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Lines drawn in battle for St Andrews

PUBLISHED: 11:42 01 May 2009 | UPDATED: 10:39 09 July 2010

THE BATTLE for the St Andrews ward begins after the long-awaited resignation of a paedophile councillor. Independent Cllr David Charles, 60, finally gave up his seat last week amid calls for his scalp following his conviction for possessing child porn im

THE BATTLE for the St Andrews ward begins after the long-awaited resignation of a paedophile councillor.

Independent Cllr David Charles, 60, finally gave up his seat last week amid calls for his scalp following his conviction for possessing child porn images, in February.

There are five confirmed candidates for seat at the subsequent by-election - a Residents' Association stronghold - although at least another two candidates are expected by nominations deadline on Thursday. The election is on June 4.

Here are the five candidates so far:

Graham Carr, 60, Labour

A former printer for the Daily Mail, he served the area for 12 years before Labour was ousted by the Conservatives in the 2006 local elections.

The motorbike-mad, married father-of-three said: "I really like getting involved in local politics; I prefer that to national politics.

"I think the biggest problem in Hornchurch is the parking for the people who live near the station. Since the council introduced the parking charges in Dorrington Gardens and Appleton Way the car parks have sat empty, and local residents have suffered."

He added: "I'm a local man who understands and cares about the politics of the area."

DAVID DURANT, 48, NATIONAL LIBERAL PARTY

The warehouse worker from Harold Wood has been heavily involved in numerous campaigns across Hornchurch over the past four years.

David, 48, stood as the Third Way Parliamentary candidate for Hornchurch in 2001, Upminster in 2005, and in the St Andrews ward by-election in 2007.

He has recently campaigned heavily in the ongoing saga to protect disputed common land off Abbs Cross Lane, Hornchurch; fought development of a mega-Sainsbury's in Hornchurch; opposed bus lanes in Hornchurch High Street; battled to improve council tax rates, and is involved in the popular 'shop local' crusade.

MICHAEL JOYCE, 54, BRITISH NATIONAL PARTY

The partially-sighted 54-year-old divorcee from Harold Hill says his grassroots affiliation will outshine the polemics of his more experienced rivals.

He joined the party six years ago in revolt at what he calls "uselessness of the three main parties."

He said: "I have seen the Harold Hill estate go downhill, and I am fed up with it. I have seen young people unable to get a property - council houses - it's diabolical. I will work on behalf of these people across the borough."

He says if elected he will lobby for more night classes and vocational opportunities for school leavers.

GARRY PAIN, 37,

CONSERVATIVE

Disavowing staid rightwing politics, the freelance TV cameraman with a love of art house British film, says he is a different breed from the Tory stereotype.

He feels the cultural hub of the ward - with Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch Library, and Fairkytes Arts Centre - is his ideal political stomping ground, and if elected, he will work in closely in the arts.

Garry, 37, of Upper Rainham Road, said: "We have the highest percentage of elderly people in London; they need a lot more funding. I will push to get the grant increased."

He launches his petition for a grant boost in Hornchurch High Street, on Saturday at 10.30am.

JOHN WOOD, 63,

RESIDENTS' ASSOCIATION

Community man John Wood, 63, has embraced the neutrality of the Residents' Association (RA) local focus.

He said: "The RA is not a strong political party, you have freedom. It's really about doing the best for the community without having to toe a party line."

The long-term Hornchurch resident is a former governor at St Mary's Primary School, in Hornchurch Road, Hornchurch, and is a placement manager for the London Probation Service.

John, whose 21-year-old son, Alex, is deaf, teaches signing in St Mary Mother of God Church, Hornchurch Road, and has worked as an interpreter in a hearing impaired school in Newham.

"I would concentrate on crime and education; both are close to my heart.

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