Crawley goes to the polls tomorrow (Thursday, May 22) in what promises to be one of the most fascinating elections of recent years.
A total of 46 candidates will be standing in 12 wards and, with three councillors not standing for re-election and one opting to stand in a different ward, four neighbourhoods will see a new face representing them at the town hall.
Tina Belben (Conservative):
I have lived in Crawley for almost 30 years, having grown up in Pease Pottage. After school I attended Crawley College before going on to train as a Chartered Accountant with a Horsham firm. I am married, and have her two children who both attended schools in Crawley before going to University. I would like to spend time giving something back to the town, and I am particularly interested in environmental and planning issues.
Michael Jones (Labour)
As borough councillor, Michael has constantly campaigned for residents, from fighting against overdevelopment in Bewbush West and Skelmersdale Walk to saving play areas across Bewbush from closure. Michael also helped lead the campaign against the privatisation of Tilgate Park and successfully pushed for the council to sign the Community Covenant with the Armed Forces. If re-elected, Michael will continue to work hard for all Bewbush residents.
Casey Lavington (UKIP)
I was born in Crawley and I am raising my family here, I have grown up with politics and have a good idea of what is needed. I am a full-time mum and am conscious of how much decisions at the Town Hall affect my life, and those around me – which is why I want to be a part of that decision process and I am looking forward to having the opportunity to help people.
Arshad Khan (Justice Party)
Corinne Bowen (Conservative)
I moved to Broadfield with my husband David in 1986, where we still live today. Our twin sons, went to Broadfield East, Southgate West and Thomas Bennett schools. They went on to University and gained First Class Honours in Business Studies and Sport Science. I served on Croydon Council for four years with experience on the Libraries and Highways committees. I would like to represent our local residents and use my experience in local government.
Chris Brown (UKIP)
I have lived in Crawley for 18 years. I was a Labour supporter but became disillusioned with the effect of their policies. I believe UKIP is the only party prepared to confront the problem facing the country - the EU. It is time to regain powers for our parliament. I intend to get Crawley Council to open its reserves and spend money on road surfaces and improving services for young and vulnerable members of the community.
Ian Irvine (Labour)
Ian is seeking re-election for Broadfield North, where he has lived for a number of years. Ian is passionate about Broadfield and since being elected he has worked on a range of projects to improve the area, including the planned improvements to Broadfield Barton. Ian has considerable experience on the council, in addition to being a former Mayor he has also previously chaired the Development Control and Housing committees.
Derek Isaacs (Socialist Labour Party)
David Bowen (Conservative)
I moved to Crawley in 1986, previously living in Croydon and served for 8 years as a Conservative Councillor. My wife Corinne and I enjoy living in Broadfield. We have two adult sons who both went to local schools and on to University. I retired two years ago after working in the security industry. I feel that we need a voice in all aspects of local politics and want to serve as your local Councillor.
Mia Bristow (UKIP)
I am a working mum of 2 young children and have lived in Broadfield all of my life. There are a number of areas I am keen to improve in particular the facilities for young children along with paths and lighting. I am sure we all have suggestions so lets work together to get things actioned.
Tim Lunnon (Labour)
This year Tim is hoping to join Cllr Colin Moffatt on the Council, representing Broadfield South. Tim works as an aircraft engineer for Virgin Atlantic and also enjoys running, cricket and travel. If elected, Tim’s focus will be on ensuring that the housing situation in Crawley is improved - especially for younger people, encouraging more and better paid jobs into Crawley, and trying to support sport across the town.
Carol Eade (Conservative)
I have lived in Furnace Green since 1957 and have two daughters and five grandchildren, all who live in the town. I have been a Councillor since 2007 and have served as Mayor of Crawley I am dedicated, to represent the residents of Furnace Green and help resolve their concerns. I aim to maintain Furnace Green as one of Crawley’s nicest neighbourhoods and supported the neighbourhood centre regeneration project giving Furnace Parade a major overhaul.
Allan Griffiths (UKIP)
Allan moved to Crawley in 1975 and has been living in Furnace Green ever since. He has two adult sons and two grandchildren. He has recently retired from a long and successful career in the City of London and has considerable knowledge of town planning and finance issues. Allan hopes to use his expertise to focus on issues such as the quality of our community shopping parades and the future development of Crawley Town centre.
Andrew Skudder (Labour)
Andrew lives in Crawley with his wife, Jayne, and their son, managing project risks for a local aerospace company. When last on the council, Andrew served as Deputy Mayor and Chair of Development Control. If elected, Andrew will work to establish a neighbourhood forum in Furnace Green, so residents can have the same level of input into local matters as residents in the rest of the town.
David Anderson (Liberal Democrat)
John Stanley (Labour)
John has lived in Ifield for over thirty years and works at Gatwick. He is a former Ifield councillor and cares deeply about the local community. John was a founder member of ‘Talk Ifield’, the new local residents forum, and he is a community school governor at Waterfield Primary School, where he serves as chair of the Finance and Staffing committee. John is dedicated to Ifield and its residents.
Martin Stone (Conservative)
I moved to Ifield when I was four years old. I went to school locally and was married at St. Margaret’s Church and have one daughter. I have lived and worked in Crawley for 40 years and have run a successful hairdressing business as well as recently opening a hairdressing Academy which trains young people. I want to make a difference by supporting the local residents of Ifield and ensuring that their voice is heard.
Richard Symonds (Independent)
We need an Independent voice which 1. Puts the people of Ifield first - not a political party. ‘Punch & Judy’ party-politics has no place in a local democracy of which we are part. 2. Ensures the protection and preservation of our unique local heritage within this ancient Parish - which includes a Medieval Moat & Deer Park, 13th century church and Nature Reserve. 3. Participates fully in how Crawley and Gatwick grow together for the future.
Steven Wade (UKIP)
Over the past few years I have campaigned tirelessly to have a voice in local affairs that is independent from Labour and the Conservatives. Actually listening to the local community instead of listening to the whips of their party’s. Getting people back engaged with local communities and politics, and standing up for residents and concerns. I have lived in Ifield for almost 10 years and will always ensure local residents are put first.
Andrew Jagger (Conservative)
I came to Crawley for my first job, met my wife and we have two children. I work as an insolvency practitioner. I have experience in dealing with people’s financial troubles. Being proactive and communicating is vital in business and I would bring these skills to the Council. The Government’s economic plan is bearing fruit although the work is far from complete. People should be trusted to spend their own money and control their lives.
Stephen Joyce (Labour)
Steve has lived in Langley Green for over thirty years and has raised three children in the area. Steve is active in a number of charitable organisations and has eight years experience as a councillor. Steve has worked hard on various Langley Green projects and initiatives including the new parade, community centre and parking issues. If re-elected, he will continue to work for all Langley Green residents.
Sharon Kennett (UKIP)
I live in Langley Green, work part-time, run my own business and am a mother to three children and a grandmother to one, consequently I lead a very busy family life. I became very disillusioned with what all three main parties had to offer and as I am interested in politics found myself drawn to UKIP and their policies. I decided to become actively involved and run as a UKIP candidate in Langley Green.
Kevin Osborne (Liberal Democrat)
I am a 48-year-old railway worker who was born in Crawley and, for 42 years lived in Langley Green until I moved to another neighbourhood afew years ago. Now, as a Liberal Democrat, I believe in localism.
Julian Chartan (Labour)
Julian has lived in Crawley for 26 years, 12 of them in Maidenbower, where his son goes to school. If elected, Julian will ensure that the concerns of Maidenbower residents are heard. Issues such as neighbourhood traffic levels, road access into the estate, local safety concerns and improvements to community facilities will finally get the recognition they deserve.
Simon Darroch (UKIP)
Born and raised in Crawley, I’ve had a 27 year working career until recently where I committed myself to politics. In the last 5 years I have campaigned all over Crawley at 5 different elections and stood as a candidate once. I have sat on Community Committee Panels, been involved in community projects, spoken to and advised residents on issues, liased with councillors and MPs, attended council meetings, group meetings and full council.
Ken Trussell (Conservative)
I was elected as Councillor for Maidenbower in 2010 and appointed as Cabinet Member for the Environment in 2011. I am responsible for Waste & Recycling, Environmental Services and Street Scene. I also represent the Council on Crawley Council for Voluntary Service, Open House, Town Centre Working Group, Licencing and the Museum Society. I have lived in Crawley for a large part of my life and am keen to put something back into the community.
Peter Lamb (Labour)
Peter is Labour Leader on the Borough Council and has represented Northgate since 2010. He successfully fought to stop the loss of the Surgery, campaigned against over-development, supported the conservation bid for Northgate Avenue, worked to secure funding to resolve flooding, and helped set up ‘Northgate Matters’. Currently he is working to reduce speeding in the neighbourhood and to improve road safety around the school.
Ray Ward (Conservative)
I have lived in Crawley since 1986. I have now finished full-time work and have the time and willingness to help the people of Northgate. I am married and have two children and two grand-children. I firmly believe that a local councillor should put his constituents interests first and any party politics second. It is time for change in Northgate and if elected, will do all I can to improve life for its residents.
POUND HILL NORTH
Craig Burke (UKIP)
I was born in Crawley and study at Crawley College as well as working part time at a local food store. People may think that I am too young to be a candidate, but growing up with politics and being encouraged to have your own opinions and views on issues makes you much more aware of how things should work! I am looking forward to campaigning and bring a young person’s views to the table.
Richard Burrett (Conservative)
Richard Burrett is 45, and has represented Pound Hill North for the past 22 years. He has also been the West Sussex County Councillor for Pound Hill and Worth since 2009. He is currently Deputy Leader of Crawley Borough Council, and Cabinet Member for Housing. Richard is a very active ward councillor who works hard to improve the quality of life and the residential environment in Pound Hill, in response to issues raised by residents.
Robbie Sharma (Labour)
Robbie is married with two children and lives in Crawley. An experienced councillor, when last on the council Robbie oversaw the completion of K2. Having been a Crawley youth worker for many years, he is currently Director of Crawley Youth Centre and is passionate about youth services and protecting social care for the older generation. If elected, Robbie pledges to work hard to make a difference in the local community.
Valerie Spooner (Liberal Democrat)
POUND HILL SOUTH & WORTH
Emma Barton (UKIP)
I was born in Crawley, went to school in Crawley and worked in Crawley. I am now a full time mum studying to be a teaching assistant. I understand how your local community can effect your family and I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to represent your voices and issues for your area In addition to being a visible and determined councillor putting you first.
Dr Howard Bloom (Conservative)
I moved to Crawley in 1977 as a doctor in Crawley Hospital becoming a GP at Gossops Green in 1981. I have served 15 years as a Councillor and am a former Mayor. I lived in Pound Hill for 12 years where both my sons attended Milton Mount School and Hazelwick School. As Council Leader I strive to improve health services in Crawley and ensure the town remains successful with a vibrant and growing economy.
Gillian Joyce (Labour)
Gillian grew up in Sedgewick Close in Pound Hill, she is married to Cllr Stephen Joyce and has three children. Previously, Gillian served as a County Councillor and worked for the council for 14 years. Gillian is passionate about local causes and has been actively involved in many campaigns, including bringing a new library to Crawley, and continues to campaign to protect the most vulnerable in our town.
Beryl MeCrow (Conservative)
I moved to Crawley in 1959 when my husband came to work at Gatwick. I have three children, four grandchildren, all of who attended local schools and still live in Crawley. I served 8 years on the Council and was Cabinet member for Leisure and Culture working to improve the leisure facilities we have today. I intent to ensure that issues and concerns of residents are addressed, by listening, finding solutions and keeping people informed.
Jason Vine (Labour)
Jason has lived in Crawley for 36 years, going to school in the town and raising a family here. Jason has a hands-on approach to community issues, he has been a school governor, played an active role on a neighbourhood forum and is the chair of a patient participation group. If elected, he pledges to ensure that the voice of residents in Pound Hill South and Worth is heard on the Borough Council.
Nicholas Dennis (Liberal Democrat)
Lee Gilroy (UKIP)
I went to School at Holy Trinity and grew up in Crawley. I have two Children and run my own business. I have previously been a councillor and Cabinet Member for Housing. I have always supported youth projects and enjoy a challenge. Being a councillor means I can represent and be a voice for local residents. I understand the concerns of Crawley residents and feel I am in touch with the real issues that matter.
Mike Pickett (Independent)
Engineer, aid worker (Vietnam, Cambodia and Bangladesh wars) and latterly many years an advocate for vulnerable people at tribunals in the UK. Former governor of St Wilfrid’s School and Vice Chairman of Crawley Citizens’ Advice Bureau. Currently founding chairman of Southgate Community Forum. After living in Southgate for 30 years with my family I’m standing to be an effective voice for the neighbourhood. Principal loyalty is to residents, not a political party.
Raj Sharma (Labour):
Raj has run Crawley Youth Centre for more than two decades and has been active in Southgate for over 30 years. Raj has a long history of involvement in community groups in the town and believes local voices are vital for positive change. As a father and grandfather he is concerned about issues affecting people of all ages. He is particularly concerned about the impact of care cuts on our elderly residents.
Jan Tarrant (Conservative):
I live in Southgate and am secretary of the Southgate Community Forum and member of the Conservation Area Committee. I have been a nurse for 25 years and work part time for the Relate charity. I feel my career has given me the ability to listen and communicate with people. I would like to use these skills for the benefit of the local community ensuring local residents have a voice in the council.
Alison Burke (UKIP)
I have lived in Crawley for 33 years and work full time within the town. I have 2 children, 2 step children and 2 grandchildren. I was a Conservative councillor for Ifield for 4 years, during which time I secured £750,000 for environmental and residential improvements for Ifield West. I also secured funding for the playground in Dobbins place. Being a councillor for me is not about politics – it’s about people.
Vanessa Cumper (Conservative):
I have lived in West Green for many years with my two children, who have attend local schools. I was elected in West Green as your Councillor in 2010 and I am currently Deputy Mayor of Crawley. I have worked to return GP services to West Green and also organised a petition of over a 1,000 signatures to preserve Leacroft surgery as a building of local importance for use as a community centre.
Karen Sudan (Labour):
Karen has been speaking with West Green residents for months and has worked with Labour Councillors to tackle local problems. If elected, Karen would continue listening to West Green people and fighting their cause on the council. Karen’s local priorities are preserving the character of the old town by extending conservation areas, improving neighbourhood facilities; including re-establishing a doctors’ surgery after so long, and increasing primary school places for West Green children.
Elke Smith (Liberal Democrat)