St Helens: Bob Lloyd [St Helens & Silverhill]
Bob has lived in St Helens Ward for nearly 15 years and is a self-employed property manager. His daughters attended both Blacklands and Helenswood Schools, where his wife taught, and he served as a governor for eight years. Bob's priorities are the building of more social housing, as well as more and safer cycling provision. Other important local issues are: the redevelopment of Pilot Field, better Planning decisions, making Alexandra Park safe, and tackling speeding on a number of local roads. He is the local co-ordinator for the European Movement.
Silverhill: Terry Keen
Terry has lived in the borough for 33 years and has been actively involved in local cultural events for the last couple of decades, having been a Morris Dancer and local musician throughout that time. A former civil servant, he currently works in the retail industry. If elected, he would work hard to represent the people of Silverhill and do his best to ensure that the community flourishes as we emerge from the pandemic, and will hold the Council to account on issues such as Planning, protecting and utilising green spaces, and ensuring that Council Tax is spent wisely.
Tressell: Jim Deasley
'The world's top priority is to combat climate change. As an architect, low energy housing has been my specialism, both new and existing homes, adaptable for people of all ages and abilities. If elected, I will use my skills to work with other specialist groups to improve local understanding of social and affordable low energy housing. I also want to ensure that social and private-rented housing standards are adequate. I am a member of Friends of the Earth and am a passionate pro-European. I have children and grandchildren and would value the opportunity to make this contribution to my community.'
West St Leonards: Stewart Rayment [Maze Hill & WSL]
Stewart sees Labour's hostility to residents in planning matters as highly suspicious and says that West St. Leonards has consistently been a victim of this. A Liberal Democrat Council would run things differently: Stewart believes the planning system should be a natural extension of the democratic process. As the former chair of a local government Education Committee, Stewart says Conservative Ministers have handled schools & colleges badly in the pandemic. There will almost certainly be a knock-on effect mental health-wise which East Sussex's already-stretched Social Services will be left to deal with. Conservative councillors need to be replaced.
Wishing Tree: Emlyn Jones [Hollington & WT]
'I am a retired GP who has lived and worked within the Wishing Tree, Hollington and Silverhill area for 39 years. I have always been attracted towards socially responsible politics. My campaign priorities include tackling deprivation and the lack of good quality social housing; as well as dealing with pollution, particularly along main roads where there are also schools. Within the Council I want to see more transparency and participatory decision-making. Using my experience, I want to help statutory agencies work more closely together for our most disadvantaged citizens. My leisure interests include archery, walking, music and reading.'