Greens announce candidate for Hollingdean by-election

Posted On 26 Feb 2021 at 3:29 pm


The Green candidate for the first of two upcoming by-elections has been announced as sustainable design researcher Zoë John.

Ms John, who has lived in Hollingdean and Stanmer for nine years and moved to Brighton 22 years ago, will be standing in the by-election likely to be held on Thursday, 6 May – the same day as the police and crime commissioner elections.

The election was triggered by the resignation of Labour councillor Tracey Hill, who is moving to be closer to her parents. Another by-election is set to take place for Patcham, where Conservative councillor Lee Wares stood down a few days later, also to spend more time with his elderly parents.

Ms John is the first candidate from any of the city’s three main parties to be announced for either ward.

Snce moving to the ward, she has been been part of local street play and community garden groups.

She said: “I am totally delighted to be able to represent the Brighton and Hove Green Party in the upcoming by-election in Hollingdean and Stanmer.

“I am excited to start working with [Green ward councillor] Martin Osborne and meet more of the whole community as we work together to make the ward, and council, work for everyone.

“Having young children myself (my eldest is at the local school) I know the impacts that the last year has had on us all, and I am dedicated to supporting our children and young people as we emerge from the pandemic.

“I am proud to stand for a party that puts our future generations, and their lives, at the heart of our policies.”

Councillor Osborne, who is Co-Chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee said: “Zoe will make a fantastic councillor and I am excited to welcome her to our team in the ward.

“Her strong local connections, mean many residents already know how committed she is to improving our area.

“I want to thank Cllr Tracey Hill for her commitment to the ward and her positive attitude to working together for residents.”

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, Leader of the Council commented: “This by-election presents a great opportunity to elect more Green councillors to join our team on Brighton and Hove City Council.

“I am thrilled that Zoe, a local parent and committed member of the community, will be standing to provide another strong green voice for the residents of Hollingdean and Stanmer.

“As we focus on building a recovery for our city from the pandemic, Zoë will make a powerful addition to the council.”

  1. Paul Temple Reply

    Bob Hope and no hope of getting elected. Greens were making inroads in this ward but I think the controversy over cycle lanes, school streets, the state of the city will cost them here. It will be an interesting by-election for sure.

    • Mike T Reply

      But no endorsement from MP Caroline Lucas.

      Why so?

  2. Joe Stains Reply

    “And moved to Brighton 22 years ago”

    Is there one single Green councillor who was actually born in Brighton and Hove?

    • Greyrun Reply

      Brighton people have a level of common sense,that’s why the Greens have to use dopey imported dipsticks as candidates.

    • Jen Reply

      I believe Leo Littman was born in Brighton, and possibly Amy Heley. In a way, it shouldn’t matter, but given the ‘student skew’ I can see where some people are coming from. It’s good to have outside ideas though, and a different perspective. Without it, we would never have any innovation, and might end up stagnating. There ought to be a balance, but the Greens seem like a bunch of middle-class outsiders who live in or near the centre of Brighton. They don’t really appear to understand the realities of life for people who live on the many estates further out, or how hard it is bringing up children with any kind of disability. They sound well-meaning and bright, but not terribly wise.

  3. Chaz. Reply

    That is the problem when you have a council run by students for students, you get Greens.
    Mind you, she must be one of their oldest judging by her picture.
    If I was voting I would go for anyone other than the goonies, even Labour.
    I just hope they get a bloody nose, they so deserve it.

  4. Jane Reply

    They will march with BLM and talk about BAME issues, but when it comes to electing officials they fall short of making local politics more diverse. Words, words, and more words.

  5. Greens Out Reply

    “This by-election presents a great opportunity to elect more Green councillors to join our team on Brighton and Hove City Council.2

    God please no…

  6. Hollingdean Heather Reply

    I heard that the greens in the council have chosen someone who is a new member of the green party and they turned down the person that green members living here actually wanted to be the candidate. But the Hollingdean green Party branch weren’t allowed to have a say apparently. Caroline Lucas didn’t give an endorsement as I heard she also wanted this other person who was turned down to be the green candidate. The woman that Caroline Lucas and the local people wanted was the one that got the new playground in Moulsecoomb and has done all the tree planting and the Foodbank stuff but the council leaders wanted a student type person

    • Robert Reply

      *ALL* Green council candidates are elected by party members as is parliamentary candidates, even Caroline Lucas.

      So what you have heard isn’t true. The Greens councillors are unable to chose someone over someone else.

      • Hollingdean Heather Reply

        This used to be the case but this last selection was made by the green council leaders There was a vote but the members were told who was recommended by the green leaders of the council and who wasn’t recommended. In a sense this meant that it wasn’t the everyday members who selected the candidate but rather the green council leaders. I heard some people had left the greens over this

        • Robert Reply

          Each party member received an email to vote. The vote was online and conducted and counted by OpaVote, so independent of the party itself.

          Other than bios of each candidate, there were no recommendations that in any way could be forced onto the party members voting, against their wishes.

          The candidate standing is the one that received the most votes from Green party members.

          • Hollingdean Heather

            You are wrong here!

            One of my house mates is a member and she just showed me the email (after I told her what you said) and it very clearly has written by the bios recommended or not recommended by each person. So what she said to me the other day is true and I have now seen it with my own eyes. The members were advised on who to vote for snd who it to vote for. If you want, I can provide you with a screen shot of this. My housemate is really pissed off about it as she reckons that it must be true that the green leaders fixed the vote by having this recommend or not recommend next to the bios. She doesn’t get too involved usually but her boyfriend is more involved and he says it’s a new system used as recommendations from the council leaders aren’t usually sent with the bios. It sure sounds like members didn’t get a free vote to me! I’ve got nothing against the greens and I’m happy with the cycle lanes etc but I’m just fed up to see poshies being catapulted into positions. My mate’s boyfriend reckons the other one wasn’t recommended to the members as she lives a mile outside of the ward rather than in the ward but actually she’s got loads of experience and is known by loads of people because of the stuff she has done locally but the leaders wanted someone who lives in the ward and Is an older student. Even though she is a new member and doesn’t have any experience. Sounds crazy to me Why are the greens obsessed about holding onto this posh middle class and educated image. I’m sure they’d do better in the long run if they elected real people rather than people with letters after their name all the time.

          • Member

            The system used in this election is set out in the local party’s constitution and is the same as every other recent candidate selection.

            I think your ‘flatmate’s boyfriend’s’ opinion is incorrect or confused.

            Every candidate ever selected has had to be interviewed by a selection panel that then makes a recommendation. No candidate can be excluded even if they are not recommended, but the recommendations can be included on the ballot paper. None of this is new

          • Sal

            The recommendations are a bit Politburo, or CCP-ish, like on the ballot papers in the local elections. The whole ‘first choice candidate’ thing put me off the Greens for being a bit control-freaky. Mature parties trust voters. Genuine first choice candidates don’t need Trump-like slogans!

          • Robert

            I am sorry Hollingdean Heather but everything I said is absolutely true.

            Re-reading the candidates bios I can see where we are at cross-purposes.

            The vote was conducted by OpaVote, the email was sent by OpaVote. The vote was counted by OpaVote. So entirely independent of the Green Party.

            I then said: “Other than the bios”.

            Yes there were “panel recommendations” in the bios of the candidates. That is what you appear to be referring to? I didn’t understand this from your original post.

            I definitely can see that they could be considered heavy-handed. But on the other hand they may have been introduced because of the inability for party members to meet and vote physically in a room, due to the lockdown.

            It is absolutely the case that there is absolutely nothing to stop party members to ignore those recommendations if they wished. It is simply wrong to infer that the candidate was forced onto the party by Green councillors.

            Also the panel recommendations endorsed *ALL* the candidates as potential candidates in general.

            However for this particular bye-election, the panel recommended 3 candidates and didn’t recommend 2 candidates. Not giving a reason.

            I would point out the candidate chosen actually lives in the ward, whereas the candidate your housemate preferred doesn’t.

            So I can see where you are coming from now but frankly party members are not automatons, they are free-thinking enough to chose to accept or ignore recommendations by a panel.

        • Hollingdean Heather Reply

          My housemate says that the greens selection was really rushed. I know Labour are still selecting so that they end up with the best candidate. My mate reckons it would have been better to have had the candidate who works in the estate areas but lives a mile outside than have selected a candidate who lives in the ward but doesn’t know the estate areas at all. This makes sense to me. Is this why the Moulsecoomb green woman wasn’t recommended, because she doesn’t live in the ward? Shame cos our next door neighbour uses the Foodbank thing she runs. She seemed like a good bet to me and I wouldn’t care that she doesn’t live in the ward. What I care about is whether they would get things here or not. I hope Labour selects a person who works with the estate areas rather than a poshie

    • Linda Jameson Reply

      Nice conspiracy theory. Good to see Labour are playing dirty already.

      • Mary Reply

        The Green Council; closed two homeless shelters and a day centre for young adults with mental health issues due to lack of funds, but somehow found the money to send Green councillors on a ‘fact-finding’ mission to Palestine…

      • Chaz. Reply

        I don’t think Labour Momentum need to play dirty.
        The Greens love doing that to themselves.

  7. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    I continue to boggle at the “I’m Brighton born and bred” brigade. Their ancestors came from elsewhere otherwise the population would still be that of a small fishing place. What’s more, their take on a town would have prevented the Gershwins, Irving Berlin and Bob Dylan from moving to, and adding to, the resonant life of New York – and have told Graham Greene that he had to stay in Berkhamsted rather than travel the world and rapidly gain such incisive knowledge of a place (including Brighton) that these descriptions will outlast all of those of us who will not remembered by anybody a few decades after our deaths.

    • Tim Hodges Reply

      Au contraire Christopher. I can trace my family back to Albion Hill to at least 1853

  8. Jake... Reply

    I suppose its disappointing but a cleaver move by the Greens, picking candidate who is also a PhD student will play well to the large student community… its just a shame that this hides the lack of any local community work and understanding of working class issues in the area.
    It will be another vote for the Green Brighton Elite who dominate central Brighton but have little understanding of anything outside of their bubble.

  9. Billy Short Reply

    Albion Hill – as a road – wasn’t there in 1853.
    Just saying.

  10. Greens Out Reply

    “party members are not automatons, they are free-thinking”

    Haha! Green Party members ‘free thinking’.

    Good one.

  11. Nathan Adler Reply

    Some really interesting comments here, especially as many commentators see the Green Party in Brighton as centralized and a Green Party Elite, I have to admit living far out in the West of the city the Greens seem hopeless at grasping the issues out there. It will be interesting if Labour go the Momentum route are actually pick a more popular moderate.

  12. Marta Reply

    I heard Labour went with a momentum (dodgy selection?) student union loony white male (who is not a big fan of Israel). Good old Labour doing nothing for women or diversity. Talk is cheap.

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