Patcham by-election: What the candidates will bring to the role if they are elected
Five candidates are standing in a by-election in Patcham ward for a seat on Brighton and Hove City Council on Thursday, May 6.
The seat became vacant when Conservative councillor Lee Wares resigned to move closer to his elderly parents.
The five candidates are Bruno De Oliveira (Labour), Charles Goodhand (UK Independence Party), Madelaine Hunter-Taylor (Liberal Democrat), Anne Meadows (Conservative) and Eliza Wyatt (Green). Each candidate was sent questions which were submitted by community groups and voters. Here we focus on two questions: why do you want to be a councillor in the Patcham ward and what will you bring to the role.
Lib Dem candidate Madelaine Hunter-Taylor said: "Standing as a candidate in Patcham is an exciting opportunity to work closely with the community and advocate for issues that are important to residents.
"I am a proud Brightonian, a parent to three teenagers who attend the local high school and run a community interest company highlighting the impact of domestic abuse.
"Over the past few years, I’ve watched funding cuts deeply impact our communities, and that is not acceptable alongside the challenges of the past year.
"I believe it’s important to work together to create a community that feels safe and supported alongside doing my best to shape a city that residents are proud to call their home.
"I will bring a fresh perspective to ongoing issues and a motivation to overcome any barriers we face.
"I have a determination to challenge long-standing issues that others are failing to resolve.
"In my professional (and sometimes my personal) life, I’m faced with constant problem-solving, engage with lots of different people and work towards solutions to very complex issues.
I’m not afraid of big challenges.
"I want to bring an approachable, relatable face to local politics and ensure the local council and democracy is understood and accessible to all residents.
"The Liberal Democrats are dedicated to supporting Patcham over the coming years and are looking forward to getting to know its residents."
Labour candidate Bruno De Oliveira said: "My first ever volunteering opportunity was at All Saints Church in Patcham – working with young people from local schools.
"When volunteering with St John Ambulance, in Hollingbury, one aspect that concerned me was the lack of funding and other support for community organisations such as the Old Boat Corner Community Centre.
"I want to make a difference and be involved in shaping the future of Hollingbury and Patcham.
"For too long, the ward has been seen as one of the poorer relatives of the city, and it needs the voice of a strong, local community-minded councillor who will get things done.
"I’m a community psychologist who has contributed to the United Nations and the British Medical Journal.
"I’ve successfully brought local communities’ wellbeing to the forefront of regional and national debate and I am a community mental health practitioner and Protect the NHS campaigner."
Conservative candidate Anne Meadows said: "I have lived in Patcham for over 20 years, work for the NHS and my children went to the local schools.
"I live near Horsdean Recreation Ground, land which the Greens and Labour wish to develop but where I support the 1,600 residents who wish to save this land from development.
"I want to ensure residents in Patcham and Hollingbury have a voice in the city which reflects their needs, a voice which is different from those in the centre of the city – a nuance not understood by the current administration.
"I have extensive experience, having been a councillor previously, so I am familiar with the challenges both residents and councillors face.
"I was on the Housing Committee, so I know the work that needs to be done to raise the quality of our own stock, build new homes where appropriate and also tackle homelessness in the city.
"The Greens and Labour recently voted for the Homeless Bill of Rights, which encourages tents to be set up on the streets and in open spaces.
"This puts the council at odds with the police, whom residents would expect to uphold the law."
Green candidate Eliza Wyatt said: "I was born and raised in Patcham and have witnessed the growth of the surrounding area.
"I care deeply about protecting nature and the environment for our children – I have been Green for as long as I can remember – and an issue close to my heart, saving the NHS.
"I am in favour of providing good housing for diverse income groups but I’m also keen on protecting Patcham from simply becoming a rat run for the town of Brighton and preserving existing parks and gardens.
"I’ve got deep local roots – as a child I went to school in Patcham.
"I’ve previously stood up for the preservation of Patcham old village against bullying contractors.
"I’m proud to be part of a successful Green Party team that’s making our city a better place to be.
"I want to help them help Brighton citizens continue to improve the quality of their life in Brighton."
Postal voting has now closed but residents in the Patcham ward with a polling card can vote at the polling station listed on Thursday between 7am and 10pm. The votes will be counted on Friday, May 7.
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