Local elections 2019: Stevenage political parties on why you should vote for them
PUBLISHED: 06:58 25 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:12 25 April 2019
©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved
Stevenage's four party leaders for those contesting the local elections next week have set their stalls out as residents prepare to go to the polls.
Currently Stevenage Borough Council is controlled by Labour, who have 26 councillors, with nine from the Conservatives and four from the Liberal Democrats.
Elections are being held next Thursday, May 2, for 13 seats in 13 wards – a third of the 39 on the council. Eight of these seats are being defended by Labour, the Conservatives are defending four, and one is being defended by the Lib Dems.
There are a total of 46 candidates going to the poll with Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems set to battle it out for every seat with 13 candidates each, while the Green Party have put forward seven.
The Comet asked local leaders from each party why voters should back them.
Councillor James Fraser, leader of the Stevenage Conservative Group, said: “The Conservative team on SBC want to see real regeneration for Stevenage. We believe the new town centre should be led by new shops which is why we are so pleased to see the excellent Park Place development come to fruition.
“We often become involved in solving problems quickly that residents tell us Labour have ignored. In recent times I have had cases of council disrepair, and a big anti-social housing case all of which have seen lasting and successful results. All our councillors are keen to maintain efficient public spending, most recently with me drilling into the details of the council's new company for property investment.
“On the south side of Stevenage the local team there can be found out most weekends clearing woodland paths, removing rubbish from public spaces, and building the community garden at Lismore.
“Our SBC team include county councillors Phil Bibby and Adam Mitchell who we work in close partnership with to get the best results for Stevenage at county level. These members of our team were instrumental in providing traffic calming for Great Ashby Way and the resurfacing of Canterbury Way is about to start.
“We look forward to continuing to put our communities first and carrying forward our projects and ideas for the town's successful future.”
Victoria Snelling, North Herts & Stevenage Green Party co-chair, said: “A Green councillor for Stevenage would work to protect our green spaces and support wildlife-friendly housing. We want people to live in harmony with our environment. The local elections in May 2019 are a chance to take a stand, to unleash the power of fresh thinking and communities to make lives better – to vote Green.
“A vote for the Green Party is a vote for putting control over decisions that affect our communities firmly in the hands of democratically elected councillors, and the communities they represent. We would give a voice to communities affected by new housing developments, ensuring that local services are delivered hand in hand with these new developments to avoid unsustainable pressure being put on existing services.
“A Green councillor would ensure new housing meets high standards in terms of insulation and where possible build in local renewable energy resource. More democratic decision making will enable communities to respond directly to the challenges they face, putting power in the hands of the people. As our public services dwindle, our climate breaks down, our green spaces shrink, and our wildlife declines we need that power more than ever.”
Councillor Sharon Taylor, leader of Labour-controlled SBC, said the party's manifesto had been driven by actions that Stevenage people had told them is their top priorities, such as regenerating our town centre, delivering new council homes, ensuring our local areas are clean, green and safe, working with partners to improve health care facilities, including mental health, improving our bus and rail service accessibility and creating living streets.
She added: “As austerity bites ever deeper, it is vital that we have councillors that will stand side by side with our community and all the families and individuals that make Stevenage the great place it is. Voting for our Labour candidates will give us the strong team we need to deliver the ambitious vision that we share with you for our town.”
Councillor Robin Parker, leader of the Stevenage Liberal Democrats, said: “Local Liberal Democrats have been the effective, constructive and active opposition group on SBC since 1982.
“We make the running, against the huge Labour majority, by tabling formal questions and motions, suggesting scrutiny items and raising important issues.
“Where and when we can, we keep in touch all year – not just at election time - with newsletters, residents' meetings, surgeries, and street meets.
“Our plan for Stevenage includes: launching a town-wide rubbish clean-up campaign led by the new neighbourhood wardens; pushing for one recycling bin – which, in our survey, 84 per cent of residents want; reviewing excessive car parking charges with short free periods; putting funds back into local residents' parking schemes; increasing locality budgets so local people decide what gets priority; stop selling off our green spaces – children need somewhere to play; back the regeneration of the town centre – stop it being a political football between Labour and Tories; saying no to Gresley Park – opposing East Herts building on the edge of Stevenage and burdening our crumbling roads, services and infrastructure.
We've compiled a list of the candidates contesting each seat on Stevenage Borough Council, which are as follows:
• Andrew David Anderson (Lib Dem)
• Adrian Richard Brown (Labour)
• Nicholas Rohan Foster (Conservative)
• Liz Harrington (Labour)
• Nicholas John Leech (Conservative)
• Nick MacMillan (Lib Dem)
• Victoria Louise Snelling (Green)
• Stephen John Booth (Lib Dem)
• David Peter Ingarfill (Green)
• Pam Stuart (Labour)
• Matthew Paul Wyatt (Conservative)
• Nigel Robert Bye (Lib Dem)
• Alexander Michael Farquharson (Conservative)
• Chris Webb (Labour)
• James David Corrigan (Conservative)
• Robin Gareth Parker (Lib Dem)
• David Stanley Wood (Labour)
• Jill Brinkworth (Lib Dem)
• Teresa Lynn Callaghan (Labour)
• Bret Ray Facey (Conservative)
• James Robert Phillip Fraser (Conservative)
• George Eric Pinder (Lib Dem)
• Loraine Graziella Rossati (Labour)
• Elizabeth Genevieve Sturges (Green)
• Naomi Ruth Collins (Green)
• Andy Facey (Conservative)
• Ross London (Lib Dem)
• Jeannette Audrey Thomas (Labour)
• Paul Matthew Barber (Lib Dem)
• John Gardner (Labour)
• Martin John Malocco (Green)
• Janet Marie Munro (Conservative)
• Celia Gwendolyn Lawrence (Conservative)
• Charles Galton Darwin Littleton (Lib Dem)
• Michael Andrew Malocco (Green)
• Sarah Jane Mead (Labour)
• Claire Lesley Parris (Labour)
• Daniel Peter Charles Snell (Lib Dem)
• Mandi Tandi (Conservative)
• Michael Downing (Labour)
• Clive Hearmon (Lib Dem)
• Richard David Warr (Green)
• Alexandra Marianne Young (Conservative)
• Neil Geoffrey Brinkworth (Lib Dem)
• Jim Callaghan (Labour)
• Graham Edward Lawrence (Conservative)