These are the Conservative Party candidates standing in the Rother District Council elections.
Voting takes place throughout the day on Thursday, May 2, with the election count on Friday, May 3, and results due in the afternoon.
The current makeup of the council is: 29 Conservative, four association of Independents, three Liberal Democrats and one independent member, with one vacancy.
All 38 seats from the 21 wards on the council will be contested.
The Conservative Party is fielding 38 candidates across the 21 wards.
Abul Azad (Bexhill Central) Azad moved to Bexhill 26 years ago with his wife and family and is well known in the town as the proprietor of the highly reputable Restaurant, The Shiplu, in London Road. His election to Rother District Council in 2015 gave him the chance to give something back to the area that provided him with so much opportunity, and he has, as mayor of Bexhill over the last six months, enjoyed meeting the many residents, volunteer groups and businesses that thrive in the town.
Barbara Clark (Bexhill Pebsham and St Marks)
Barbara is married with one daughter and one grand-daughter and has lived locally for over 20 years; she enjoys working in the area where she lives and would welcome the opportunity to represent Bexhill Pebsham and St Michaels on Rother District Council. She is keen to work with local councillor Simon Elford in repairing damaged pavements ensuring they are safe for residents. She is keen to keep Pebsham and St. Michaels the great place it is whilst improving the area for future generations.
Betty Waterhouse (Bexhill Pebsham and St Marks)
Betty Waterhouse has been a prominent member of the local community in Bexhill for many decades. She is a keen supporter of many community groups and has been a keen supporter of Barbara. They are eager to get going and deliver for Pebsham and St. Michaels. Likewise, the provision of more litter bins and replacement bins might encourage people to use them instead of disposing of their litter on the roads and pathways. With the advent of so much plastic in our packaging it comes down to all of us to be more careful in the disposal of litter in our area.
Brian Kentfield (Bexhill Kewhurst) Brian came to live in Bexhill with his wife 50 years ago after which their son and daughter were born here and education in the local schools. With his wife, they set up their business in Sea Road in 1972, trading there for 35 years before retiring. He was first elected onto the Rother District Council in 1983 and served for 12 years until 1995, then re-elected in 1997 until now. Having served on most of the committees, his main interest has been planning. He has supported and been involved with a number of community organisations within the town and will continue to do so for the benefit and wellbeing of all Bexhill residents.
Carl Maynard (Sedlescombe and Westfield) Carl has been the Leader of Rother District Council since 2007. He is proud to have served local residents as a Rother district councillor since 1999. Carl regularly attends Sedlescombe, Westfield and Three Oaks parish councils and takes a particular interest in planning matters. He is passionate about the local environment and is keen to ensure that the right planning decisions are taken in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Carl has strong roots in Westfield having attended Westfield Primary in 1976 and continues to reside in the community of his childhood with his wife Kay and their two young children.
Chris Saint (Southern Rother) A local boy, Chris attended City University Business School and held a number of senior management posts with nationwide companies during his career. As well as having been chairman of the local magistrates bench, Chris also served as chairman of the local Parish Council and was trustee of Five Villages House in Icklesham. If elected on May 2, Chris promises to continue to be active and persistent on behalf of all residents of Fairlight, Guestling, Icklesham, Pett and Pett Level. As set out on www.your-councillor.com/chris-saint, there will be no half measures for Chris when promoting the interests of Southern Rother residents.
Daniel Coughlan (South Battle and Telham) Daniel believes that it is time for change in Battle. He has already been active in working to represent the people of South Battle and Telham. Daniel believes that improving parking, reducing road congestion and providing an ATM for use at evenings and weekend is needed to support Battle High Street and ensure it’s future prosperity. Daniel has listened to local peoples views when it comes to local development and he is keen to ensure that residents views are at the forefront of decision makers minds when making decisions that affect our towns and villages. He will champion Battle wherever and whenever he can. Battle is an amazing town, together, with your support we can make it even better.
Eleanor Kirby-Green (Burwash and the Weald) Eleanor has built up strong relationships and enjoyed working with the various parish councils to deal with the many issues which effect local residents. She has been a strong voice on Rother District Council, at all times representing the views and needs of the rural community throughout the ward. If re-elected I will continue to work tirelessly to benefit the residents of the newly-created ward of Burwash and the Weald. When she last stood for election, Eleanor pledged to work with local groups to oppose inappropriate development in our villages and has successfully done this at both Watercress Fields and Shrub Wood.
Gary Curtis (Catsfield and Crowhurst) Gary lives with his wife in Catsfield. Gary is here to listen. Since he was first elected as district councillor for Catsfield, Crowhurst and Ashburnham four years ago, he has learned much about the priorities in our community and, indeed, about the way Rother District Council operates and the most effective way he can get things done. Now Gary is asking you for your vote again. 1066 Country has been Gary’s home and workplace his entire life and can think of no better way to repay the personal debt I owe to the place and its people than by making a contribution that will, hopefully, better lives and retain all that’s good in our rural environment.
Gennette Stevens (Rye and Winchelsea) Gennette has been a Rye Councillor on Rother District Council for the last four years and has lived in Rye for 10 years. She runs a local pub and loves living in Rye. Gennette believes in developing local tourism while conserving our beautiful town. For nine years Gennette lived in Winchelsea and ran the community shop for five years after which she went on to run the local pub, The New Inn, with her family. Her two sons went to St Thomas’ primary school. Gennette enjoys helping local people and believes that Rother District Council should improve the lives of local residents.
Gillian Johnson (Bexhill Old Town and Worsham) Gillian moved to Bexhill in 1985 and immediately loved it so much have now taken root here. She has four grown up children, two of whom have made their own homes here, and six grandchildren with four of them attending schools in the town. My children are all employed in very different professions and keep me tuned in to the changes that might be needed in our area for families to flourish. Helping with grandchildren allows me to be very aware of the needs and aspirations of the young. So, although I am now retired from a career in mainstream politics, I mix constantly with all generations and hear their thoughts, problems and ideas as to how Bexhill can improve and move forward.
Graham Browne (Hurst Green and Ticehurst) Graham, son of Bob Browne, is a farmer and contractor living in Hurst Green. he is chairman of Hurst Green Parish Council. Graham has bs been a great believer in Rother’s Community Grant fund for £30,000 for improvements to local playgrounds, and from the same fund the residents of Burghwood House were able to redesign and build a lovely garden with wheelchair access in time to celebrate the Royal Wedding. The village hall at Hurst Green is warmer now, with double-glazed windows thanks to Rother. If re-elected Graham will work hard to ensure further investment is brought to our local villages.
Ian Hollidge (Bexhill Sackville) Ian was born in Croydon, after grammar school went to Westminster Technical College gaining HNC in civil engineering. Worked for the GLC planning and transportation dept on many road schemes around London. Moved to South Africa in 1974 with Johannesburg City Council, then as a contracts manager for construction company working on Township developments. Moved to Sussex in 1985, lived in Bexhill for 32 years and Sackville ward for last 21 years. Ian’s wife Sue, our three children love Bexhill and all it has to offer. Many know me from my karate club, cycling or property maintenance business, however Ian is now retired and a full-time councillor in Bexhill Sackville ward.
Jacqueline Potts (Bexhill Old Town and Worsham)
Jacqueline has lived and worked in Bexhill since 1988, being employed in politics for over 20 years and is proud to have been a district councillor for Old Town ward for the past four years, campaigning for residents on local issues covering subjects from planning to missed bins, civil parking and neighbourhood issues. Old Town is a lovely mix of old and modern buildings/housing of which we are rightly proud to uphold the best standard of care and cleanliness for our residents. Jacqueline has been a champion for local residents whenever they have needed her dealing with local issues as they arise. She hopes to be able to continue this work in the years to come.
Jayne Stevens (Rye and Winchelsea) Jayne believes everyone has a contribution to make to their local community. She feels fortunate to both live and work in the beautiful county of East Sussex. She has worked for a local charity for the past 10 years and has lived in Winchelsea for the past 12. In her free time Jayne enjoys being creative, is a regular at the Kino Cinema in Rye, loves nature and wildlife, and is a member of Rye Arts Festival, Rye Nature Reserve, the National Trust and the Woodland Trust.
Jim Carroll (Bexhill Sidley) Jim Carroll has served the local community and has been instrumental in setting up many groups and initiatives for the community. Over the years Jim’s values have never altered, what is important to him are local people and local issues. Both Jim and Sharon have been in the village for a very long time and are aware of the local issues that are important to you all, and whilst we are focusing on the things in our manifesto such as affordable housing, leisure facilities, local transport, jobs, homelessness and improvements to our local roads.
Jim Philcox (Sedlescombe and Westfield) As a local businessman Jim wants to do all he can to enable small and rural businesses in Sedlescombe, Westfield and Three Oaks to succeed. If elected, he pledges to press Rother District Council to help rural businesses to develop and thrive. As with his running mate Carl, Jim will work hard to prevent unwanted development from taking place in the area. Jim is a keen sportsman in his spare time and is a member of his local cricket club. He is married to Nikki and they have two teenage daughters.
John Barnes (Burwash and the Weald) John and his family live in Etchingham. He has represented Burwash, Brightling and Etchingham on the county council since 1997. He worked tirelessly to secure a new school and village halls for Etchingham and is proud of the result. First elected to Rother two years ago, he was chosen to head the recent Housing Task and Finish Group, which created Rother’s new approach to homelessness and new homes. A past chairman of two Primary Care Trusts, he is a powerful advocate of integrating health and social care. He is proud of the work he and Eleanor have done to prevent developments that would harm the High Weald.
Jonathan Johnson (Brede and Udimore) A Rother District Councillor of 16 years standing, Jonathan has spent most of his adult life in the Brede Valley. Coming from a farming background, Jonathan takes an active interest in both farming and countryside issues. He is passionate about his work as a local councillor having solved numerous issues brought to him by residents and to that end, works closely with Brede and Udimore parish councils. He has served on the cabinet of Rother District Council and is honoured to have served as chairman of the council for the past year.
Joy Hughes (Bexhill Central) Joy Hughes is a well-known figure in the town, having lived and worked in Central Ward for 48 years. She has been a Rother District councillor, serving the centre of Bexhill, since 2001 and can be found, when not in the town hall, talking to residents and businesses while shopping in the thriving retail area. Joy is a cabinet member on the council, with her portfolio being housing and older people; she also sits on planning and licensing committees and is Rother District Council’s Independent representative on Bexhill Town Forum.
Kay Maynard (Bexhill St Marks)
Kay is a local mother of two who is passionate about improving local community activities and recreational activities. We have a delightful town, and in particular Little Common, Cooden, and Normans Bay thery each have their own character that we want to preserve and enhance. Rother councillors Kay alongside Michael will represent the needs of the Bexhill St Mark’s ward in the council so that we can build on the community spirit that is so important. As a mother she is keen to ensure that Bexhill is an area younger people value and feel a valued part of.
Louise Salter (North Battle, Netherfield and Whatlington)
Louise has a young family and has lived in Battle since she was very young. She benefitted from excellent schooling at Battle Abbey through obtaining a scholarship and contributes to Amateur Dramatics which is a real passion. Louise believes there is no doubt that Battle needs active and dedicated representatives. We’re already attending many local meetings including local councils and others. When speaking with residents, which we have been doing for some time, we can listen, act, and help to make things happen. This will not stop at the elections. With your support Louise and Paul hope to deliver their plan which has been outlined to make the area and even better place to live and work.
Mark Sivyer (Bexhill St Stephens) Mark has lived in the ward his entire life and with his business in the town he is actively involved in many aspects of local Bexhill life. Mark strives to promote Bexhill and it’s environs as an excellent place to live we are also very much aware of the Key issues that concern specifically St. Stephens. Mark has been thrilled by the warm reception he has received when out and about listening to local people. If elected he will do all he can to preserve and enhance the area he is proud to have called home all his life.
Martin Kenward (Bexhill Kewhurst) Martin is delighted to be given the opportunity to stand for re-election for Kewhurst Ward of Rother District Council. He is committed to improve the wellbeing of the residents Bexhill and Kewhurst in particular. Since returning to Bexhill he has lived with his wife Corrie for the past 40 years. Martin has been the mayor of Bexhill, chairman of the council and has served as chairman of most of the Committees of the Council before taking up his current role as cabinet member and deputy leader of the council. He has been chairman and director of the Bexhill Youth Centre since it was saved in 1995.
Martin Mooney (Northern Rother)
Martin has lived locally for decades and has been running his accountancy and taxation practice in Northiam for more than 35 years is a keen gardener providing home grown produce of fruit and vegetables for his family. Martin is also a foundation governor of a local primary school, so he understands the pressures on teachers and funding problems. A member of local organisations, Martin is involved in sharing his expertise in helping them to build closer community links and prepare their annual accounts. Martin is keen to continue improving our villages for future generation, with your support he hopes to protect village life for future generations.
Mary Barnes (Hurst Green and Ticehurst) Mary is vice-chairman of planning at Rother and delighted that Ticehurst’s emerging Neighbourhood Plan will bring pushy developers into line and a sense of stability to the village. Hurst Green is working on its Neighbourhood Plan and it is hoped that the ultimate plan for Foundry Close will meet everyone’s approval. Both parishes are in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it’s important that all new development is built where communities want it, green wedges are preserved, ancient woodland is not encroached on and local businesses have freedom to thrive. The well in Ticehurst has been refurbished and become a feature, new trees have been planted and the square will eventually have a new road surface.
Maurice Watson (Bexhill Collington) Maurice has lived in Bexhill with his wife for a large part of his life. Within this time, he has contributed to local organisations such as the Bexhill Athletics Club where he was once vice-chairman. Along with once being a prolific runner and enjoying a regular game of badminton he now is a devoted grandfather and great-grandfather. His attendance record for all council meetings and training is second to none. His dedication and commitment to helping others resonates through this.
Michael Ensor (Bexhill St Marks) Michael is a well-known Bexhillian who has worked within the local community for many years. Michael will be campaigning against policies that undermine the community, and promote areas of improvement. There is much to be done, from traffic on Barnhorn Road, parking in Little Common, litter on the main roads, and restricting housing development, through to encouraging recreation and sporting activities, and helping our local high street shops to flourish. As your Conservative councillor Michael will be able to influence the policies of the administration, and in particular to deliver the new Bexhill Community Council should the Conservatives form a majority in Bexhill.
Patrick Douart (Bexhill Collington) Patrick has lived in Bexhill with his wife for the past 25 years and 14 of these he has been a councillor. For 25 years he and his wife have worked closely with people of learning disabilities, caring, nurturing and helping them develop into society. For the past 22 years one man has lived with them and is now part of their family. Attending Rother District Neighbourhood meetings can help security of us all – scams on the doorstep, on the internet, telephone and on the street, are still very much a concern and we want to help eliminate this.
Paul Osborne (Eastern Rother) Local builder Paul Osborne has lived in Rother for many years. He has been a councillor for Rother District Council since 2007 and is the chairman of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee – a role that he has held since 2017. Paul has used his position as a councillor to fight against inappropriate planning applications and aimed to highlight as well as tackle the issue of fuel poverty. He has also worked with the local community and with council authorities to combat issues of ongoing flooding in Winchelsea beach.
Paul Redstone (North Battle, Netherfield and Whatlington) Paul had a major business in Battle and has lived in the area for more than 28 years, supporting a range of community events and charities. As with many town centres, Battle faces real challenges due to online shopping and competition from larger retailers. Addressing these challenges will help residents, visitors and businesses alike. Paul is keen to ensure that Better parking, reducing road congestion and providing an ATM for use at evenings and weekends will support their aims across Battle. Paul and Louise are also supporting carefully planned and considered local developments; we need additional, affordable homes for our children, and for families.
Richard Carroll (Bexhill St Stephens) Richard lives in the ward and has represented Rother District Council as a councillor since 2003 and your councillor in St Stephens for the last four years. During the last four years he has worked tirelessly to ensure that residents have had their concerns properly aired and taken into account in the decision-making process. Richard appreciates that we live in politically involved and divided times but believe the worth of a local councillor provides the best of what politics should be a link between the decision making process and those affected by the decision.
Robert Morris (Robertsbridge) Robert is a father to three lovely girls, an electrician, working man, racing cyclist and active bonfire society member with hobbies such as Green Laning and Shooting. he has lived and worked in and around this area for some 16 years. Robert is in no doubt that Robertsbridge needs a dedicated representative that will act on the views of the residents, and not that of their own personal view, agenda or interfering where not needed. The new ward incorporates many small and medium sized businesses, farms and equestrian facilities. From camp sites to farm shops to builders, we are a diverse rural community, Robert is keen to further enhance our village for generations to come.
Robert Wheeler (Bexhill Sackville) Robert has lived in Bexhill for over 34 years, attended Bexhill High, worked at various garages and did my apprenticeship in motor mechanics locally. Now running his own successful workshop employing two staff in town centre. His wife Lisa works locally and both children go to school in Bexhill. Robert was a Bexhill councillor for Sidley ward from 2007 to 2011 working with Jim Carroll, he now lives in Sackville ward near Bexhill station. During that time, he served on various committees with special interest in Licencing. His family’s future is in Bexhill and we wish to play a big part in ensuring it is well managed, not just for us but everyone.
Roger Bird (Southern Rother) I have lived in Fairlight for over 60 years. With my wife Anne we have brought up two sons and run our own local business for some 30 years. I was first elected to Rother District Council in 2001 and currently sit on the Audit & Licensing committees. I am also Rother’s representative on the Inland Drainage Board. I am a retired chartered surveyor and can draw upon my business experience for the benefit of my residents. As an avid walker and lover of our countryside I will continue to support the preservation of our natural heritage and village way of life.
Sally-Ann Hart (Eastern Rother) Sally-Ann has been a district councillor for Eastern Rother since 2015 and since May 2016 have been the cabinet member for Public Realm, Culture and Tourism, leading on new tourism and public realm strategies. Sally-Ann went to university in London and qualified as a lawyer specialising in corporate finance law with a City of London law firm. More recently, she practised family law before becoming a district councillor. She has also been a magistrate for Sussex Eastern Bench for 14 years, chairing both adult criminal and family law proceedings. Sally-Ann is a school governor of three primary schools, with responsibility for pupil premium children.
Sharon Blagrove (Bexhill Sidley) Sharon is a local business person best known for organising The Great Gatsby Fair in Bexhill and other events. Having lived in Sidley for 55 years she has a reputation for being determined, enthusiastic and for getting things done, she would be proud to represent Sidley at local government. Sharon and Jim are keen to address local issues such as anti-social behaviour and getting people onto the housing ladder with home ownership, and the return of our football field. Sharon has a proven track record in Bexhill and hope you will support her on May 2.
Tony Ganly (Northern Rother) Tony has an abundant knowledge of planning; waste collection and community funding having been active in these areas as District Councillor for years. Tony believes that local community involvement is key, so it’s not surprising therefore that as district councillors working with parish councils and voluntary organisations, they were instrumental in providing funding from a District Council Community Fund for children’s playgrounds in Beckley and Northiam and Staplecross, WW1 events throughout the District, and restoration of the Northiam Village war memorial.
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• To view the Liberal Democrat candidates, click here