Westgate by-election candidates vie for votes by | Gloucester News Centre - http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk/
Voters in Gloucester head to the polls later this month to elect a city councillor for the Westgate ward.
The recent resignation from Gloucester City Council of Dawn Melvin means her former seat is up for grabs.
The poll is due to take place on March 30 and Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, Reform UK and the Official Monster Raving Loony Party are all fielding candidates.
The Westgate ward has a total of three councillors on the city council. The other two who represent the area are Conservatives Pam Tracey and Paul Toleman.
Gloucester City Council has 39 Councillors representing 18 wards.
The authority is currently run by a Conservative administration. And the political make-up of the council is 22 Conservatives, 11 Liberal Democrats, three
Labour councillors and two Independents.
Trevor Howard – Labour Party
Trevor Howard has lived in the ward for more than 30 years and says he is a true local. His children went to school in Westgate, he’s an active member of the community and now that he’s retired, he feels the time has come to give something back to this wonderful area.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be representing Gloucester Labour at the upcoming Westgate by-election. Having lived in the ward for so long, I know the challenges it’s facing, but I know what amazing potential it has too. It’s a brilliant place to live and I want to give my fellow residents the council representation that they deserve.”
Although Trevor is now retired, he worked for many years in the nuclear sector, focusing on problem-solving when system failures occurred. He says this experience will come in handy on the city council.
“It’s easy to see what’s not working, but sometimes the solutions are harder to see. Rather than just treating the symptoms, we need to look at the cause. Why are things going so wrong, and more importantly, what can we do to put it right? I’ll be using my experience and my voice to find solutions and make change for Westgate residents.”
Trevor is also a church leader at Brunswick Baptist Church and a presenter on Severn Radio. He’s made it clear from the outset that he’ll be donating his councillor’s allowance to charity.
Peter Sheehy – Conservative Party
“Westgate is my home. I was building dens in Gloucester Park in the 1970s before raising my daughter here and have run businesses in the ward for most of the last 50 years. Now I want to give back to the community that has given so much to me and my family. That’s why I’m humbly asking for your vote in this election.
“The truth is this is a local election. It’s about delivering on local issues that matter to those of us who live here: whether resolving the broadband issues in Hempsted, cracking down on anti-social behaviour in St Oswalds or supporting a vibrant regenerated city centre.
“Over the past few weeks I’ve been speaking to residents about your priorities and have already got to work with councillors Pam Tracey and Paul Toleman to start delivering them. We got CityFibre to agree to aim for full fibre in Hempsted by September, we’re preparing further action against those causing issues in St Oswalds and hope to host a community meeting soon.
“And I’ve already persuaded the City Council to draw up plans to bring the iconic carousel back to Kings Square as part of a varied events programme. That’s community delivery in action. That’s what a City Councillor is there to do. That’s what I’ll continue to do for our community.
“On March 30 don’t just hope for continued progress in Westgate – vote for it. Vote Peter Sheehy, your local community candidate.”
Rebecca Trimnell – Liberal Democrats
Rebecca Trimnell, who lives a stone’s throw away from Gloucester Cathedral, says she is the challenger to the Conservatives. She works for a charity helping people with dementia and has previously worked in social care, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, helping some of our city’s most vulnerable.
Rebecca also says she has a strong record of voluntary work, including as a trained Samaritan volunteer and a mental health first aider. She said: “I am delighted to have been selected by the Liberal Democrats to stand in Westgate.
“I have lived in the Westgate area for over a decade and know this part of Gloucester really well. Westgate is a wonderful community, and I will do my very best to represent the area well.
“I have a strong record in voluntary work, and I am passionate about helping some of the most vulnerable in our community. I also care deeply about our local environment, which is why I fought to save the conifer trees near King’s School and campaigned against building housing at Hill Farm.”
Councillor Declan Wilson, chair of Gloucester Liberal Democrats, said Rebecca will make an excellent councillor for Westgate. He said: “She knows the area well and has the experience, knowledge and energy to make a real difference to the residents of Westgate.
“Rebecca was only 127 votes from being elected to represent Westgate in 2021. She is the challenger to the Conservatives in Westgate. Labour finished a poor third last time and are out of the running.”
Lord Benny Baker – Official Monster Raving Loony Party
“I have often been described as a entrepreneur businessman. I have had fish and chip shops and candle stores all across Gloucestershire .
“But what I am best known for is my singing. I am a professional singer and songwriter and I am extremely passionate about music.
“I’ve always lived around Gloucestershire. I was born and bred here so this is my home city and what a great city it is to live in as well
“The reasons why I decided to stand as the Westgate ward councillor is changes have to be made for the better. People are fed up of the lack of support.
“And the city shops are closing down quicker than shops can open and there is a lack general support for people in the city from the local councils and Government.
“I want to make changes and I want to be here for the public. I want to listen to the public and support and help them in these difficult times we face and in the
“The only way things can get better is if more councils and the Government listen to the heart of the communities they live in. This is exactly what I want to do.
“So I simply sum it up vote outside the box and vote for me someone who wants to do everything in his power to help the heart of Gloucestershire, the people.”
Also standing for election are Gill White of Reform UK. The party has been asked for information about their candidate, why they are standing and what they hope to achieve for the city.
By Carmelo Garcia – Local Democracy Reporter
Gloucester News Centre – http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk