Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Cllr Rob Lee, leader of HBC's Conservative group.

Cllr Rob Lee, leader of HBC’s Conservative group.

Tories present full slate of 32 candidates

Hastings Conservatives “have their eyes set on seizing control of Hastings council,” they say. With a full slate of 32 candidates they are looking to improve their current tally of eight councillors, which has left them in a decided minority compared with Labour’s 23. Nick Terdre reports.

“Hastings and St. Leonards deserves a better council than the current Labour-run administration,” says Cllr Rob Lee, leader of the Conservative group on Hastings Borough Council.

“We have an excellent set of candidates in all 32 seats with a wide range of experience, including a nuclear engineer, teaching assistant, graphic designer, a renowned singer-songwriter, a former soldier and a member of the Hastings Lifeboat Crew.”

In the partial elections in 2016, when 17 seats were contested across the 16 wards, the Tories achieved a swing from Labour in five wards, but lost ground to Labour in six wards.

While in recent years the Tories have been in a minority, things were different when central government was last in Labour hands: in 2006-08 they had an absolute majority on the council and in 2008-10 they were the single largest party and in minority control.

It remains to be seen how the boundary changes mandated by central government – only Baird ward is untouched – affect voting. This time round the candidate with the highest vote in each ward will be rewarded with a four-year term and the candidate coming second with two years.

Six of the current Tory councillors are standing for re-election: Rob Lee, Matthew Beaver, Andy Patmore, Martin Clarke, Mike Edwards and John Rankin, while Liam Atkins and Robert Cooke are standing down.

The full list of candidates is as follows: Ashdown Mike Edwards, Sorrell Marlow-Eastwood Baird Terry Fawthrop, Peter Pragnell Braybrooke Mark Charlesworth, Janet Grigg Castle Kevin Tomlin, John Sydes Central St Leonards Graeme Williams, Sue Clarke Conquest Paul Foster, John Rankin Gensing Cath Burrows, Craig Andrew Hollington Nigel Barry, Joel De-Roe Maze Hill Rob Lee, Andy Patmore Old Hastings Alan Hay, Lisa Rankin Ore James Dee, Oliver Devaux Silverhill Claire Hamill, James Hollis St Helens Martin Clarke, Matt Lynch Tressell Terry Keen, Patrick Millar West St Leonards Karl Beaney, Matthew Beaver Wishing Tree Bexx Veness, John Waterfall.

Posted 14:19 Friday, Apr 13, 2018 In: Local Elections 2018


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  1. David Alan Stevenson

    Nothing will ever improve in the running of local government until it is separated completely from central goverment. At present what councils can and can’t do and how much they can spend is controlled by 10 Downing Street. Local democracy does not exist. Now that we are leaving the EU, this gives us the opportunity to scrap VAT (which was introduced when we joined the EEC in 1973) and replace it (and Council Tax) with a local sales tax used to fund local government. That would be a step towards true democracy. Every candidate from all parties says they want to improve things and they are naive enough to think that they can. Sadly they are just wasting their time.

    Comment by David Alan Stevenson — Saturday, Apr 21, 2018 @ 15:26

  2. bolshie

    I think Mrs Doubtfire raises some pertinent points about this Conservative lot getting back into power. For years they have more or less sat on their laurels doing little to raise concerns as to what has been going on within the council and the Labour councillors.

    Yes Planning issues are of an extreme concern that you barely ever hear anything said by this party. The erosion of democracy by the number of objections increased before a planning application goes to the committee. The reduction from 5 minutes to 3 minutes for someone to speak before the committee. The termination of planning application letters to those who could be affected by an application. Then look at the Rocklands fiasco where the council have spent over £100,000 on this landslip. Not one Conservative councillor as far as I know has said a word about any of this.
    How about the £450,000 to be spent on the crazy Bus Lanes going to be put down on the Bexhill Road. Not a word from them on that.

    With the West Hill Road development site where the wildlife and flora was destroyed by developers. Yes the Conservative councillors – two of them- started off on the right foot but then for some reason just kind of gave up. No doubt probably warned off by the planning officers.
    They have a lot of convincing to do to win enough seats to regain local power.
    And Mr Lee it really does not matter what these people do for a living, it is what they will do for the people if they are successful enough to get elected

    Comment by bolshie — Tuesday, Apr 17, 2018 @ 12:02

  3. Tommy100

    You may hope to be successful, but standing as Conservatives you would then consent to supporting the Governments policies for teh last seven years which have hit Hastings hard. East Sussex C C is Conservative controlled and look at the state of our roads here in Hastings and Rother. I have been in Hastings long enough to remember the disastrous Conservative Councils of the 1980’s and early 1990’s I would hope you have better vision than that bunch did.

    It is good you care about our town, but supporting the Government and our absent MP is not what the town needs, if central Government announces another round of cuts will you support or oppose?

    Comment by Tommy100 — Monday, Apr 16, 2018 @ 10:56

  4. Ms.Doubtfire

    Few would disagree that we deserve a better council than we currently have – but – and this is the big but – until and unless our Tory members make themselves heard and support residents over various issues, they will never make any inroads.
    Planning issues are of a particular concern here…the Tory group seem to sit back and say nothing when some very serious and damaging planning issues arise. This is not the way to inspire confidence in the electorate.

    Comment by Ms.Doubtfire — Saturday, Apr 14, 2018 @ 10:01

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