VOTERS in East Hampshire will go to the polls this Thursday (May 2) to elect 44 new councillors across all 31 district council wards.
In the build-up to the local elections, the Herald offered each candidate the chance to submit a 150-word statement, setting out in their own words why the deserve your vote on May 2.
These are listed in alphabetical order, by ward then candidate, below.
Polling will take place between 7am and 10pm at polling stations across the district of East Hampshire.
The counting of votes for district council elections will take place on Friday (May 3), with the results published live from the count on the Herald website and Facebook pages.
* Danny Green (Con)
I’ve lived in the Alton area all of my life and as an enthusiastic 22 year old I am determined and driven to serve the local community, specifically Alton Amery.
I’ve been the chairman of the East Hampshire Young Conservatives since its creation in September 2018 and have made it my mission to attract young people into local politics.
My priorities for the next four years would be to make Alton a Gateway Town to the South Downs National Park, boost the appearance of the high street, and meeting the needs of young people with regards to their mental health and wellbeing.
Alton has been hit hard with ongoing developments, and I don’t think our roads yet meet the needs for the additional capacity required. With this in mind I will fight hard to ensure that developer contributions are allocated appropriately to bolster the town’s infrastructure.
Steve Hunt is a former county councillor and has lived in the Alton area for the past five years. Steve has also attended many Alton Town Council meetings and made representations on local issues. Steve has strongly supported the Preserve Treloar Meadows Campaign, and many of the initiatives to fight to protect them were his ideas.
Steve is very concerned about EHDC’s investment policy. There is too much reliance on commercial property in these uncertain times and not enough invested locally.
Steve has spoken to literally hundreds of Altonians about their concerns. He is now seeking the opportunity to be a local champion and speak up for Alton, as EHDC so often seem to overrule local opinion.
Steve says: “How can people in Bordon, Horndean, Liphook and Petersfield make the right decisions, when they don’t know Alton? I back the formation of Local Area Committees to return power to local people.”
* Robert Peters (Lab):
Robert enjoyed a long and varied career in the civil service often working at the interface of central and local government in the areas of social and welfare policy.
Now retired, Robert moved to Alton five years ago and as well as his many interests in music and the arts he is an enthusiastic walker and a supporter of the annual Alton Walking Festival.
Robert has been a member of the Labour Party since 2012 and is keen to promote greater democracy by ensuring local people’s aspirations for their communities and their legitimate concerns for protecting civic infrastructure, much-needed public services and the environment are put centre stage in East Hampshire District Council’s approach to shaping policy and decision making.
* Jenny Abbott (Lab)
Jenny has taught at Chawton Primary School for the last nine years which has meant she has been involved in countless community activities. During her career she has held many voluntary posts such as school governor and teacher’s representative on parents’ associations. Jenny also runs a local stage school which has taught musical theatre to hundreds of local children. As a teacher Jenny is passionate about education and all issues affecting young people. She is horrified by the swingeing cuts being imposed on local schools and will be doing all she can to support local people in fighting against the worst effects of austerity.
* Suzie Burns (Lib Dem)
Suzie is a life-long Altonian who is a secondary school teacher, mum of two and has lived and worked in Alton for nearly 40 years. Suzie is an active and involved member of the community and enjoys the sporting facilities and open spaces that Alton has to offer. She knows that young people and children must be properly provided for.
Currently Suzie is campaigning for a safe pedestrian crossing across Ashdell Road. Local families and dog-walkers struggle to cross, and the recent road death of an otter highlights the problem of speeding traffic.
Suzie is fed up with distant councillors making decisions about Alton people’s lives and wants to make sure that local voices are heard.
She says “It’s high time to bring decision making back to Alton people. Local people should be making decisions about what happens here, not councillors who do not even know our town.”
* Andrew Joy (Con)
Since moving to Alton 45 years ago and in 12 years as Ashdell’s district councillor, I have been a strong and effective voice for Alton at all levels of local government.
Despite increasingly tough financial times and national political uncertainty I have worked hard at EHDC, and for 10 years at Hampshire CC, to maintain or improve vital services, deliver constructive change and keep Council Tax down.
As a Hampshire County Council Cabinet member for six years, I have ensured Alton’s needs are known. In EHDC’s planning committee I have fought to manage and mitigate the effects of development, strongly opposing where appropriate, particularly in South Alton. Demand for growth is inescapable which is why I am committed to working ever closer with community groups such as the Alton Society, ACA, Energy Alton and the Ashdell Residents Association. Please vote for me on May 2. Together we can make a huge difference.
* Steve Coatsworth (Lib Dem)
Steve Coatsworth has lived in Alton for eight years. He is married with two children who attend local schools. As a former archeologist Steve has a strong interest in Alton’s historical past.
Steve is currently working in retail in Alton so has many conversations with local people. He knows that our local shops need all the help they can get. Steve has concerns that even in these uncertain times EHDC are pressing ahead investing £200m in so much commercial property, much of it out of our district.
As a former driving instructor, Steve is very aware of the traffic and parking issues in Alton. Eastbrooke Road is a nightmare when parents are dropping or collecting their kids from Anstey Junior or Bushy Leaze Children and Family Centre.
Steve says: “Our local businesses deserve our support. I want to see some free pop-in parking and free parking on Sundays throughout Alton.”
* Paula Langley (Lab)
Paula has lived and worked in Alton for over ten years. As a teacher she worked at Eggar’s School before leaving the profession to work with her husband, Gideon Cristofoli. She is still the practice manager of Bookers & Bolton Solicitors and she is passionate about the High Street, small businesses and how we can work ethically in a climate of austerity. She has successfully brought apprenticeships to the firm (in conjunction with EHDC) and has worked with local charities and groups to offer free spaces for use. She has campaigned on local issues in Eastbrooke and attends the Residents Association, runs Alton Crime Prevention Group and is the Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator for Alton. Paula is committed to ensuring the residents of Eastbrooke & Wooteys have a better bus service and took to the wheel to drive a special Yuletide bus. Paula wants to ensure nobody is left isolated within her community.
* Dean Phillips (Con)
Born and bred in Alton, it’s been my pleasure to represent the town at the highest possible levels of both town and district council. I’ve held multiple portfolios on the district council’s cabinet, however, serving as town mayor has to be my proudest achievement.
Never afraid to challenge, I’ve fought to get Alton’s voice heard on multiple issues. Always striving to achieve the best possible results, containing development to what is necessary, shaping applications to limit the impact on residents.
Through my role I have financially assisted many of our schools, including Bushy Leaze. I believe in securing our children’s futures, so in my spare time I’m chairman of the Eggars Trust which financially supports both our secondary schools.
A volunteer at Wey Valley Radio, I also actively support many of the community organisations that serve our town who all work tirelessly to increase community engagement and decrease social isolation.
* Graham Hill (Con)
I have lived in Holybourne for 31 years and am currently the district councillor for Whitedown plus an assistant portfolio holder for economic development. This has enabled me to respond to residents’ concerns. I will ensure that the Local Plan protects Holybourne and that the brewery site development meets peoples’ needs, including a new community centre.
I will work to enhance the vibrancy of our High Street and that the new £1.5m Community Grant Fund benefits community projects in Holybourne.
I will continue pressing for infrastructure improvements to road junctions, schools and health provision and will ensure that the proposed development on Treloar College takes full account of residents’ objections to achieve an acceptable solution.
If applications for the Lynch Hill site and a hotel complex on the A31 are re-submitted I will closely reflect objections from Holybourne residents.
Your vote will enable me to achieve these objectives.
* Nicholas James (Lib Dem)
Nicholas James has lived in East Hampshire all his life and cares passionately about the area. If elected, his priorities will be to ensure the views of the residents of Holybourne are properly heard on the council. Nicholas wants to see a higher proportion of the housing built in the area is actually affordable for younger people. He is also keen for some free pop-in parking in the town centre and free parking throughout Alton on Sundays.
The Conservatives currently hold 43 out of 44 seats on EHDC. As a result, it has been difficult for anyone to hold them to account. Public participation at council meetings is discouraged and residents rightly feel that their voices are ignored.
Nicholas says: “Like my fellow Lib Dem candidates, I believe it’s time for a change. East Hampshire District Council needs to be scrutinised and stop making decisions behind closed doors.”
* Barbara Tansey (Lab)
Barbara moved to the Alton area 22 years ago and worked for the Alton branch of the National Childbirth Trust for 17 years as an antenatal teacher, facilitating antenatal classes and supporting new families through birth and early parenting. She helped to run the Bumps and Babes and Early Days groups at Alton Maltings and Bushy Leaze.
Barbara has been heavily involved in musical activities, including organising events such as the Wonder of Christmas and Regency Week concerts.
In 2015, she trained as a volunteer with Home-Start and has supported families in the Alton area since then. She also works as a volunteer at the Night Shelter in Winchester and has been involved with Alton U3A since 2010.
* Ian Abbott (Lab)
Ian went to Eggar’s School and moved to the town 10 years ago where he lives with his wife and two children. He works as a civil servant with the Home Office and has also worked extensively overseas with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Ian is also a musician and music teacher playing in a local disco/party band and taking part in various other musical activities in the community.
He is a shop steward for the civil service union PCS where much of his time is spent dealing with complex employee casework.
Ian has done voluntary work for Crisis at Christmas, Mencap, Farnham Festival and various other charitable organisations and he has been heavily involved in many local Labour campaigns such as the one to save the grant to Alton Community Centre.
* Peter Hicks (Con)
I have been a resident of Alton for more than 30 years and had the privilege of serving as a Town Councillor for the last eight years. During that time I have held the position of leader of the council and am currently chairman of the planning and transport committee. Serving on Alton Town Council and holding these roles, it has been a great help to me to listen and understand what matters most to Alton residents.
I am determined that the development of the former brewery and the magistrates’ court/police stations are developed in such a way that they will complement the surrounding buildings and meet the requirements of the development brief. I am also concerned that following recent housing developments the road networks are improved to meet the current needs.
I will work tirelessly on your behalf.
I look forward to representing Alton Westbrooke at East Hampshire District Council.
* Richard Platt (Lib Dem)
Richard Platt has spent most of his life in the Alton area. Married with two young children who attend local schools, Richard is employed as a software developer in the financial industry.
A keen cyclist and runner, Richard values our countryside and open spaces. He also plays electric guitar for local rock band The A31s, who recently performed at the Alton Winter Beer Festival at Alton College.
Richard believes the key to being a good councillor is to listen to and understand the concerns of local residents. He feels that Alton Town Council’s new “community” way of working is in the right direction, but that EHDC has a long way to go to really involve Alton people in decisions about their lives.
Richard says: “Alton is a great place to live. If elected I will actually listen to your concerns and I will work hard for our people and our environment.”
* Ginny Boxall (Lib Dem)
Ginny has lived and worked in the Alton area since 1971. She is proud to have set up Alton Toy Library, helped to set up Alton Pregnancy Crisis Centre, and serves as a volunteer in Stepping Stones Friday.
Ginny is a qualified social worker and pre-school playgroup leader and has worked as a learning support assistant at Treloar College and School. She set up the Anxiety Café and is now starting an Anxiety Pub space.
Ginny runs her own photography business and is an active member of the Alton Society on the sustainability team.
Ginny wants access to education for all and understands the importance of early help at Bushy Leaze children’s centre.
As a Green Liberal Democrat she cares passionately about Alton and our environment and is well-known for her tireless work to protect Treloar Butterfly Meadows.
Ginny says: “I will work hard for our people and our environment.”
* Jane Costigan (Con)
My name is Jane Costigan and I live in Bentworth, Alton, with my husband. We are fully immersed in the community and have an office in the town. I am also a parish councillor.
I enjoy working in Alton and, wherever possible, shopping locally. I think it is important to support the town and local shops.
My aspirations for Alton are to have the High Street regenerated. It was great to see a new independent coffee shop open, it was also great that another independent shop expanded into larger premises. However, I feel the High Street needs help and landlords that keep high rents and shops empty in the hope that they will gain residential use needs to be addressed. I often hear of businesses closing because rents are too high which is detrimental to Alton.
Alresford and Petersfield are thriving market towns - and this is my vision for Alton.
* Janice Treacher (Lab)
Jan has lived in the Alton area for 30 years. Before retiring she taught in Hampshire schools at secondary and infant levels.
She served on Chawton Parish Council for four years, and she has been chairman of East Hampshire Labour Party and secretary of the Alton branch.
She is a member of Alton Art Society. Her interests include regular use of Alton Sports Centre, the gym and swimming pool.
Jan takes a keen interest in the welfare of Alton and its residents, taking an active role in supporting action for the good of the community.
* Stephen Dolan (Lab)
Stephen has been active in local politics and primary school fundraising for a number of years across a number of constituencies.
Through active face-to-face engagement, Stephen has strived to push for progress on local people’s expressed concerns such as road safety and traffic congestion. Stephen is committed to representing all within the community and believes that the residents of Wooteys should have a councillor willing to engage and give them a voice at council.
Stephen is a senior software engineer for a world-leading British software testing company. He lives with his wife Anna and their two sons in Medstead.
* David Orme (Con)
A working parent with two young boys, I understand the challenges and needs of the local community.
A district councillor for eight years, I listen and respond to what matters to residents, assisting with individual cases, broader challenges and have directly provided financial support to many local groups.
I view my position as your district councillor as one of great privilege and absolutely appreciate what is expected of me, ensuring we get the very best for all living in Alton.
There is still a vast amount to be done, especially regarding development. I will ensure plans in Alton are balanced, offering both affordable housing and bringing employment opportunities to the area supporting local families
I have the experience to meet head on the immediate and long-term challenges we face. Family issues are at the heart of my work together with ensuring the local infrastructure meets the growing demand.
BENTWORTH & FROYLE
* Tony Costigan (Con)
My first term in office has been filled with responsibilities, starting with my appointment to the Cabinet, where I have been involved in building the investment portfolio which generates 34 per cent of our income to help fund the frontline services.
My priorities are delivering your services, protecting the environment and enhancing your leisure time.
I maintain a healthy contact with the parishes and I have seen more than £17,000 contributed to local projects in Beech, Bentworth, Farringdon and Chawton.
Sadly, this time round I lose Chawton and Farringdon, however I gain the fantastic parishes of Froyle, Shalden and Lasham.
I also support Wey Valley Radio Diabetes Group, Alton Matters, Alton Society and the local Guides Group toward secure fencing for a camping area.
There are exciting times ahead and I relish the challenges.
* Jenniann Davies (Lab)
Jenniann has spent most of her working life with young people and families helping them improve their life chances. She presently works on a community radio station using the medium of music and radio to support young people with various mental health, cognitive challenges and physical disabilities to improve their wellbeing.
Jenniann is passionate about fairness and justice and wants to make a difference to people’s lives who are less able either through mental health or physical health. She is committed to animal welfare and the environment and has been a volunteer with Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, The Fairtrade Foundation and homeless projects.
BINSTED, BENTLEY & SELBORNE
* David Ashcroft (Con)
David knows the area and has farmed in it for more than 40 years. He has respect for the countryside and the communities within it.
David has served as the district councillor for the Selborne ward for the last eight years and is keen to see those communities thrive and find the right balance on issues like affordable/market housing, homes for local people, and in business stuart-up and expansion.
He is always keen to help those that try to help others and the less fortunate.
He has served on the EHDC planning and licensing committees, striving to find a balance between the competing needs of the community.
He says: “I would be honoured to serve the new ward of Binsted, Bentley and Selborne for the next four years.”
* Barbara Burfoot (Lab)
Barbara Burfoot has lived in Alton for more than 30 years. She has been a candidate or agent at every local government election since the late 1980s. She was the Labour Parliamentary candidate for East Hampshire in 2001. She has been chairman and secretary of Alton Branch Labour and East Hampshire Constituency Labour Party.
Barbara holds five officers’ positions in other local organisations including the Alton Society, Alton Town Guided Walks, the Alton Town Twinning Association and the local RNLI fundraising Branch.
Barbara successfully proposed the establishment of the South Downs National Park at the Labour Party South East Regional Conference in the late 1980s and takes a keen interest in its progress and maintenance.
* Ken Carter (Con)
Binsted, Bentley and Selborne is a new large ward and having 4,641 electors it offers both a challenge and opportunities for its councillors. I look forward to meeting the residents, getting to know them and to understanding the needs of the new community.
Twelve years experience as a councillor will stand me in good stead to face this new and exciting challenge. Apart from my keenness to meet the new community and understand its needs I will also be seeking ways and opportunities for protecting the countryside and woodlands around me. The ward is definitely rural and contains some of the best and most important countryside Hampshire has to offer. The countryside must be protected as the need for housing and compromise continues.
There is also a need for improved broadband services, improvement in highways and speed limits, public transport and, above all, employment. Rural life is an exciting challenge.
* Jane-Frances Price (Lab)
Jane is a working mum who, with her partner, spends most of her life balancing full-time work with caring for her three children. Her concerns about their education, employment prospects, Brexit, and the future of the planet – as well as local issues like public transport and wifi connectivity – led her to join and get active in the Labour Party.
Jane has been proud to campaign locally for many issues, including opposition to proposed closures of the waste and recycling centre, and is keen to do more for our community as a councillor.
* Lynne Ravenscroft (Lib Dem)
Lynne Ravenscroft has lived locally since the 1960s. Over the years she has volunteered with many charities. Lynne has started a PTA, has been on the NSPCC, and has been a school governor.
Lynne has served on the Councils of the Magistrates’ Association and has a PhD in juvenile justice and has led campaigns against childhood abuse, violence and trafficking.
In addition, Lynne is concerned about climate change, the lack of affordable housing, increasing strains upon the NHS, and increasing cyber-crime.
Along with her Liberal Democrat colleagues she will fight to stop the Chase Hospital in Bordon from closing as services are run down seemingly in favour of a privately-funded health hub.
If elected, Lynne will campaign for the re-instatement of the EHDC Domestic Violence Forum. She will also prioritise action to provide community safety, particularly to protect children from all forms of abuse.