Your candidates' elevator pitches ahead of Welwyn Hatfield elections

PUBLISHED: 16:58 27 April 2019 | UPDATED: 18:11 02 May 2019

The 2019 local elections at Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council take place on Thursday, May 2. Picture: Archant

The 2019 local elections at Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council take place on Thursday, May 2. Picture: Archant

Archant

Borough council elections are almost on us and 63 people across Welwyn Hatfield are all jostling for your vote - here's their elevator pitch, ward by ward.

The Conservatives are defending their slim margin of overall control of the council. Picture: Kevin LinesThe Conservatives are defending their slim margin of overall control of the council. Picture: Kevin Lines

Whether you think they're busybodies, heroes, or words we can't print – whoever gets involved in local politics is desperate to make their mark on their communities.

Whoever gets seats will have a strong voice – not to mention voting powers – on a wide range of the issues that matter most to you, whether it's potholes, green spaces, leisure facilities, planning, and myriad other things.

On May 2, all of Welwyn Hatfield can vote for candidates both on the borough council.

In addition, Hatfield can vote on its town council, which looks after different responsibilities.

Below are the pitches of the borough council candidates.

It's also an exciting election year with the Tories defending their slim margin of overall control of the borough council.

READ MORE: Tory control of Welwyn Hatfield Council on a knife-edge in upcoming elections

Below we've got a summary of each would-be councillor's pitch to you, arranged alphabetically by surname and ward.

Don't know which voting ward you live in? Use this tool to find out.

Anyone who is currently a councillor and is defending their seat in this election is marked with an asterisk (*).

Brookmans Park & Little Heath: Graham Beevers (L), Jonathan Boulton (C), Louisa Noel (LD). Pictures: suppliedBrookmans Park & Little Heath: Graham Beevers (L), Jonathan Boulton (C), Louisa Noel (LD). Pictures: supplied

If there is no asterisk, it means the existing councillor is not standing in this election.

Brookmans Park & Little Heath

Graham Beevers, Labour

Retired accountant Graham lives in Welwyn Hatfield with his wife.

“I'm standing for election because I want to make a difference to our neighbourhoods,” said Graham.

“I want to take my experience and make sure the council, and Welwyn Hatfield, are getting the best deal possible.”

Jonathan Boulton, Conservative*

Jonathan has lived in Brookmans Park for 28 years and says he is dedicated to protecting its unique character.

Haldens: Barbara Fitzsimon (C), Darrell Panter (LD), Jason Robinson (L). Pictures: suppliedHaldens: Barbara Fitzsimon (C), Darrell Panter (LD), Jason Robinson (L). Pictures: supplied

With planning issues as one of his priorities, he wants to prevent Brookmans Park from blending into Potters Bar or Welham Green.

“I am also working hard to have a 20mph speed limit put in place outside Brookmans Park Primary School, and to have lights installed on the footbridge near the train station,” he said.

He urged people to vote on the basis of local issues, not Brexit.

Louisa Noel, Liberal Democrats

Solicitor Louise has lived in Brookmans Park since 2014, and in her legal career has gained experience in negotiation and project management.

She has long been involved in charity work for maternity work and human rights in childbirth, including setting up a charity.

“I will pay close attention to problems such as potholes, parking, bin collections and fly-tipping,” said Louisa.

“I will campaign for you on issues such as the new Local Plan and our rail service.”

Handside: Anthony Dennis (LD), Chieme Okuzu (C). Pictures: suppliedHandside: Anthony Dennis (LD), Chieme Okuzu (C). Pictures: supplied

Haldens

Berenice Dowlen, Green

The Green Party has not so far responded to a request for information on its candidates.

Barbara Fitzsimon, Conservative*

Welwyn Hatfield's current mayor, Barbara has lived in Welwyn Garden City for over 15 years with her family. Recently, she has been focusing on the dangerous parking on Herns Lane, cleaning up the lagoon and working towards the new play park.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as mayor and as a councillor,” she said.

“It has brought me closer to my ward of Haldens, Daniells and Moors Walk than ever before and it would be a real privilege to represent it again.”

Darrell Panter, Liberal Democrats

Born and raised in Welwyn Garden City, Darrell works in a skilled trade.

Hatfield Central: Adam Edwards (LD),  Glyn Hayes (L). Pictures suppliedHatfield Central: Adam Edwards (LD), Glyn Hayes (L). Pictures supplied

He pledges to preserve Haldens' character while providing housing, and wants to develop additional youth facilities, as well as campaigning to save Gosling sports park and the dry ski slope.

He says he'll take a “joined-up” approach to parking and verge protection as well as improving pavements and dropped kerbs.

Jason Robinson, Labour

Jason has lived in Welwyn Garden City all his life and said that he plans to make tackling antisocial behaviour one of his priorities.

“It's time for some fresh ideas,” he said.

“On top of issues like missed bin collections, fly-tipping and road safety, one thing that regularly comes up when speaking to you and your neighbours is the lack of affordable housing.

“I'll join Labour councillors in calling for more.”

Handside

Hatfield East: Ed Boulton and Caron Juggins (C), Jackie Brennan (LD), Cathy Watson and Phil Knott (L), Gemma Moore (LD). Pictures: suppliedHatfield East: Ed Boulton and Caron Juggins (C), Jackie Brennan (LD), Cathy Watson and Phil Knott (L), Gemma Moore (LD). Pictures: supplied

Anthony Dennis, Liberal Democrats

Anthony, who grew up in Stevenage, has volunteered for local organisations such as a furniture re-use scheme and Age UK.

“I want us all to work together to protect these green spaces and the unique character of Welwyn Garden City, particularly as we enter our centenary year in 2020,” he said.

“I am also keen to work hard to safeguard public services, and wherever possible enhance them, to make Handside and our town a better place for us and future generations.”

Ian Nendick, Green

The Green Party has not so far responded to a request for information on its candidates.

Martin Norman, Labour

Keen musician Martin was born at the QEII and volunteers at his local GP surgery.

“Healthcare and social care are subjects close to my heart,” he said.

Hatfield South West: Jack Adams (C), Simon Archer (LD), James Broach and Lenny Brandon (L), Aaron Jacob (C), Paul Wilson (LD). Pictures: suppliedHatfield South West: Jack Adams (C), Simon Archer (LD), James Broach and Lenny Brandon (L), Aaron Jacob (C), Paul Wilson (LD). Pictures: supplied

“I've been an active campaigner for more funding to our NHS.

“I'm passionate about the local community.”

Chieme Okuzu, Conservative

Pastor Chieme (pronounced Chemmy) lives in Handside with his wife.

He also does charity work to help the long-term unemployed find sustainable work.

One of his priorities is to ensure that Welwyn Garden City is as prepared as it can be for the centenary next year.

He also wants to get tough on fly-tipping, tackle litter and stamp out the anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

“I love being a local pastor, meeting many residents of Handside and helping them with guidance, but I feel I can offer more.”

Hatfield Villages: Margaret Eames-Petersen (L), Matt Quenet (LD), Drew Richardson (C). Pictures: suppliedHatfield Villages: Margaret Eames-Petersen (L), Matt Quenet (LD), Drew Richardson (C). Pictures: supplied

Hatfield Central

James Bond, Conservative

Retired major James has lived in Welwyn Hatfield for many years and is a professional cricket umpire.

He says he is passionate about bringing the community together more.

“I think the work the council is doing to Hatfield town centre is fantastic,” he said.

“It is great to see a thriving farmers' market and I am eager to see that this is expanded.

“There is real potential for Hatfield, but it needs a dedicated councillor who will manage it closely.”

Adam Edwards, Liberal Democrats

Adam, who has lived in Birchwood since 1989, said he has been campaigning for 10 years for better paths and pavements. As chair of WelHat Cycling, safe cycle routes are a priority of his.

Hollybush: Margaret Birleson (L), Chris Corbey-West (LD), Anthony Musk (C). Pictures: suppliedHollybush: Margaret Birleson (L), Chris Corbey-West (LD), Anthony Musk (C). Pictures: supplied

“If we are to combat obesity and pollution, we need more people walking and cycling, leaving the roads less congested for those who have to use a car or van,” he said.

“My greatest strength may well be my normality.

“I am a dad before anything else.”

Glyn Hayes, Labour*

Glyn has been a Hatfield Central councillor for five years and recently voted against increasing council tax.

Concerned about anti-social behaviour, he has worked to prevent drug dealing in Stockbreach Road.

“It was through listening to residents that I proposed moving the market from Market Square to the High Street,” he said, adding that he's had positive feedback about this.

He said he's been working to ensure homes are safer, and also secured funding to help small businesses become accessible to wheelchair users.

Howlands: Konrad Basch (LD), Darren Hughes (UKIP), Stan Tunstall (C), Jill Weston (L). Pictures: suppliedHowlands: Konrad Basch (LD), Darren Hughes (UKIP), Stan Tunstall (C), Jill Weston (L). Pictures: supplied

Hatfield East

Ed Boulton, Conservative

Ed has lived in Welwyn Hatfield his whole life and has a Masters in planning, and believes this will benefit residents as the redevelopment of Old Hatfield, Mill Green and Salisbury Square loom.

He says he cares “passionately” about his home town and, alongside fellow candidate Caron Juggins, “we firmly believe we have the drive and enthusiasm to represent residents well”.

Jackie Brennan, Liberal Democrats

Retired teacher Jackie has lived in Old Hatfield since 1986, and now has a Masters in computing.

She pledges to work to improve parks and green spaces, challenge local maintenance issues, promote recycling, and push for improvements in housing.

“I would like the opportunity to contribute to the services for young people and those who are socially isolated,” added Jackie, who helps to run a community centre that provides support for people of all ages.

Ian Gregory, Green

Northaw & Cuffley: Sheila Barrett (L), Robby Durrant (LD), George Michaelides (C). Pictures: suppliedNorthaw & Cuffley: Sheila Barrett (L), Robby Durrant (LD), George Michaelides (C). Pictures: supplied

The Green Party has not so far responded to a request for information on its candidates.

Caron Juggins, Conservative

Salon owner Caron has lived in Hatfield for nearly 60 years.

She believes her business experience and her constant dialogue with residents in her Hatfield town centre salon, give her the insight and experience needed to understand how to drive Hatfield forward.

Phil Knott, Labour

Currently deputy leader of Hatfield Town Council, Phil has lived all his life in the town.

He's been instrumental in town council policies such as upgrading community spaces and organising the firework display and free music festival.

In line with Labour's borough council policy, he will call on the council to freeze its portion of council tax as has previously been done at town council level.

Gemma Moore, Liberal Democrats

Panshanger: Jayne Quinton (LD), Kyle MacLeod (L), Iain Mansfield (C). Pictures: suppliedPanshanger: Jayne Quinton (LD), Kyle MacLeod (L), Iain Mansfield (C). Pictures: supplied

Health and safety officer Gemma moved to Hatfield 18 months ago from Bushey and has previously worked on community environmental projects.

She wants to improve parks and green spaces. “As parent who attends the park regularly with my daughter it's sad to see the paint peeling from the play equipment,” she said.

Along with other Lib Dem challengers, she also wants to push for improving local maintenance issues, promote recycling, develop better facilities and improve housing stock.

Cathy Watson, Labour

Retired health worker Cathy has lived in Welwyn Hatfield for over 20 years and was previously a Hatfield councillor.

She has been a trustee of the local women's refuge.

She's been working with residents, councillors and local authorities to try and stem the anti-social behaviour experienced by residents in Stream Woods.

She too will call for a freeze in borough council tax.

Peartree: Tony Bailey (C), Jayne Ranshaw (LD), Steve Roberts (L). Pictures: suppliedPeartree: Tony Bailey (C), Jayne Ranshaw (LD), Steve Roberts (L). Pictures: supplied

Hatfield South West

Jack Adams, Conservative

Jack, who is campaigning alongside Aaron Jacob, issued a joint statement saying they have “really enjoyed” campaigning.

“It's been great to meet the residents and thank you for the warm response so far,” they said.

“It's clear that there are some deep rooted issues in the ward.”

They want to tackle parking and the availability of affordable housing.

“As staunch environmentalists we want to look at increasing the number of trees in the area as well as looking to ensure that the air pollution around school areas remains at a safe level.”

Simon Archer, Liberal Democrats

Retired bus driver Simon has lived in Hatfield since 1978 and says he is “passionate” about environmental issues, and takes part in regular litter picks.

Sherrards: Hilary Carlen (L), Patricia Mabbott (C), Frank Marsh (LD), Paul Naughton (UKIP). Pictures: suppliedSherrards: Hilary Carlen (L), Patricia Mabbott (C), Frank Marsh (LD), Paul Naughton (UKIP). Pictures: supplied

As chair of Hatfield Against Incineration he helped succeed in a campaign against building a massive incinerator at New Barnfield.

He is also heavily involved in St John's Youth and Community Centre, and wants to ensure Hilltop shops are not affected by redevelopment.

His top concerns are potholes, unlit bollards, cycling on pavements, and uneven footpaths.

Lenny Brandon, Labour

Lenny is currently the leader of Hatfield Town Council and also lives and works in the town.

Lenny's proud of his record in Hatfield, which includes freezing town council tax and helping organise the Hatfield firework display and the Free Hatfield Music Festival.

In a quote attributed to Lenny and James Broach, his fellow Labour campaigner in Hatfield South West, he said: “Many people feel that Hatfield is getting a raw deal compared with other areas of Welwyn Hatfield – we want to be a champion for Hatfield, always putting you first.”

James Broach, Labour

Currently a borough councillor in this ward, James said he has spoken out against decisions made by the Conservative-majority council, including the bin charges, councillor pay rises and the increase in private landlords turning houses into houses of multiple occupation.

Welham Green & Hatfield South: Darren Bennett (C),  Jaida Caliskan (LD),  John Eames-Petersen (L). Pictures: suppliedWelham Green & Hatfield South: Darren Bennett (C), Jaida Caliskan (LD), John Eames-Petersen (L). Pictures: supplied

James said he has also consistently raised the issues of missed bin collections and the amount of rubbish on our streets.

Aaron Jacob, Conservative
Aaron, who is campaigning alongside Jack Adams, issued a joint statement saying they have “really enjoyed” campaigning.

“It's been great to meet the residents and thank you for the warm response so far,” they said.

“It's clear that there are some deep rooted issues in the ward.”

They want to tackle parking and the availability of affordable housing.

“As staunch environmentalists we want to look at increasing the number of trees in the area as well as looking to ensure that the air pollution around school areas remains at a safe level.”

Paul Wilson, Liberal Democrats

Born in Hertfordshire, Paul has lived in Hatfield for five years.

“I am aware of the everyday issues we face as residents – including parking troubles, litter and shortcomings in the general upkeep of our neighbourhoods,” says his campaign statement. “These are all fixable problems.”

Welwyn East - Josh Chigwangwa (L),  Helen Harrington (LD),  Roger Trigg (C). Pictures: suppliedWelwyn East - Josh Chigwangwa (L), Helen Harrington (LD), Roger Trigg (C). Pictures: supplied

He reminded voters that no matter how disheartening politics can be at national level, he believes the Liberal Democrats are working hard to positively affect people's lives.

Hatfield Villages

Margaret Eames-Petersen, Labour

Former lecturer and public health worker Margaret has lived in Hatfield over 20 years and is on both the county council and Hatfield Town Council.

She has campaigned against the incinerator in Hatfield and for keeping Ellenbrook Park.

In her time as councillor she has got 26 out of 44 roads in Salisbury village and Hatfield Garden village adopted.

“I stand for building the forgotten infrastructure – including shops, a GP practice, pharmacy, and an adequate hall for residents to meet,” she told the Welwyn Hatfield Times.

“Ellenbrook Park has not been landscaped and plans for the Trust have been neglected for 18 years, allowing a quarry to be proposed, which may jeopardise our public water supply.”

Welwyn West: Tony Kingsbury (C), Ian Merison (L), Christina Raven (LD). Pictures: suppliedWelwyn West: Tony Kingsbury (C), Ian Merison (L), Christina Raven (LD). Pictures: supplied

Matt Quenet, Liberal Democrats

Currently qualifying as an osteopath, Matt has lived in Hatfield nearly all his life.

“Hatfield needs strong voices to stand up for everyone who lives here,” he said in a campaign statement.

“Strong voices that represent all ages and backgrounds in our community because Hatfield deserves better than the borough council it currently has.”

Drew Richardson, Conservative

Drew has lived in Welwyn Hatfield his entire life, went to Stanborough school and has studied at the University of Hertfordshire.

He says he has thrown himself into the local community, from looking at parking issues and road adoption, to joining regular litter picks.

“As a candidate in his mid-20s, I have an energy and fresh approach that I believe residents want to see,” he told the Welwyn Hatfield Times.

“I am eager to implement some new ideas.”

Tim Hogan, Green Party candidate in the Welwyn West ward for the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council elections. Picture: Courtesy of Tim HoganTim Hogan, Green Party candidate in the Welwyn West ward for the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council elections. Picture: Courtesy of Tim Hogan

Hollybush

Margaret Birleson, Labour

Margaret has lived in Welwyn Garden City all her life and has been a councillor for 25 years.

She is a trustee of the Ludwick Family Club and a governor at Ludwick Nursery School, for which she has also campaigned to secure funding.

She successfully campaigned to return seating to Woodhall Shops after the council took the benches away.

She is a vocal critic of Universal Credit, and has voted against councillor pay increases, council tax increases, and the bin charges.

Chris Corbey-West, Liberal Democrats

Accountant and finance manager Chris has lived in Welwyn Garden City all his life and is a governor at Peartree Primary School.

He is also standing as a county councillor for Hollybush.

“I would look to fight for better integration of health and social care as well as more money for our schools to address the lack of funding which is likely to lead to a crisis in our health and social care and schools,” he said in a campaign statement.

Anthony Musk, Conservative

Self-described family man Anthony grew up in Welwyn Garden City and went to Stanborough School.

Anthony said he is passionate about tackling local issues like parking, anti-social behavior, affordable housing and protecting the King George V park.

He said he wants to be a visible and open councillor that can be accessible to all residents, whether they voted for him or not.

Howlands

Konrad Basch, Liberal Democrats

Konrad, who has lived in Welwyn Garden City since 1983, said he is primarily focused on protecting services and the environment.

“I am very aware of some of the local issues concerning us all, parking, litter, grass cutting, bin collections and many more that affect our quality of life in this unique town,” he said.

He said he will work collaboratively to address potholes, damaged paving, as well as improving Stanborough Lakes and access at Campus West.

He also proposes monthly surgeries so that people have a regular time slot to raise issues with their councillor.

Darren Hughes, UKIP

Born in Welwyn Garden City, Darren believes that UKIP can make a difference on a local level.

He opposes housing development on Green Belt land.

“With services stretched to their limits increasing the local population would have a catastrophic effect on sewage, gas and electrical supplies not to mention schools, hospitals and doctors, this is simply not sustainable,” he said.

He also says he is concerned about violent crime and policing.

“If you value democracy and have feelings regarding Brexit it is clear that UKIP are committed to upholding the outcome of the 2016 referendum,” he said.

Stan Tunstall, Conservative

Stan has lived in the area for 35 years, and works in property and maintenance.

Havaing been a councillor for Howlands in the past he think he can “hit the ground running” if elected this time.

“Unlike some of your current councillors I don't think communicating with residents should just be at election times,” he said.

“I've been delivering Howlands updates throughout autumn, winter and spring, as dialogue is key if we are serious about making improvements for residents.”

Jill Weston, Labour*

Current councillor Jill believes her campaigning has helped get Hall Grove recycling banks clared up, and helped get a new plastics bank put in.

She has campaigned for improvements to Woodhall shops such as the return of bench seating in place of cubes, and getting the disabled parking bays re-painted.

“I am scandalised that our Tory council charges such high rent for the community centres they own,” she said.

In the wake of youth crime and anti-social behaviour concerns, she also wants to see much more provision of free activities for young people as well as a “properly-funded police force”.

Northaw & Cuffley

Sheila Barrett, Labour

Sheila, who used to run a 'Rainbow' group, said she knows how important it is to get children off to the best start.

“Unfortunately, with children's services being [cut] we're seeing an increase of anti-social behaviour on our streets and that's what I want to help reverse,” she said.

Robby Durrant, Liberal Democrats

Retired widow Robby has lived in Cuffley for 23 years.

A major concern of hers is the impact of development on the Green Belt.

“I witness all the time how Lib Dem councillors make a difference to local residents,” she said in a campaign statement.

“If they can help residents they will.

“Can you honestly say that about the other parties?”

George Michaelides, Conservative*

Accountant George moved to Welwyn Hatfield in 1993.

Currently a councillor, George – who is originally from Cyprus – said he has helped residents with issues including speeding, parking and planning developments.

“To be a councillor worth his salt you need to be level headed and realistic,” he told the Welwyn Hatfield Times.

“It is vital that you always listen to the concerns of the residents and echo their will in the council chamber.”

Panshanger

Kyle MacLeod, Labour

Kyle has lived in Welwyn Garden City all his life and says one of his main concerns is “the Tories' failure to invest in affordable and social housing in Welwyn Hatfield”.

“That's not to say I want to concrete over our green spaces,” he added in a campaign statement. “I'm just as angry as you are at the mishandling of the Local Plan, and believe that our green spaces should be protected.

He also wants to see investment in local infrastructure, and said Labour has already secured funding for better parking and disabled access.

Iain Mansfield, Conservative

According to the Conservative Party, Iain is “the only Panshanger candidate who actually lives in Panshanger”.

In the years he has been there Iain has attended litter picks and pressured developers to hold a public meeting for residents on a proposed development in Panshanger.

“My motivation for standing for council is simple,” he said. “I want the best for the area in which my children will grow up.”

Jane Quinton, Liberal Democrats

Jane has campaigned for many years about the Local Plan at Panshanger Airfield.

She helped set up a campaigning group and website against the development, before the council approved 650 homes there and on Hillyfields.

“However, I am determined to make sure that the details are fit for purpose, that adequate infrastructure is provided and that existing residents aren't forgotten going forward,” she said in a campaign statement.

She also wants to tackle road safety such as on Black Fan Road, parking, and improving dropped kerbs.

Peartree

Tony Bailey, Conservative

Tony has lived in the area all his life and worked fover a decade for Herts police, where he says he has tried to help the community tackle anti-social behaviour.

“I believe I can use this to make a difference in these very challenging times, looking at the root causes of this issue and taking firm action,” he added.

A self-described working-class man, he added: “I want ensure the community spirit [of Peartree] and British values, that I saw when I grew up here, remain in 2019.”

Jayne Ranshaw, Liberal Democrats

Jayne has lived in Peartree for over 30 years and says she is passionate about protecting Welwyn Garden City's green spaces and the town's uniqueness.

She pledges to work with other councillors to address complaints about potholes, parking, bin collections, fly tipping, planning, transport, crime, vandalism, noise, litter, anti social behaviour, and grass cutting.

“I will champion the east side of Welwyn Garden City,” she said.

Steve Roberts, Labour*

Retired teacher Steve has lived in Peartree for over 35 years and has been one of its councillors for 20.

“I've stood alongside parents who are fighting to reverse school cuts,” he said.

He also campaigned to have the benches at Woodhall shops returned after they were replaced with cubes, and said he has consistently raised the issue of anti-social behaviour at council meetings and to council officers.

He said he was the only Peartree councillor to vote against the increase in council tax this year.

Sherrards

Hilary Carlen, Labour

Hilary is recently retired, having been active all over Welwyn Hatfield campaigning with the Labour Party and trying to improve the town.

She said: “Under the Tories our communities are suffering, and I want to help change things.”

Patricia Mabbott, Conservative*

Pat has lived in Welwyn Garden City for 26 years, having worked with social services.

“I first fell into politics when my husband Terry had to step down as your councillor,” she said.

She says she has worked to represent residents, businesses and local enforcement agencies.

“I want to bring a positive and constructive attitude to council, alongside plenty of experience!” she said.

“I am not interested in petty party politics, all I am interested in is getting the best for our community.”

Frank Marsh, Liberal Democrats

Previously a personal injury lawyer and now owning and running the coffee shop at Welwyn Garden City station, Frank has lived in Sherrards for over 15 years.

He is working with Lib Dem councillors and Network Rail to improve Welwyn Garden City station in time for the centenary.

He wants to help protect Gosling sports facilities, preserve the town's green spaces, provide quality homes, and promote recycling.

“I believe my experience in dealing with complex and sensitive matters will prove invaluable,” he said.

Paul Naughton, UKIP

Paul has been a local resident since 2013, and says: “To vote the same way and expect different results is a great definition of madness.

“Things like abandoned shopping trolleys, lack of local services, litter, fly-tipping, absence of policing resources, speeding traffic and the like, all contribute to the erosion of our quality of life.

“All these issues can be challenged head-on by me at a local council level.”

Lesley Smith, Green

The Green Party has not so far responded to a request for information on its candidates.

Welham Green & Hatfield South

Darren Bennett, Conservative

Keen runner Darren has lived and worked around Welwyn Hatfield for most of his life.

As he runs a private hire taxi private hire service he says he has the chance to meet and chat with many residents of the ward.

As a borough councillor in the past, he held the sport portfolio, supporting local teams and facilities in the ward.

Speaking of his local experience, he said: “Welham Green and Hatfield South are very different areas, but share some common goals.

“It is my belief that in order to represent these unique places you need to understand them properly.”

Jaida Caliskan, Liberal Democrats*

Having been a councillor in the ward for a year, Jaida says she is proud to have set up the monthly Friendship Group to address loneliness and isolation.

She sits on the Development Management Committee and says she has helped on a range of issues including fly-tipping, housing maintenance in Hatfield South, and yellow lines and speed limits in Welham Green.

She challenges the current Local Plan, and wants to see homes built without affecting the area's character.

She also pledges to improve parking, littering and recycling.

John Eames-Petersen, Labour

John has been in Hatfield since 2007 and is a trustee for HertSavers credit union.

As someone who supports the work of a local conservation charity, John said: “I want to help a Labour council protect our green spaces, that are vital for any community.”

Welwyn East

Josh Chigwangwa, Labour

Josh, who has stood for election in this ward before, said: “My previous pledge to put the needs of residents first stands.

“Residents have told me about the issues that matter to them – including anti-social behaviour and the condition of community spaces.

“That's what I'll focus on if elected.”

Helen Harrington, Liberal Democrats

Helen wants to work with the Lib Dems to address several issues, including improving recycling rates and protecting the Green Belt at the same time as providing affordable homes.

She wants to use a “joined-up approach” to address parking and to tackle anti-social behaviour through both partnering with police and increasing youth programmes.

“These are initiatives that have been blocked at every turn because one party has had control for too long,” she said.

Roger Trigg, Conservative*

Roger is currently the deputy mayor of Hatfield and has lived in Welwyn for 44 years.

He says he is keen to make the borough as safe, clean and vibrant as possible.

He has been involved with Oaklands Residents' Association for many years and was mainly involved in keeping the unadopted roads repaired. “I feel I have the experience and knowledge to continue to deliver for Welwyn residents,” he said.

Welwyn West

Tim Hogan, Green

Tim was born and grew up in Welwyn Garden City, where his parents still live, spending much of his childhood in Sherrards Wood. He moved to Mardley Heath in 2003, where he still lives.

“I'd describe myself as an environmentally-aware Christian socialist and, while I do own a car, I use it infrequently, preferring bicycles and public transport as primary means of transportation,” he said.

“I studied engineering at college and have always worked for low volume specialist manufacturers, my current employer being a local company established in 1966.”

Tony Kingsbury, Conservative*

Currently the leader of the borough council, Tony has lived in Welwyn for over a decade.

He says he has “thrown himself” into the community by attending local meetings and offering guidance on issues such as planning and parking.

He has also tried to limit the damage of the closure of Barclays by calling for a cash machine to remain.

“I also know that being a councillor is not always about big decisions,” he said.

“Sometimes, joining in litter picks or supporting local groups and events can play a major part.”

Ian Merison, Labour

Ian, who lives in Welwyn, has just started a social enterprise that looks to make education more accessible through games.

“It's a privilege to stand for election in Welwyn Hatfield,” he said.

“This town is my home and I want to play a role in making the community stronger.”

Christina Raven, Liberal Democrats

Osteopath Christina has lived in Welwyn for 12 years, and is a volunteer at Welwyn Community Library as well as joining in the Welwyn Rubbish Action Group as much as she can.

Recently she started a petition calling on Barclays to keep their Welwyn branch open.

“As a holistic practitioner, I have a deep concern for healthy living,” she said.

She wants to improve parking and reduce speeding, to develop youth activities and work with other agencies to tackle anti-social behaviour, and to create social activities in the ward.

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