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Green Party hopefuls:

Green Party hopefuls: Chris Petts, left, Andrea Needham and Al Dixon.

Greens field full slate in by-elections

Buoyed by their performance in the general election, Hastings and Rye Green Party have decided to contest the by-elections for the three seats which have recently become vacant on the local and country councils, as they explain in this statement. Nick Terdre reports.

Hastings and Rye Green Party has announced that it will be fielding three candidates for the by-elections resulting from the death of Hastings Borough Council leader Jeremy Birch, who held a town council seat (Central St Leonards) and a county council seat (Old Hastings and Tressell) and Matthew Lock’s decision to stand down as town councillor for St Helens. Voting will be on Thursday 9 July.

The Green Party candidate for Central St Leonards is Al Dixon, a carpenter and public speaker from St Leonards, while Chris Petts, a graphic designer from St Leonards, will be standing in St Helens. The county council seat for Old Hastings and Tressell will be contested by Andrea Needham, a writer and school governor.

Speaking for Hastings and Rye Green Party, Al Dixon said, “We ran a tremendous campaign in the run-up to the general election, and hugely increased our membership locally. We know that many people are fed up with the major parties, and are looking for a party with policies they can really believe in. We want to build on the momentum from the general election in this and future local elections, and show people that the Green Party offers a real political alternative.”

The environment and planning issues naturally feature high among the candidates’ priorities. In her election statement Andrea Needham says that her greatest concerns are climate change and the impact of austerity on the most vulnerable in our society. She says she will demand accountability for the tens of millions of pounds of public money that East Sussex County Council has poured into wasteful road-building schemes and campaign for future funds to be used to support sustainable transport projects in Hastings.

Al Dixon says he joined the Green Party because it offers a vision of the future with clear alternatives to our present economic and political structures, and advocates for communities to have the power to shape their own futures. He promises to work with individuals, groups and organisations who are directly intervening to help some of the most disadvantaged youth in the area.

Chris Petts says decent, affordable public transport is vital for the residents of St Helens and he will campaign to protect existing bus and dial-a-ride services and increase their frequency. On planning he believes that development must take into account both the needs of people and the environment – he will work to preserve existing green spaces, to ensure future developments include new green spaces and to protect sites of special conservation importance.

To contact Hastings and Rye Green Party, ring 07494 360801 or write to


Other by-election candidates

Central St Leonards: Terri Dowling (Labour), Clive Gross (independent), Kevin Hill (Ukip), John Rankin (Conservative) and Sue Tait (Liberal Democrat).

St Helens: Martin Clarke (Conservative), Graham Crane (Labour), Ken Pankhurst (Ukip) and Gary Spencer-Holmes (Liberal Democrat).

Old Hastings and Tressell: Tania Charman (Labour), Robert Cooke (Conservative), Sebastian Norton (Ukip) and Stewart Rayment (Liberal Democrat).

Posted 15:28 Wednesday, Jun 24, 2015 In: Campaigns


Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. Nev

    It would be excellent to see a vote well greater than the 3.83% of the general election, given that the issues for this vote are truly local.

    Comment by Nev — Friday, Jun 26, 2015 @ 18:28

  2. Clive Gross

    This is a bit of a non-HOT non-story surely…Labour, Tories, UKIP and Lib Dems are all running a ‘full slate’ of just three candidates for the three by-elections. As a former Green Party member now running as an independent in Central St Leonards, I am disappointed that this article appears to suggest that the local Green Party are the only ones making environmental issues a central plank of their policies, which they are not. HOT readers might like to find out more on my website at

    Comment by Clive Gross — Friday, Jun 26, 2015 @ 17:53

  3. patricia stephenson

    Hopefully we will have a green candidate in the Hollington ward for the next local elections. A candidate who will understand the importance of the wonderful ancient woodlands and wildlife habitats we have in this part of the town. None of the other parties seem bothered about the ecological issues in this neck of the woods….(and pardon the pun!)

    Comment by patricia stephenson — Friday, Jun 26, 2015 @ 09:58

  4. DAR

    Yes…but I wish they would join up the dots between the over-development and immigration issues.

    Comment by DAR — Wednesday, Jun 24, 2015 @ 21:04

  5. Zelly Restorick

    Absolutely brilliant! I am so happy that we have Green candidates willing to stand up for the beliefs of so many local people and who are willing to deal with everything the current system entails in the hope of transition to a fairer and more environmentally aware future.

    Comment by Zelly Restorick — Wednesday, Jun 24, 2015 @ 17:37

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