Heybridge West by-election: a reminder of the candidates vying for a seat on Maldon District Council
By Ben Shahrabi
14th Apr 2022 | Local News
As voting will shortly be coming to a close for the Heybridge West ward by-election, here is a reminder of all the candidates standing.
Simon Burwood, Independent
A resident in Heybridge for 25 years, Simon Burwood previously served on Heybridge Parish Council for four years, and was chairman for two. He says he wants to foster links between the council, local business and voluntary groups.
He said in a statement: "My focus is and always will be my local community. Heybridge is my home and I want it to be the best possible place to live and bring up a family and I want this to be an ambition for all local residents. I have a passionate belief in inspiring young people to strive to achieve their best possible potential. I also care about the environment and abhor littering and dog mess.
"Heybridge has been dramatically impacted by development in the past few years. I want to ensure that in the future any further development, provides the services and infrastructure for local residents. We all need a place to live, however it needs to be the right place.
"I am standing as an Independent Councillor to put people before politics. To care about how the council is run for residents. Councillors in political groups have to follow a party line. I will ensure that as a strong independent councillor, I can represent issues and the support for common issues across the district."
Nigel Miller, Conservative
Conservative candidate Nigel Miller says he originally moved to the town to take over the running of the White Horse pub, and has stayed for over 25 years.
He said in a statement: "Subsequently I worked for several local businesses including Foulkes Electrical eventually ending up with my current employer W D Coe Ltd. After 11 years I now have the privilege of managing the store that provides employment for local people. Being involved in a local business, understand how important local businesses are to the prosperity of an area.
"As a Conservative I believe in promoting and supporting the economy, protecting the environment, operating in an open and transparent way, keeping Council Tax as low as possible and getting the maximum value for every penny of Council taxpayers' money. I pledge to secure the future for you in Heybridge West by striving to ensure anti-social behaviour and crime is dealt with.
"I will work towards making Heybridge West a great place for families to bring their children up in safety and where businesses and enterprise will flourish creating local jobs. Caring and campaigning for the local community – A voice for you."
Richard Perry, Independent
Richard Perry is a hotelier in Maldon and the current chairman of Heybridge Parish Council. According to his leaflet, his main concerns are overdevelopment, congestion and flooding.
A section reads: "Heybridge needs councillors who will actually turn up to meetings and stand up for residents and not be scared of being labelled politically incorrect. We need councillors who will fight for schools, hospitals, doctors and fight to stop cuts in vital services.
"Heybridge has been let down and has had thousands of homes forced upon us. If elected, Richard will fight against any future development that puts a strain on infrastructure, congestion and flooding. The Conservatives have allowed the developers to build expensive and inappropriate houses in flood risk areas which has caused traffic chaos.
"If elected, Richard will fight to keep the unique character of Heybridge and protect its semi-rural setting for future generations to enjoy. Tourism is a great untapped revenue stream and has job creation potential for the whole district."
Paula Spenceley, Liberal Democrat
A former teacher and journalist at Maldon Nub News, Paula Spenceley is involved with a variety of local voluntary groups, including the Rotary Santa Sleigh at Christmas and the Remembrance Day parade.
She said in a statement: "I know what a strong and positive community Heybridge can be. I also know that many residents are deeply concerned about how our area is changing. With work starting on the North Heybridge Garden Suburb, the need to campaign for better infrastructure for Heybridge has never been stronger. We need new schools and GP surgeries and improved transport facilities.
"I recently retired from a career in local journalism and teaching. I have been reporting on local councils for nearly 30 years, so I understand how local government works. I want to put that knowledge and my communication skills to use for my community. As your district councillor, I'll make sure you're kept up to date on all that's happening, listen to you, and be a strong voice for you on the local council.
"I am interested in getting things done, rather than indulging in the kind of antics and infighting we have seen recently at Maldon District Council."
Matthew Wallis-Keyes, Labour
Labour candidate Matthew Wallis-Keyes says Maldon is in need of investment and has pledged to put issues such as cuts to mental health services and waiting lists for doctors and hospital appointments at the forefront of the council's agenda, if elected.
He said in a statement: "Maldon District Council has been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently. Fighting in the Council chamber, arguing over displaying the pride flag and threats of violence being reported to the police, have all driven the Council into absolute chaos. The chaos has got so bad that these stories have been regularly reported on the national news. It's about time we elected grown-ups to our Council so we can get on with the job of serving our community.
"I have lived in Maldon for the last 9 years and have previously worked for the Metropolitan Police. I have previously held senior manager roles for several charities providing services ranging from homeless prevention to supporting people with learning difficulties and deaf people that live within the community with additional needs. This has given me a great insight into the current state of health and social care services across Essex and the need for a vast improvement in funding."