Graham Cox: I have only ever wanted to serve my local community

Graham Cox, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Hove, is one of the authors
Graham Cox, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Hove, is one of the authors

I was immensely proud to be selected by local Conservatives to be their candidate.

I was immensely proud to be selected by local Conservatives to be their candidate for the Hove seat at the general election. This was not an easy decision for members as they had three other excellent candidates to choose from. In particular, my colleague Kristy Adams presented a very impressive case. I hope we will see much more of Kristy in the near future.

Some readers of Brighton and Hove Independent may recall my time as the superintendent in charge of Hove, when we pioneered a more visible form of street policing in which patrolling officers dealt with matters that were previously written off as just minor misdemeanours - such as littering, street-drinking, cycling on the pavement, disorderly behaviour. Often, the intervention would simply be an officer having a word with the transgressor and asking them to stop. This sent out the message that the Police cared.

I have only ever wanted to serve my local community. It was only my friend Mike Weatherley’s decision to stand down that unexpectedly gave me the opportunity to put myself forward to represent my home town.

There are many reasons to be optimistic. The economy is recovering from the mess Labour left us with. Unemployment is down 37% since the last election in Hove and Portslade. The Conservative message of aspiration, a first step on the ladder, is helping people out of the poverty that a lifetime on benefits brings.

I will drive forward Mike Weatherley’s vision for world- class swimming and sports facilities at the King Alfred. We must find a permanent home in Hove for the King’s Free School. All Hove parks should be beautiful again. I will campaign for the moving of NHS services to Hove. We should have a 24/7 drop-in GP service at our Hove Polyclinic.

Hove and Portslade are not just suburbs of Brighton. They are thriving seaside towns with a rich heritage and exciting future.

Floreat Hova: May Hove and Portslade flourish!

Graham Cox, a Conservative city councillor representing Westbourne ward, was selected on Wednesday as the party’s parliamentary candidate for Hove, following the decision by Mike Weatherley, the sitting MP, to stand down at next year’s general election.