The council – also referred to as Bexhill Parish Council – will be made up of nine parish wards, which will each have two seats up for election on May 6.
Seven of these wards will be holding an election on May 6, while the two councillors for both Bexhill Kewhurst and Bexhill St Stephens wards were duly elected without a contest.
Here is a profile of each candidate running in this year’s election:
BEXHILL TOWN COUNCIL ELECTIONS (Two seats each)
Bexhill Central ward
Memish Huseyin (Bexhill Independents)
I run Bentleys Steakhouse and if I am elected for Central ward my aim is to represent the residents, I want them to be heard. Bexhill should be one of the great British Seaside towns. We need a thriving community where everyone feels safe and supported. I want to see more leisure activities for the whole family, the return of the putting green we used to have, and activities for the children. Parking issues and anti-social behaviour must be addressed. I won’t sit on the fence, I am ready to do my best for the town and its residents.
Paul Plim (Bexhill Together Independents)
Supporting Democracy for Bexhill since its early days, not being a member of any political party, I believe that party politics should play no part in local decision making. I pledge my support to the people of central ward to work together with the other town councillors and make Bexhill a better place for all. My activity within Bexhill: Governor for St Peter and St Paul Primary School 2007 (Chair 2010-2017). Chair of the Bexhill Town Forum (2009-2011). Member of Senlac District Scouts 2015-2020 (Chair 2016-2020). Member of 9th Bexhill Scouts 2012 to date (Chair 2013 to date).
Patrick Stappleton (Bexhill Independents)
It’s hard to stand back and not become involved when somethings just not right. That’s why I am standing for election for Parish and ESCC, I own Redwells Estate Agent in Bexhill and I am very excited by the opportunity to help create a new way forward for Bexhill. I want to help bring change and be a voice for those residents who are often ignored. I stand for change, decency, and respect. I want to see an accountable council, one that doesn’t hide from its residents, but consults and informs them more at grassroots level about what’s really happening.
Viv Taylor-Gee (Bexhill Together Independents)
I came to Bexhill in 2012 from Copenhagen where I worked in communications for the World Health Organization. Before that, I was a documentary TV producer in London. I have campaigned for a town council since 2015 and I chair Democracy4Bexhill. I would like to see an efficient, innovative, and green town council whose priority is the health, wellbeing and enjoyment of the residents. Many people are facing uncertain futures because of the pandemic, and I want a town council that listens to its residents, and takes care of those things, great and small, which can really make a difference.
Bexhill Collington ward
Lynn Brailsford (Bexhill Independents)
I was inspired to stand for Council when the people of Bexhill were denied the right to vote for the creation of Bexhill Parish Council. Nonetheless, Bexhill is going to have a council, so I am standing to be a voice for Bexhill residents. I am honest, reliable, and hardworking and I want to combine all the experience that I acquired during my business life, with my event organising experience in the town and put this into good effect for the ratepayers of Bexhill if I am lucky enough to be elected on May 6th.
David Harding (Bexhill Together Independents)
I moved to Bexhill in 2015 after holidaying here for several years and now live in Collington. Now aged 65, I’m retired and spend my time volunteering for the local court service, taking part in a local dance group, supporting Bexhill Heritage and I did support the campaign to get a town/parish council for Bexhill. I want to see Bexhill’s cultural profile improve and grow including new attractions like an Automata Centre. I want to see the continuation of the improvement of the sea front shelters and see if Bexhill can win a Britain in Bloom award.
Paul Wilson (Bexhill Independents)
I am standing in Collington ward in the hope of being elected to the Bexhill Parish Council and would look forward to engaging with other councillors, RDC, and ESCC on behalf of the residents. I want to increase revenue for the Parish through grants without passing the cost onto the taxpayers. I look forward to working with the voluntary sector to help those in need, and to create a support system to help young families struggling with budgeting. I want to see traffic calming measures on Cooden drive approaching Westcourt drive crossroads where so many lives have been lost.
Bexhill Kewhurst ward
Bryan Clasby (Bexhill Together Independents) and Brian Drayson (Bexhill Together Independents) duly elected without a contest.
Bexhill Old Town and Worsham ward
Dan Barfoot (Bexhill Together Independents)
As a father and life-long teacher of special education and sport, I have a passionate interest in the education, health and wellbeing of our young people and their families. As an owner of two local businesses, I feel a deep connection to local business and its development. Myself, my family and my co-workers all believe in the significance and the power of community. We’re commended for that belief and drive with the prestigious 2020 Sussex Sports – Community Engagement Award. If elected, I will continue to devote my time and resources to nurturing and developing our community in all its forms.
Vivienne Bond (Lib Dem)
Vivienne came to live in Bexhill-on-Sea 13 years ago from Hastings, where she had been a town councillor from 1998 - 2002 and from 2004 - 2008 when she was deputy Mayor. After many years as a fully qualified dancing teacher, she worked in schools as a nursery assistant finishing as T. A. at Torfield Special Needs School. She takes a tap class in St Peters Community Centre every week. She is a member of the Old Town Preservation Association and helps to organise May Day and Christmas events. She now lives right in the heart of the Old Town.
John Gray (Green)
John Gray, a gardener and handyman, has lived in the Bexhill area all his life. He is often seen cycling around town or at the bowls club. John has been campaigning to protect the environment for 40+ years. An active member of Bexhill Environmental Group, John has helped to plant hundreds of trees in Bexhill and does regular litter picks and beach cleans. John says: “If elected, I’d promote a car-free town centre making it a nicer place to shop. I’d encourage green transport, including electric bikes and reliable, frequent and affordable buses. And I’d set up a repair café, to change our ‘throwaway’ culture.”
Stuart Wray (Bexhill Independents)
I manage the Manor Barn and I would love to be a part of the new Parish Council. I feel that my experiences and dedication to Bexhill would stand me in good stead to represent the voices of our community and to help boost our already fantastic town. My day job is to listen to people’s needs and make it happen! I would take the same approach as a councillor, I am an accomplished event organiser and can help raise funds which will save costs being passed on to the residents. I will strive to keep costs down in these difficult times.
Bexhill Pebsham and St Michaels ward
Sharon Blagrove (Bexhill Independent)
I am an Event Organiser in Bexhill (Great Gatsby Fair) If I am elected to the Parish council I want to do as much as I can to make sure your council tax bill is kept as low as possible. The services that RDC devolve to the new council will have to be paid for and will have an impact on your council tax bill. I will be someone that wants to make sure fair decisions are made. I will also want to see transparency. Residents need to know what goes on since they are paying for it.
James Cole (Green)
Archaeologist Dr. James Cole lives in Pebsham with his young family. They have a plastic-free household. James and Lucie spend most of their leisure time out of doors with the kids, in the park, woods or beach, sometimes litter-picking. James loves the Sussex landscape with its ancient woodlands and rich history. He also loves to barbecue. James says: “I want to tackle the litter and fly-tipping which spoil the green spaces that have meant so much to people during the past year. And I’d like to see Bexhill become a heritage tourism destination, bringing more income into the town for the benefit of local people.“
Sam Davey (Bexhill Together Independents)
I moved to Bexhill from St Leonards in 2019 and work in healthcare. I’m a volunteer for the local talking book, providing services for the visually impaired, and volunteered during lockdown via the Bexhill Emergency Action Team. I’ve run many successful community festivals and events. My primary focus is community and economic regeneration, mental health, and building for the future as we emerge from lockdown. I’ve got over 15 years’ experience working in central and local government and I’m standing as a councillor because I want to use my knowledge, enthusiasm and energy as part of Bexhill’s new town council.
Charlie Rustem (Bexhill Independents)
I am placing the feelings and views of local residents, and transparency, at the heart of my campaign. The new Parish Council will face tough decisions, but the way business is done needs to change, and I want to be a part of it. I want more openness and better communication between the Council and the community. I feel that I can do something positive and if elected, I will bring energy and purpose to my role. This means representing the community. I want Pebsham and St Michaels residents to be heard and I want to be able to influence decisions that will affect them.
Bexhill Sackville ward
Claire Baldry (Bexhill Together Independents)
I used to run an educational consultancy business in Bexhill, having been a headteacher for 20 years. I now write locally set novels and poetry and spend a lot of time raising funds for charity and supporting local events. I organise the annual Christmas window competition. I am especially interested in the creation of more green spaces, protecting our heritage and regenerating our town. It will be vital for the town council to listen to residents. One way to achieve this might be to develop a drop-in centre with community links, tourist information and outreach to all areas of Bexhill.
Huseyin El (Bexhill Independents)
I have a business in the town Bentleys Smokehouse, and I really would like to be a part of the new Parish Council. I want to see the council communicating with the residents so that they feel included, especially as they will be paying for the new ‘Town CouncilI have some innovative ideas that I believe would contribute tomaking the town even better than it is. I’m not afraid of hard work and I like to get things done. I have a vision for a more inclusive town for the future.
Elly Gibson (Bexhill Together Independents)
I live in Sackville with my husband and daughters. I’ve worked in the voluntary sector for 20 years for charities including ChildLine, NSPCC and Mind. I volunteer at the food bank and on the PTA. If elected, I promise to listen, to champion Sackville and to be open and accessible. I also want to make sure the new council offers real value for money. I’d love a cleaner and greener Bexhill, with more help for those on their own or with mental health problems, more activities for young people, and more support for businesses as we emerge from the pandemic.
Bexhill Sidley ward
Tony Carroll (Bexhill Independents)
I believe in positive change, not for self-reward, but for the benefit of Sidley which has often lacked support and investment. I will fight to change this. Sidley is very close to my heart, I believe that with the right vision and passion we can make real improvements. Given the opportunity, I will work tirelessly to achieve the best outcomes for all Sidley residents. I believe councillors should be an approachable voice for their wards. I will work passionately to help secure funding and support for social, environmental and recreational improvements for all, and to work with the relevant authorities.
Hannah Corke (Bexhill Together Independents)
As a personable, approachable and proactive member of the community, my role as a councillor if elected would be to act as a strong voice on your behalf, and express any ideas, concerns and suggestions you may have. I’d work alongside the other town councillors effectively to tackle these things and make Sidley/Bexhill the town that you as a resident want it to be. I believe politics have no place in a town council and that transparency is key. After all this is YOUR town, YOUR council. Let’s work together to make Bexhill even more amazing.
Julie Norris (Bexhill Independents)
I have been honoured to be asked to stand as an independent candidate for Sidley in the local parish election. I am not at all politically motivated, and wish only to improve my village. I will not make unrealistic promises, but I promise that I will strive to improve the quality of life and prosperity in our community. Improvements to the recycling area, toilets, pedestrian crossings and traffic calming in the main road are all topics I would like to bring to the forefront. The unresolved situation with the cricket ground needs to be urgently concluded.
Jimmy Stanger (Bexhill Together Independents)
I live in Sidley with my wife, three children and my brother, I’m a manager at Sidley Working Men’s Club, a taxi driver and school governor. I am passionate about social change, mental health, charity/community fundraising and the environment. I’m a straight-talking person who will give 110% if given the opportunity. Sidley is a, sometimes misunderstood, vibrant and hard-working community which genuinely cares. I hope to further develop and create opportunities for young people. The Heart of Sidley is a brilliant organisation. I would be honoured if the people of Sidley gave me the opportunity to serve them.
Bexhill St Marks ward
Wendy Dash (Lib Dem)
Wendy lives in Normans Bay. She has always been involved in the community, serving on the Residents’ Association Committee, writing and editing the local newsletter. She realises how important it is for the beach to be clean and safe for families to enjoy and for small boats, not jet skis. She also recognises the importance of the Pevensey Levels. Her working life was centred in Eastbourne, latterly at Sussex Downs as pastoral tutor for around 100 students a year. She supported the D4B campaign for Bexhill to have its own town council, where she is also standing for election.
Tim Fenner (Bexhill Together Independents)
I have lived across the road from St Marks ward for nearly 3 years now. Having lived in Bexhill on and off since 1986 I have seen many positive changes to the town, but I’ve always been sure that there could be far more achieved with having a local town council. I feel that there is no place for mainstream politics within a town council, and decisions made by that council should be based solely on the ideas from the community to bring about further improvements benefitting all. It’s your town – and it should be your council.
Nigel Jacklin (The Democratic Network)
Nigel Jacklin is a statistician, market researcher and recording artist. Attracted by the beautiful countryside and friendly local people, Nigel moved to Normans Bay in 1992 with his wife Sheila where they raised their family and set up their own business. Nigel is the founder of a new political party, The Democratic Network, which is standing candidates in six counties across England. The party promise is to ‘do the job of representing local residents and businesses’. Nigel will bring a more modern approach to both Town and County decision making. For further information visit www.TheDemocraticNetwork.org.
Connor Winter (Bexhill Independents)
I first became involved with local issues when invited along to a Spindlewood meeting by former councillor and friend Stuart Earl. If I am elected to the new Bexhill Parish Council my aim will be to bring a strong, fresh, and transparent voice for the residents of St Marks. Parking issues and pedestrian safety along Herbrand Walk need addressing. I want more facilities for the growing number of people who now reside in the ward, and maybe a bowls green in Little Common Recreation ground. I look forward to representing St Marks residents at every level of authority.
Bexhill St Stephens ward
Ben Izzard (Bexhill Together Independents) and Richard Thomas (Lib Dem) duly elected without a contest.