Labour is standing candidates in all 16 wards. Eight of our candidates are women. All candidates are opposed to the new civic complex and theatre. All are standing on the 2018 Local Manifesto.
Benenden and Cranbrook
ANNE MUSKER is a solicitor specialising in helping families with Special Educational Needs Tribunals especially for children with autistic spectrum conditions. She has been a wheelchair user since 2000 and thinks the tax cut she got as a higher rate tax payer was indefensible when the NHS is struggling, people cannot find homes and disabled services are cut. She opposes massive spending to build a civic centre in Tunbridge Wells which will be partly paid for, but hardly used, by people living in towns and villages in the outer reaches of the borough.
Brenchley and Horsmonden
KELLY LEWELLYN lives in Horsmonden. She is a local mother to two children. She worked as a Probation Officer for 12 years and is now a one to one teaching assistant. She believes that villages across the borough have had a poor deal from this council, with most of the attention being focused on Tunbridge Wells. She wants better public transport as a way of reducing rural isolation and would like more traffic calming in the two villages to prevent the dangers of speeding cars. She is keen to represent her local community on Tunbridge Wells borough council.
LOUISE REID works for a charity, has lived in Tunbridge Wells for many years and went to school locally. She is angry that there is so much building of high priced luxury retirement apartments in a town that needs more diverse housing to suit all needs and budgets – including younger and older people on low incomes. She is passionate about green spaces and the contribution they make to mental health and well being.
CAROL WILSON and her family have had connections with Tunbridge Wells since the early 60s. She has lived in Culverden for seven years with grandchildren attending a local primary school. She is a trustee of the local community food bank. With qualifications in nursing, psychiatric social work and management, she has spent her working life in public services. Carol is the Constituency Party Women’s Officer and has played a major part in re-establishing the now active Labour Women’s Forum. She is strongly committed to ensuring women in Tunbridge Wells use the power of their votes and have a voice in local decision making.
Hawkhurst and Sandhurst
DR ANA DRAPER lives with her husband Kevin and her family in Hawkhurst, where she has lived for a large part of her life. After attending local primary and secondary schools she went on to train and work as a nurse, psychotherapist, and consultant. She is a clinical lead for the Refugee services for a London NHS Trust and a post-adoption clinical lead in Kent. She and her husband currently give supported living to a young care leaver. Ana thinks that people living in rural areas have a raw deal from a borough council which is focused too much on Tunbridge Wells. She wants improved public transport and genuinely affordable homes to help people stay and raise families in the areas they grew up in.
Paddock Wood East
CLLR DEREK BOYLE works in education. He moved to Paddock Wood 10 years ago and has been a Town Councillor since 2015. He is passionate about ensuring high-quality services for young people. He wants more genuinely affordable housing to buy and social rented housing in the town and to be a strong voice for Paddock Wood on the borough council.
Paddock Wood West
CLLR RAY MOON has lived in Paddock Wood all his life. He worked for British Telecom and retired in 2014. He has been a Town Councillor for over 30 years and been Chair of the Council. He welcomes new houses in Paddock Wood but only if there is an adequate infrastructure to support them. He wants houses that are genuinely affordable so that local people have the opportunity of staying in the town. He wants an improved bus service to Maidstone Hospital.
Pantiles and St Mark’s
LORNA BLACKMORE retired from working in the city where she led a team of investigators detecting financial crime. She has lived in Tunbridge Wells for 18 years and served for 3 years as a borough councillor. She is on various voluntary bodies within the community. She is standing for election because she wants to make her contribution to protecting the built environment and public spaces in the town. She is particularly concerned about the massive traffic congestion and air pollution on the A26 and the difficulty older people have in finding genuinely affordable sheltered housing.
HUGO POUND is a chartered psychologist specialising in corporate leadership and strategy. He has worked in industry, consulting, the NHS and as a qualified social worker in a London Borough. Married with three grown-up children, Hugo and his family have lived in Tunbridge Wells for 26 years; he is a Governor of Skinners’ Kent Academy, a member of the Lawrence Atwell Charity and a liveryman of the Skinners’ Company. He is currently Chair of Tunbridge Wells Labour Party. Hugo’s particular interest is in family support, housing and mental health. He strongly feels that the Borough Council needs to refocus and reprioritise its efforts in all three of these areas.
SARAH CARPENTER has lived in Tunbridge Wells for over 20 years, and is the mum of a sixth form student at Skinner’s Kent Academy. She is particularly concerned about the support for young people in the Borough. Sarah is Head of Health for Unite the Union and is a passionate campaigner for the NHS and local health services.
SEB ST JOHN grew up and lives in Tunbridge Wells with his family. He works as an Assistant Principal in a local school and has taught young people from the area as well as attending Sandown Court school when he was younger. He is concerned that Sherwood has the worst record of child poverty in the borough and wants more spending in the ward, not more cuts. He thinks the Conservative candidate is out of touch with local voters when he voted for the civic complex and theatre, and is putting himself forward as someone offering fresh ideas and a new voice for the area.
Southborough and High Brooms
CLLR ALAIN LEWIS has lived in Southborough with his wife for over 12 years. He is the Chair of the Southborough and High Brooms twinning association and regularly leads walks from the area. He is experienced in council work having been a Town Councillor for nearly five years and previously a Borough Councillor for four. He strongly opposed the demolition of the Royal Victoria Hall and is a critic of its replacement – the Southborough Community Hub, which has no price, no business plan, and no date for completion. Because of poor financial management people living in the town will have to pay up to £500,000 extra for the project from the sale of the Speldhurst Road allotments.
MARTIN BETTS has lived in Southborough for over 30 years. Before retiring he worked in a number of roles for the Department for Work and Pensions, developing, delivering and communicating policy to support unemployed people back to work. He feels that the Conservatives have let people down in Southborough and High Brooms leaving the town to become congested, run down and neglected. He strongly believes in protecting green spaces from development and wants the playing fields on the Ridgewaye to be given official Village Green status. He is a stern critic of the ill-managed Southborough Community Hub developed, largely in secret, by three Conservative councils.
Speldhurst and Bidborough
DAVID ADAMS has lived in Tunbridge Wells for 30 years. He heads a research company whose clients include Bank of England and private equity and institutional funds. He opposes the £90m Civic development in Tunbridge Wells and instead seeks prudent capital investment across the Borough and the provision of more affordable housing without harming the countryside and character of our towns and villages.
ISOBEL KERRIGAN is a lawyer working in the field of alternative dispute resolution. She is married to Kevin, lived in the borough for the last 18 years, and has four adult children. If elected she pledges to be visible in the ward and a strong voice for the people of St James’. She has a particular interest in making sure that young people get the best start in their lives and is concerned about the impact of cuts to children’s services across the borough.
BJORN SIMPOLE lives in Tunbridge Wells with his partner and young daughter. He has 20 years of experience working in local government and currently works in a policy role for a London Borough. If elected, unlike the two Conservative councillors, he promises to be active in the ward and hold regular surgeries. He is appalled at the state of the roads in the area and lack of affordable housing and would speak up for residents on potholes, congestion, parking and pollution – particularly on St John’s Road. He would use his knowledge and experience to fight for a better deal for residents living in the ward.