West Sussex County Council by-election to be held for Bourne division

Four candidates have put themselves forward for a West Sussex County Council by-election for the Bourne division.

Top row: Alan Butcher and Bob Hayes, bottom row Andrew Kerry-Bedell and Ann Stewart
Top row: Alan Butcher and Bob Hayes, bottom row Andrew Kerry-Bedell and Ann Stewart

It is due to be held tomorrow (Thursday November 4) following Mike Magill’s decision to stand down.

The candidates are Alan Butcher (Labour), Bob Hayes (Conservatives), Andrew Kerry-Bedell (Liberal Democrats) and Ann Stewart (Green Party).

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The Observer asked each of the candidates to tell us a bit about themselves.

Bob Hayes - Conservatives

My name is Bob Hayes and I am standing as the Conservative candidate in the forthcoming By-Election for the Bourne Division. Many of you will already know me as I have lived in Southbourne since 2003 and have been actively involved in supporting local charities and local politics.

I will not only hold Southern Water to account, but also the Environment Agency as well. We must ensure that we have sustainable wildlife corridors and protect our rivers from pollution

Having spoken with many of you on the doorstep, I have listened and taken on board your concerns which mirror my own. I will do my upmost to ensure that we tackle pollution both in the harbour, rivers and the air quality.

Andrew Kerry-Bedell - Liberal Democrats

He has lived in Nutbourne for 12 years and has set up the Chidham and Hambrook Action Group and created Save our Harbour Villages.

He said: “I will work cross-party to deliver better wildlife and environmental protection, sustainable transport planning and ultrafast broadband rollout to support home workers.

“I’ll fight for a Citizens’ Panel to represent residents on the health, transport, education and social services the County Council provides.

“Never again should an all-Conservative Cabinet ignore residents and axe services like Southbourne’s Children and Family Centre.

“I’ve created a Bourne Community Minibus project that will provide free travel around Southbourne, Chidham, Hambrook, Thorney and Westbourne. I did this as a private citizen: my election will help to deliver its benefits rapidly.”

Ann Stewart - Green Party

Ann Stewart is a retired deputy head teacher.

Her main concern is the climate and ecological emergency and the difficult balance needed to meet the challenge of climate change while maintaining a prosperous county where everyone can live a comfortable and secure life.

One of her key concerns is the heavy reliance on private cars in the county, leading to road congestion and poor air quality. She campaigns for a more comprehensive, convenient, and affordable public transport system. Another concern is housing standards that commit people to choose between high energy bills or cold homes.