Meet the candidates running for the Cranham by-election
PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:21 03 May 2019
Meet the candidates running in the Cranham by-election that will take place next week.
Councillor Clarence Barrett was the leader of the Upminster and Cranham Residents' Group and had been a councillor for 12 years after being voted in 2006. He passed away in March this year.
A poll is set to take place on Thursday, May 9 for the six candidates running for Clarence's position.
Peter Caton - Green Party candidate
“If you vote for me as a Green Party candidate, that is what you'll get. A Green Party candidate, not someone who will switch or back the Conservatives' every plan.”
These are the words of 58-year-old candidate Peter Caton who vows to work on behalf of the community and its needs.
He said: “I've lived here for 55 out of 58 years of my life, I went to school in Cranham and I engage with the community so I know what some of the main issues are in the area.
“As the Green Party candidate, I will fight to protect our green spaces, including the Upminister pitch and putt.
“We would insist on the protection of trees which residents have complained about when contractors have been told to just trim them.
“There's also the issue of increased car parking charges.
“We want to encourage people to use public transport but at the same time, some people have to use their cars and we'd rather residents invest money in Cranham than go elsewhere.”
Thomas Patrick Clarke - Liberal Democrat
Keeping the Upminster golf course, supporting local businesses and public safety are major three issues Thomas Clarke would address should he win the Cranham by-election.
The 37-year-old candidate from Ardleigh Green Road, Hornchurch confesses that he isn't a typical “experienced politician”.
He said: “I'm just a member of the community and I have lived in Havering all my life.
“I'm a passionate about the area and I want to do something to help people.”
Thomas told the Recorder that he doesn't support the council's planning application to build houses on the Upminster Miniature Golf course and he wants to see more police on the streets of Havering.
“Local businesses are already up against it with paying business rates and they need every penny they can get,” said Thomas.
“Losing free parking means that customers might look elsewhere. That's a huge threat to any local businesses.”
Adam Ed Curtis - Labour Party
Adam Curtis is hoping that as a younger candidate he will be able to address certain issues he feels are being ignored by Havering's current administration.
The 24-year-old candidate from Nathan Close in Cranham currently works in child protection services for Barking and Dagenham council and he is the chairman of the Hornchurch and Upminster Labour group.
He said: “I think the attitudes being expressed by the council aren't helpful to people in my age bracket. We tend to not have a voice.
“I want to keep the [Hall Lane Miniature Golf Course in Upminster] from being sold off - unless there's going to be improvements made to infrastructure, like more medical centres and schools.”
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Adam studied politics at the University of East Anglia. He worked briefly at Havering Council as a customer service adviser and has lived his whole life in Cranham.
“Tory candidates are offering more of the same, I'm the only available alternative from Labour who wants to see a change,” said Adam.
Ben Christopher Sewell - The Conservative Party Candidate
Ben Sewell says he wants to “deliver” results for residents by working with the council to ensure they are represented.
The 20-year-old from Hornchurch, said: “I would work with the Conservative-led Havering Council to ensure that the roads and pavements in Cranham ward are well maintained.
“Conservative councillors have already used part of the funding to deliver road improvements in the ward including Hall Lane, a major road in the area.
“Further, I like living in a clean and tidy neighbourhood, so I would work with the council to ensure the ward is kept to a high standard through the council's street cleaning programme which has recently seen a £400,000 investment.”
He added: “This by-election is all about local issues.
“I want to represent Cranham ward residents in the town hall to maintain and create the high-quality local services that they are telling me that they want.”
Linda Joy Van den Hende - Upminster and Cranham Residents Association.
Linda van den Hende is no stranger to Havering's town hall as she served as a councillor from 2006 to 2018.
She decided to come out of retirement after Clarence Barrett, who previously held the position, sadly died earlier this year.
“He and I were elected to council at the same time and I was asked by my association to stand because of my previous experience,” said Linda.
“I'm very well plugged into Havering, not only as a councillor, but also involvement with the community as the trustee of First Step and the Havering Volunteer Centre.”
The former mayor said that a lack of police in the area, the removal of free parking, and applications to build houses on the Hall Lane Miniature Golf are her key concerns.
She said: “We do not want the [golf course] sold off. We believe the council has been very slow in allowing the golf course as it is to flourish.”
Ben Albert John Buckland - UKIP Make Brexit Happen candidate
Ben Buckland told the Recorder that he doesn't want to see Cranham become like Newham.
“Why should we allow someone from Newham to come in when we haven't got enough housing for our own,” said the 46-year-old candidate from Harold Hill.
“I've worked tirelessly to get people affordable housing.
“I want controlled immigration and I want to get potholes fixed - which we could do if we didn't spend £12.6 billion a year on foreign aid.
“I believe that money should be given to bona fide charities that help people.”
Ben added that he wanted to protect Cranham's green spaces and get rid of paid parking.
He said: “I think paid parking is illegal under common law. People pay enough in road tax and for their petrol.”
For more information about the by-election visit Havering Council's website.