May 6 local elections: Meet your candidates for Haldens ward (borough)
- Credit: Supplied
On May 6 all 16 wards will have a seat up for grabs in the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council elections - with Welham Green and Hatfield South ward having two.
Of the 17 seats up for election, there are 10 Conservative seats, four Labour seats and three Liberal Democrat seats.
The WHT has given each candidate the opportunity to tell you why they are running.
They are listed alphabetically by surname:
Sarah Butcher – Green Party
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"I have lived in Welwyn Hatfield for 22 years and am involved in recycling, nature reserve volunteering, sustainability groups and organise a monthly litter pick. This is my first time standing for election because now, more than ever, we need Green representatives on our borough and county councils.
"I think people are desperately searching for a fresh vision to solve society’s problems which doesn’t harm the environment, driving out the ‘business-as-usual’ approach we’ve had for too long and is clearly not working. The Green Party stands for fairness and justice for people and the environment.
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"If elected I will work to encourage all councillors to leave a better, more sustainable legacy for our young people who will inherit the decisions we make now. In our borough particularly I support housing development that is sustainable and includes more affordable properties, public transport that works for everyone, better recycling facilities, and joined-up cycling and walking networks."
Alastair Hellyer - Conservatives
"I live and work in the Haldens area of Welwyn Garden City – the area I’m standing to represent, but my ward also covers the Daniells and Moors Walk parts of Panshanger.
"I’m a huge admirer of Welwyn Garden City’s founding principles. This town was built with the intention of combining the best elements of city and rural life while avoiding the drawbacks of either, and it was designed to be economically sustainable in its own right rather than as another overspill of London. I want to carry forward and protect that legacy, which is why I’m not in favour of the latest planning application filed on the old Shredded Wheat site.
"The biggest obstacle to starting a family here (and in much of England) is the need for more affordable housing – I know this both from my own experience and from speaking to friends and colleagues. I’m standing for election because I want young people in Welwyn Hatfield to be able to put down roots here without the borough losing its character – the character that makes people want to stay here in the first place."
Mike Larkins - Labour
"I have lived in Haldens since 1981. I was first elected in 1983 and I have represented Haldens for many years since. I am also proud to be Chair of Governors at Panshanger Primary School.
"Last year, we were able to solve homelessness almost overnight. It is difficult for single people to get on the council housing list and then wait years to be offered anything. They get pushed into expensive private accommodation or end up sleeping rough and that is a disgrace.
"If re-elected, I will fight for council housing, to be part of any development that is built in the ward and across the borough. The government definition of affordable is not affordable to most people.
"I am very concerned about the future of Welwyn Garden City and how the council is allowing the very ethos of it to be trampled over by massive private development. I have extensive experience of the planning."
Rhiannon Richardson - Liberal Democrats
Rhiannon has lived her whole life in Welwyn Hatfield, living in Hatfield and going to school in Welwyn Garden City. She works as a child play assistant in the Borough. She knows our area well, it’s positives and it’s negatives, and wants to make it a better place for us all.
Rhiannon is particularly concerned about provision of youth activities. She knows well how adolescent activity provision needs to change and she is committed to pushing for those changes if she is elected.
As a young woman, Rhiannon would bring a breath of fresh air to the council. Our council should reflect our society, but too few young people put themselves forward. We are fortunate to have such an intelligent and motivated young person wanting to serve and she would be a fantastic addition to our Borough Council.