Goldsmid candidates explain why they want to be a councillor. They also answer questions sent in by the public via social media.
Thirteen candidates are standing for the three Brighton and Hove City Council seats in Goldsmid ward.
Why do you want to be a councillor?
John Allcock has worked in education, social care and community settings. He is standing for Labour:
I have lived in Goldsmid for 21 years. I have worked as a civil servant in Westminster, in local authorities and voluntary organisations. I understand relationships between politics, governance and service delivery.
I want affordable homes for all, ensuring that services such as health, schools and transport are joined up with the housing development process. Society’s greatest challenge is the threat of global warming, which is why we have set an ambitious target for our city to become carbon-neutral by 2030. I am dedicated to working for Labour values of a fairer and more equal society, for the many and not the few.
Marianna Ebel is a quality engineer standing for the Greens:
I believe that there need to be more women in politics to achieve equality so I’ve put my money where my mouth is and decided to stand myself. Councillors are in a position to improve the lives of the residents in this city and I will make sure that we do everything in our power to soften the impact of the Tory austerity.
I will also work hard to ensure that we as a city do our bit to stop climate change and the pollution of our environment, for example, by reducing our carbon emissions and by introducing a better recycling scheme and food waste collections.
Andrew England is a chemistry teacher standing for the Liberal Democrats:
I want schools have enough teachers and resources to do a proper job and to see foreign language provision in primary schools expanded. We need to improve the local environment, directing extra funding to repair dangerous pavements and overgrown tree roots, remove litter and graffiti, improve the city’s parks and children’s playgrounds.
I am not anti-golfer but the need for housing is so acute that I support proposals to build affordable and social houses on part of the Hollingbury course. There are insufficient brownfield sites to meet demand and I am against building high-rise, except in the designated high-rise zones.
Raphael Hill teaches English as a foreign language and is standing for the Greens:
Because young people need a voice. Our Children, Young People and Skills Committee has a massive influence over young people’s lives and yet there are few young councillors in Brighton and Hove. The national average age of a councillor is 61.
There is also an acute housing crisis here and I want to continue our work as the party that built the first council homes in a generation. As Green councillors are not whipped, I can directly represent my residents and help to improve the local community in Goldsmid, where I live.
Orla May is an economist and financial regulator standing for the Liberal Democrats:
To serve our community and make Brighton and Hove a better city. I was born and grew up in Brighton. There is lots that is great about our city but it also faces huge challenges. The council is really stretched, having faced huge cuts in its finance from central government. It needs new voices, with fresh ideas. I would love to be one of those voices.
Steve Moses is an engineer standing for the Greens:
I have lived in Brighton and Hove for 30 years. I love our city, it’s diversity, creativity and its unique character but I believe a strong Green council can help to make Brighton and Hove an ever better place to live and work for all our residents.
I want to help tackle the problems that affect our quality of life in the city, especially problems encountered by our least advantaged residents. I am concerned about areas of the city with unacceptable air quality that endangers the health of residents, particularly our children. I also want to help deliver policies that tackle inequality which I believe contributes to many of our social problems.
Laura Mullin works in the space sector and is standing for the Liberal Democrats:
After a time living in France and Germany, I settled here in 2015. I want to be a councillor to help implement the local Lib Dem campaign for affordable housing, along with supporting local businesses.
Jackie O’Quinn is seeking re-election for Labour:
I am a mother of two grown-up children and I have a two-year-old grandchild. Family and community are very important to me and throughout my life I have worked for the communities I have lived in, both as a resident and as a sixth form teacher.
The elderly, the lonely, the disadvantaged and the vulnerable are all people that need support and help and I have always striven to give that assistance. The environment is a key issue for me and I am strongly against fracking, the use of pesticides, the use of netting by developers to stop birds from nesting and single-use plastics. Above all, I am committed to social justice and to grass-roots democracy.
Carl Taylor is currently unemployed and standing for the UK Independence Party:
We have a democracy that was hard fought and won for and it is vital that all people, but especially the younger generation such as myself, should be involved in the democratic process.
Debbie Taylor is a retired youth justice worker standing for Labour:
I have recently retired as a youth justice worker after 24 years delivering social care and youth services. I value our NHS and will fight to keep GP practices and other services available within our community.
What are you views on the design and impact on traffic of the Valley Gardens phase 3 project in Old Steine which includes making Madeira Drive one-way by the Palace Pier?
Marianna Ebel, Raphael Hill and Steve Moses: The Valley Gardens project was envisaged as a desperately needed green lung for the city centre and to improve walking and cycling. Phase 3 covers the area that is the city’s “accident black spot” – it’s a critical opportunity to cut serious injuries, many to cyclists.
The last Green council administration won £8 million of external funding to pay for the project. Labour’s delays to the scheme threatened this hard-won cash and left the Council scrambling to get the project to completion.
In this late and rushed process, there was inadequate consultation with residents and local businesses. Greens have pushed for better acknowledgement of the concerns raised. We have won assurances over new cycle lane provision and have heard that organisations such as Bricycles and Friends of the Earth now on board.
John Allcock, Jackie O’Quinn and Debbie Taylor: The designs are currently being drawn up to a detailed design stage. All comments and issues raised are being addressed and we hope to see a detailed scheme which meets the needs of all residents and businesses/ visitors expected.
Those detailed designs will have to ensure that the city keeps moving while addressing the impacts of the climate change emergency and supporting a modern city where sustainable transport routes are protected and enhanced.
Andrew England, Orla May and Laura Mullin: We are not convinced by the project at all. There seems to have been a real lack of public consultation on it and speaking to local residents, many people are unhappy about the impact on the local community.
Brighton and Hove Lib Dems’ manifesto sets out a proposal for a permanent park-and-ride scheme at Mill Road (the area used on Brighton and Hove Albion match days). We would favour diverting funds to developing a park-and-ride scheme instead.
Carl Taylor: I am largely sceptical of the Valley Gardens development project. I am yet to see concrete evidence that this development will benefit the city. On the contrary I have seen evidence that this project will cause untold traffic chaos, air pollution and overall make the area unsuitable for our citizens.
There is a huge problem with dog owners leaving waste behind, either in bags or just out in the open in parks and street. What will you do to tackle dog owners not picking up poo?
Marianna Ebel, Raphael Hill and Steve Moses: We should encourage and support members of the public in talking to dog owners who they see leaving dog mess in our streets and parks.
John Allcock, Jackie O’Quinn and Debbie Taylor: Our new enforcement officers who have been brought in-house are out and about in neighbourhoods and targeting those whose anti-social behaviours are affecting all our lives.
We need to both educate and enforce our way out of this problem and we want that message to get through to all who choose to leave dog mess across our city.
Andrew England, Orla May and Laura Mullin: We would look to provide bags in parks for the removal of any dog poo. We would also explore with the council how we could do any targeted enforcement in problem areas.
In Eastbourne, where the Lib Dems run the council, some really innovative approaches have been taken, empowering council officers on the streets to work directly with local communities to tackle problems. We would look to see how we could bring that innovative thinking to Brighton and Hove.
Carl Taylor: At council level we already have imposed fines at a pathetically small level but really we should be encouraging local communities to “name and shame” those who do not pick up excrement. Use the power of normative social influence to pressure people into doing the right thing and pick up their dog’s poo.
The council is planning more electric vehicle charging points. To what extent do you support this and will you commit to electric vehicle only parking spaces?
Marianna Ebel, Raphael Hill and Steve Moses: Steve owns an electric vehicle himself and believes they are part of the solution to our air pollution problem. The lack of reliable, high-speed, low-cost public charging points will continue to hold back the uptake of zero-emissions vehicles as their cost continues to reduce. We strongly support the investment in EV (electric vehicle) charging infrastructure and the policy of reserving these spaces for EVs only.
John Allcock, Jackie O’Quinn and Debbie Taylor: We fully support the installation of electric vehicle charging points (EVPCs) and in fact it is the Labour council that successfully bid for £300,000 funding from the government to allow the installation of 200 EVCPs.
Test sites are already in operation. It was noted at committee last June that the scheme might need to allow for mandatory parking bays for electric vehicle charging in the event, for example, it becomes clear that electric vehicle owners are having problems accessing advisory bays or to adapting over time to increased demand.
Andrew England, Orla May and Laura Mullin: We support providing infrastructure for electric vehicles. We would ensure the council worked with local communities on the roll-out of electric charging points so that demand and supply were aligned to the best extent possible.
Carl Taylor: I fully support the installation of these charging ports. I am a big supporter of electric vehicles and believe we should implement these charging points for two reasons. Firstly, to put our money where our mouths are. We prattle on about being an environmentally friendly city but offer little assistance for eco-friendly vehicles. Secondly. I am a firm believer in the free market and our citizens should be free to purchase electric cars without the fear of not being able to charge them.
If you design with children in mind, you also make it good for older people and create a healthier and more inclusive place that everyone can enjoy. How are you going to make the city safe and attractive for children to move around independently?
Marianna Ebel, Raphael Hill and Steve Moses: 1. Extension and enforcement of 20mph zones.
2. Put the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users first in new developments or changes to existing infrastructure.
3. Extend and link up our cycle path network to provide safe routes across the city that do not put cyclist into conflict with motor vehicle users.
4. Implement measures that restrict the use of residential streets as traffic “rat runs” preferably by closing some streets to motorised through traffic.
5. Where new cycling infrastructure is put in place, ensure it does not take space from pedestrians.
6. Work with bus companies to modify bus routes to tackle our worst-polluted areas, specifically North Street and Western Road.
7. Provide well-sited zebra crossings where necessary to shift the priority from motor vehicle users to pedestrians as successfully implemented at the Seven Dials.
8. Allow residents to request temporary road closures for community events and to allow children to “play out”.
9. Carry out city-wide consultation to promote regular car-free days in the city centre. Similar schemes have proved popular in cities across the world and we would love to see Brighton be the first UK city to implement a regular, car-free day covering a wide area of the city.
John Allcock, Jackie O’Quinn and Debbie Taylor: We need a range of measures to be delivered across the whole city. Better-protected cycling and walking routes are key to this as well as a safe reliable public transport system. We are also committed to setting up a fund to support improved community safety and neighbourhood policing measures to give people confidence in the safety and responsiveness of their local communities.
Andrew England, Orla May and Laura Mullin: We would encourage bus travel for young people, through reduced bus fares for the under-16s, whether accompanied or not. We also support expanding our cycle lane network wherever viable.
Carl Taylor: I would ensure that there be proper maintenance of the pavements as there are currently loose tiles and unnecessarily uneven walkways which is a major trip hazard for all residents and damaging for those with flat feet such as myself. Proper maintenance would make the city safer and more inclusive for all ages.
Children in Brighton and Hove should have playgrounds that are working and safe. Too many have old or damaged equipment. What do you plan to do to support young children to be able to enjoy play equipment in our parks?
Marianna Ebel, Raphael Hill and Steve Moses: Steve is the parent of two young children who spend hours every week in the city’s parks and open spaces. We believe providing safe, engaging well-maintained play equipment is an essential investment in their development, health and wellbeing.
We believe we should also provide areas that allow our children to interact with the natural world – tree climbing, sites for bug hunting and digging, sticks and leaves, acorns and pine cones, snail shells and feathers make excellent educational toys for imaginative children.
John Allcock, Jackie O’Quinn and Debbie Taylor: Under a Labour government the value of play was recognised and Labour gave significant funding to local councils for playground equipment. Locally Brighton and Hove got £2 million. This was great news but since then government commitment has not been the same.
So the council had a report in 2016 looking at how we could keep our playgrounds as great places to play despite funding pressures and many playgrounds across the city have been benefiting from improvement works, from Victoria Recreation Ground in Portslade to Saltdean Park.
Andrew England, Orla May and Laura Mullin: Equipment in our local playground has been broken for well over a year. Nobody seems to have been informed about how or when repairs would occur. What was once a lovely slide for toddlers has been replaced with some stones.
The council’s parks budget has fallen hugely in recent years. We would work with the local community to see how that budget could be increased. Where equipment was old or damaged, we would encourage working with local families and parks groups to determine how the budget could be spent and additional fundraising avenues that could be explored.
Carl Taylor: I fully agree that there is a need for improved children’s play equipment. A playground is a crucial component for a child’s development and promotes positive physical and mental health, along with developing a child’s social skills. I would put pressure on the council to make sure playgrounds are properly maintained and safe.
Children with special education needs and disabilities and/or mental health problems need a champion on the city council. How interested and passionate are you about supporting parents and young people who struggle to be heard?
Marianna Ebel, Raphael Hill and Steve Moses: This is an incredibly important issue for us. Greens reversed proposed budget cuts in this area this year and in previous years. This year we reduced proposed cuts in residential, respite and short breaks for children with SEN (special educational needs) by £700,000, and reversed the £500,000 proposed cut in directly provided day services for people with learning disabilities.
Cutting these services isn’t just a blow to vulnerable residents, it’s a false economy. The Parent and Carers Council told us that 45 per cent of family carers in the city have not had a break in the past year and are at “breaking point”. If we do not support young people and their carers, we end up picking up the cost down the line.
John Allcock, Jackie O’Quinn and Debbie Taylor: We are committed to ensuring that the most disadvantaged and marginalised in our communities are given the support and services that enable them to play their fullest part in the life of the city and reach their maximum potential.
Andrew England, Orla May and Laura Mullin: Being a Liberal Democrat is all about promoting a fair and equal society in which those who struggle to be heard are supported. We would love to support children and families with special educational needs and would aim to increase funding for special educational needs support in schools. We share an appreciation of the challenges that young people and their families can face.
Carl Taylor: I have previously worked as a support worker, hold a degree in psychology and have lived with a mental health condition for over a decade. I am incredibly passionate about supporting anybody who is affected by mental health conditions/special educational needs to be heard or for any other reasons.
Three other candidates are standing in Goldsmid ward, Peter Revell, Steve Harmer-Strange and Martin Hess, for the Conservatives.
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