There are 13 candidates vying for three seats in Ratton ward in the Eastbourne Borough Council elections on Thursday May 7.
All of the council’s 27 seats are up for grabs and the town will also vote for a Member of Parliament.
The candidates standing in Ratton and their biographies are below.
Their photos can also be seen in the video.
For more on candidates in other wards of Eastbourne click here.
A past mayor and chairman of the county council, Colin Belsey is a well know local political figure and has represented Ratton for some years. He says he works tirelessly for the local community and enjoys helping people with problems. He attends King’s Church, is married to Terri and between them they have 11 grandchildren. He is a season ticket holder at the Amex.
“I first moved to Eastbourne almost 20 years ago, my wife and I have raised our family here. I work locally in the NHS and believe communities are stronger when they work together. It would be a privilege to represent local residents and get things done on your behalf.”
Born and bred in South London, Colin joined an office at 16, then the Royal Navy learning about navigation and fire protection which led him to start his own business. He moved to Eastbourne with his wife Elaine and now run a health and nutrition business, and keep fit club.
Australian-born, Dr John Oliphant has lived in Eastbourne for 35 years. A practising historian, writer, teacher and lecturer, John champions free access to self-discovery through learning. Determined to defend open green spaces and a committed FOE to noise pollution, he offers a discriminating and perceptive approach to local affairs.
Anne retired early after a career in social work and spent eight years with Voluntary Service Overseas as a training and development officer. Her concerns for Eastbourne are to ensure high standards of service provision for all sections of the community, especially the elderly and those with special needs.
Everyone knows somebody adversely affected by the Tory-Lib Dem cuts to our services. I am a university lecturer and Ratton resident for 19 years. If elected, I will do everything in my power to improve transport, health and other local services which are in jeopardy under the present regime.
“I am a health and safety tutor and work closely with young people in Eastbourne. It is time for young voters to be heard and I will work to make that happen. While many say young people are the future, I believe they should be part of Eastbourne’s present.”
Linda, who has previously been a county councillor, was a governor at Ratton School, where her daughter was educated. Linda is a local businesswoman with what she calls a strong sense of community. She vows to be a passionate advocate for Ratton and relishes the opportunity to fight on behalf of the residents.
Working for Age Concern, Roger says he has a wealth of experience and understand the needs for the elderly and is passionate about ensuring the concerns of older people are heard. Roger, who has stood for election in Ratton before, is hoping he is given the opportunity to serve on the borough council to champion the residents of the ward.
Daniel grew up in Old Town attending Ocklynge, Ratton and Eastbourne Sixth Form College before studying sociology and social policy at university. After several years abroad he’s returned to Old Town, living in the Ratton Ward, and lives and works as a journalist and magazine editor. He says he is thrilled at the opportunity to seek election for the area he loves.
David believes Eastbourne Borough Council needs to become more democratic with its decision making process and should abandon the cabinet system which lacks transparency and transforms elected councillors into political sheep. He urges the adoption of common sense policies for the improvement of Eastbourne town.
Her work within the NHS has given Helen Hill what she calls an insight into how layers of bureaucracy can transfer power away from people whose needs are greatest. She firmly believes common sense solutions are preferable to political dogma. As a UKIP councillor, she says she will concentrate on local issues to improve the area.
Brian hails from Leeds. His early occupation was as a mechanical services engineer running his own business. He believes much closer management by councillors of Eastbourne’s affairs is the way forward and pledges to promote localism and local decision making wherever possible. Brian is a member of the Eastbourne Blind Society.