Title: Chairman of the County Council
Division: Hastings - Ashdown and Conquest
4 Castledown Terrace
Mobile: 07818 587529
The best thing about getting involved in politics? For me, it's the sense of satisfaction when you have been able to help someone with a problem. Also, the sense of achievement when you have done something, or decided on something, that makes life better for people.
More about me
I was first elected to East Sussex County Council in 2009. I am in my third term as County Councillor for the Ashdown & Conquest division in Hastings.
I have also represented Conquest Ward on Hastings Borough Council and, prior to that from 2000-2002, the St Helens Ward. I was Leader of Hastings Borough Council from 2006-2010.
But how did I get here?
I moved to East Sussex in 1967 with my family, when my parents bought a house in Pett. My mother still lives in that house.
I moved into St Leonards-on-Sea in 1984, when I took a job at a small private school. In 1997 I moved to my current address in the heart of Hastings.
I first became involved in politics as a result of my disgust at the 1997 General Election result. I joined my local Conservative Party, not intending to stand for office; just to do what I could to help return a Conservative MP in Hastings & Rye.
A friend suggested in 1998 that I stand for election to Hastings Borough Council, so I did, finally succeeding in 2000. It gives me enormous satisfaction to be able to help residents with problems, to work to improve things not only for my ward/division but for the whole town/county.
Ashdown and Conquest is primarily a residential division in Hastings. It occupies the north-west corner of the town, bordering onto rural Rother. Conquest, in particular, has a high proportion of retired residents, one parade of shops, one pub and no flats, apart from those housing doctors and nurses at Conquest Hospital. The problems I encounter are mainly to do with roads, potholes, parking problems and litter.
Ashdown has more commercial properties and a few estates comprising in the main social/affordable housing. While attracting the same problems as Conquest, Ashdown also produces a few issues to do with unsocial behaviour and low-level crime.
The best thing about being the local councillor is that I can help to resolve some of the problems and meet many good people, who contribute mightily to their community.
My home life
I am single and live in a flat right in the heart of Hastings. Everywhere is within walking distance. Apart from my sister, who lives in Brisbane, my family are all within close range.
I work part-time for part of the Department for Work & Pensions.
I manage to balance the demands of my job and being a councillor quite well. Council meetings fit in with my working life; my employer is very good in that respect.
My spare time
I have always insisted on having a life of my own, even when I was Leader of HBC.
I relax by reading, watching the TV and, best of all, going up to The Valley to watch Charlton Athletic FC. Next season, we are going up!