Meet your Portsmouth City Council candidates

ASPIRING local councillors are hoping to win votes during the election on May 6. We found out more from candidates standing in Portsmouth.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 5:04 pm


Jason Christopher - Labour: I love living in Baffins and will work tirelessly to hear and represent local residents. I want to ensure Portsmouth thrives and remains a great place to live, work, learn and play. I aim to make our city safer, create positive opportunities for young people and improve our environment. A vote for me is a vote for a councillor who values all of the people who make Portsmouth the fantastic city that it is.

Tom Collins - Conservative: Tom lives in the city, attending St Swithuns’ Catholic Primary School and Oaklands Catholic School in Waterlooville. He will be studying history at university this autumn. Tom is standing because he wants to help small businesses, provide more efficient public services and give people more control over their own lives. His priorities for Baffins are freezing council tax, providing free parking in town centres and ensuring that Portsmouth does not rewrite history by demolishing statues.

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Local elections are on May 6

Darren Sanders - Liberal Democrats: Portsmouth born-and-bred, Darren’s represented the area since 2012 and has helped at local events, including the Baffins Fun Day, Christmas Market and Picnic on the Green, since 2009. If re-elected, he will carry on opposing the Aquind cable and plans for 300 homes at St James’, work to bring every home in the area food waste recycling and a fair share of police patrols, and establish a hub for the young at Moneyfields.

Bob Simmonds - Green: Imagine living in a city with clean air, quieter roads and with affordable and accessible transport links. This could happen in Portsmouth. More immediately I would like to see increased recycling of materials. If plastic recycling bins were as widespread as bottle banks it could lead to a huge change. Finally, in Baffins we are fortunate in having a good deal of green space. I would like to see that developed throughout Portsmouth.

Central Southsea

Charles Douglas - Conservative: Charlie is studying at the University of Portsmouth. He has lived in Portsmouth all his life and is the third generation to live in Central Southsea ward. His hobbies include playing rugby for Portsmouth RFC. He is particularly keen to see the council take action to limit the growth of houses in multiple occupation.

Charles Douglas Central Southsea Conservative

Charlotte Gerada - Labour: I'm a born-and-bred Pompey local, Southsea resident and an active social and environmental campaigner. I’ve worked for non-profits for over a decade, including for Shelter. Locally, I co-founded Portsmouth Coronavirus Support Group and Pompey Living Streets, championed artists and independent businesses and am a school governor. In recognition of my community work, I received a Pamodzi Inspirational Women of Portsmouth award. A vote for me this May, is a vote for a cleaner, greener Pompey.

Tamara Groen - Green: As the Green Party candidate for the Central Southsea ward, I am standing for a change in the status quo. A strong believer in social justice and equality, I do not claim to know everything about local government but I am persistent, tenacious and will fight your corner to the end. My key concerns are Portsmouth's dangerous air quality, low recycling rates, unsafe roads for cyclists and the lack of resources and support for those experiencing homelessness.

Steve Pitt - Liberal Democrats: Portsmouth born-and-bred, Steve lives in Southsea with his partner and dog Finn.Steve has long been heavily involved in local culture including running The Cellars venue and directing theatre. Elected to represent Central Southsea in 2016, Steve became cabinet member for culture, leisure and economic development in 2018. This has included leading on plans for the regeneration of the Kings Theatre, buying the New Theatre Royal and delivering a new swimming pool.

Charles Dickens

Yahiya Chowdhury - Liberal Democrats: Yahiya has lived in Portsmouth since 1995 and is a self-employed real estate businessman. Yahiya is energetic, hard-working and has previously served as a councillor for Charles Dickens for four years. He is particularly interested in making a difference to young people’s futures through improved education and job opportunities. Yahiya believes that if we all play our part and work together, we would make our world a better place.

Kirsty Mellor - Labour: I’m an advocate of social justice, a working class mother and I live in the heart of Charles Dickens. Prior to politics, I worked for the NHS and for many years I have campaigned on issues such as violence against women and girls and fighting for a better welfare system. I am standing up for my community in Charles Dickens and I want to be a strong and compassionate voice for all in the ward.

Chris Pickett - Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Renu Raj - Conservative: Dr Renu Raj believes in team work with the dream to bring the elderly and the youth together all while promoting progress for the community. She is a diligent soldier in the battle against domestic violence. Using her strong voice she aims to promote local businesses over big corporations all while keeping the community clean and safe. Concern, commitment and confidence are the three Cs that help her to help others through life.


Lewis Gosling - Conservative: I’m Lewis Gosling and I’m the Conservative candidate for Copnor ward. I grew up here and have a positive record of action. I want to see safer and cleaner streets and a freeze on council tax. I’ve been proud to volunteer across the pandemic and help NHS frontline staff with donations and get food to the vulnerable. I work closely with the Copnor councillors and hope you’ll support me on May 6.

Tim Sheerman-Chase - Green: I will fight for more investment in cycling, walking and public transport, as well as requiring development schemes to put these priorities at their centre. Green spaces need to be introduced around the city to improve well being. The city also needs to improve its recycling rates, which are among the worst in the country. I am an air quality campaigner and regular blogger on the #LetPompeyBreathe campaign

Bobby Tera - Liberal Democrats: Bobby was born in south India and has two masters degrees. He moved to Portsmouth for work in 2013, fell in love with it and has lived in Copnor ever since. Bobby likes Portsmouth because he feels it’s got everything - beautiful beach, nightlife and a significant place in British history. Bobby’s main priorities for Copnor are resolving parking issues, addressing crime and anti-social behaviour and improving park facilities for families to use.

Mary Vallely - Labour: As a community worker I understand the need to listen and act on behalf of the people of Copnor. You've told me about your concerns on road surfaces and safety, the poor air quality, cuts to social care and the lack of a meeting place. Copnor has been taken for granted by those who represent it. The issues you're raising with me require a strong voice to stand up for local residents on the council, that’s me.


Matthew Atkins - Conservative: I was first elected to represent Cosham and Wymering in 2019. In my two years on the council I have enjoyed meeting residents and working to address issues you raised like fly tipping, street cleaning and road safety. Together with Cllrs Mason and Hockaday we have a great Conservative team in Cosham. I have served as shadow cabinet member for health, wellbeing and social care during the pandemic and I sit on the planning committee.

David Fuller - Liberal Democrats: David was first elected to the council in 2007 and re-elected three times. He’s twice been elected Lord Mayor, raising over £100,000 for charity. He runs a care home for the elderly in Cosham, so understands the challenges facing social care and the NHS. David would be a strong champion for Cosham ensuring the building of a new pavilion at King George V playing fields, a refurbished library, new community centre and high street re-development.

Mike Jerome - Independent

Asghar Shah - Labour: I’m a local resident and community campaigner working tirelessly to support others in our local area. During the pandemic I’ve stepped up to offer our community the support it needs. From delivering food to those isolating, to collecting prescriptions for those in need and taking calls to those alone. Our area has been taken for granted by those who represent us for too long – a vote for me in May is a vote for change.

Veronika Wagner - National Health Action Party: As a local NHS doctor, I will use my experience in healthcare to speak up against austerity, cuts, and privatisation in public services. As the National Health Action Party candidate for Cosham I am very grateful for the local electoral alliance with Green Party and TUSC. I have organised many NHS campaign events including a major pro-NHS march from The Hard to QA Hospital and trade union solidarity with the junior doctors’ strike.

Drayton and Farlington

Ryan Brent - Conservative: Born and raised in Portsmouth. I teach mathematics at Portsmouth and Highbury College. Having previously been elected as a local councillor I have listened to residents, facilitated resolutions to issues raised and represented the views of constituents with the political arena, both locally and nationally. I have been delighted with the response I have received from local residents to my positive campaigns and ideas. Wholeheartedly proud to be from Portsmouth and a prospective representative again.

Duncan Garland - Liberal Democrats: Duncan has lived in Portsmouth for over thirty years and has worked for both leading engineering companies and as a self-employed software consultant. He is standing because of his lifelong sense of civic duty and a desire for a fairer, greener and more caring Portsmouth. His long and varied commercial experience would help the efficient running of the council. Duncan has supported Hampshire Colts cricket for over 20 years and raises money for charity.

David Simpson - Labour: I’m an advocate for caring for our environment and want to safeguard the ward against the proposed Aquind development that would destroy allotments, wildlife habitats and cause major traffic disruption. Residents should have their say on such issues and I want to make sure they do.

Eastney and Craneswater

Menno Groen - Green: We need a city-wide strategy for transport that includes first-class provisions for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as affordable and reliable public transport. As we slowly come out of lockdown, we have an opportunity to improve the way we do things and build a greener future. A green recovery means proper action on climate change and the ecological emergency, and an equal society. As a Green Party councillor I will push for sustainable policies to make our great city a better place to live - for everyone.

John Smith - Conservative: After living in Portsmouth and Southsea all my life I feel passionate about this city and want to give something back. Until the store closed I was head of Knight & Lee. The loss was a reflection of challenges facing the high street. My time there gave me great insight into the community and lives of residents. I believe strongly our Island has an exciting and vibrant future and can come through these tough times.

Matthew Winnington - Liberal Democrats: Matthew has lived in Southsea for 19 years. He works as a Portsmouth dementia service manager. Matthew has led campaigns including bringing in the number 25 bus and saving the Hayling Ferry. First elected councillor in 2012, Matthew is the city’s cabinet member for health, wellbeing and social care, working closely with the NHS and leading the council’s Covid-19 response. Outside politics, Matthew is active in the Portsmouth Cycle Forum and the Campaign for Real Ale.

Craig Withey - Labour: I’m a local resident and veteran living in Eastney and Craneswater. After serving in Iraq and Afghanistan I’m proud to call Portsmouth my home. Our area has been forgotten about by our current councillors. Whilst they focus on political point scoring I want to focus on getting things done and representing residents. Recently we’ve seen the chaos created around the closure of the seafront road. I’ll be a strong voice for our area on the council.


Stuart Brown - Liberal Democrats: Stuart was born in Germany to an army family. At 18, he moved in with his sick grandmother to care for her, whilst working at the local Co-op. Since 2015, he has lived and campaigned in Fratton. Stuart works for a local Social Enterprise running socially beneficial programmes and events. His priorities for Fratton include: continuing to tackle fly-tipping, street cleanliness, and traffic issues, and addressing the recent increases in crime and anti-social behaviour.

Nikki Coles - Labour: I’m a Fratton resident bringing up my children who attend local schools. I am an active member of my community, with a record of action for standing up for our area from petitioning to get toilets back at Kingston Rec to saving our sure start centres and volunteering for Fratton Big Local. I would like to see more women represented on the council. I have an understanding of the issues we face and will make sure residents are heard and concerns acted on.

Ken Hawkins - Green: I strongly support efforts to improve Portsmouth's air quality and as a councillor, I would promote the use of cycling and would actively work toward taking buses back into public ownership and the introduction of electric power buses. I would campaign for more trees to be planted and more wilding of Fratton's open spaces. Also, I would like to provide Fratton residents with wildflower seeds for their gardens.

Joey Smith - Workers Party of Britain: Hard and honest work is what built Portsmouth, and the people are eager and capable to build a community that works for us. Local authorities have become lost in red tape and have become obedient to the whims of large companies which put profits over people. I want to create a place where people can come for a proper meal at low cost so they don’t have to rely on food banks for meals.

Paul Sweeney - Conservative: Paul is Pompey born, educated and has lived here all his life. He is a local taxi driver so that he knows and hears every day from and about the people of Fratton. He is concerned about local shopping, car parking and businesses as well as council taxes increasing and services in the community. A vote for Paul Sweeney is to vote for a strong voice for Fratton.


Julian Lewis - Labour: This election is about supporting the NHS and other key workers who have done so much to help us through the pandemic, and reviving the Portsmouth economy as we come out of lockdown. I have worked in local government, for an environmental charity and the NHS and I will do all I can to help create jobs, protect the environment and support businesses as we get back to normal and face tomorrow’s challenges.

Emma Murphy - Green: I've lived in Portsmouth my whole life, so I’ve seen many citizens who are frustrated with the lack of sustainability and environmental protections in the city. This includes my dad, who lobbied for a recycling scheme in his office and had to complete the task on his own, after hours, for no extra pay for well over 10 years. If elected to the city council, I would champion a cleaner city with better recycling, a stringent air quality action plan, and better facilities for the people of Portsmouth.

Daniel Wemyss - Conservative: I’m a local lad, I grew up in Hilsea and I have campaigned across the ward for many years; assisting with the instalment of bins at the Mountbatten centre, I helped with the seaside clean-up, and I provide support to the Hilsea Lido. I have a strong track record and a good grip on what happens in Hilsea and it will be a privilege to represent the ward I grew up in.

Peter Williams - Liberal Democrats: Peter has lived in the Hilsea for over 20 years and attended local Portsmouth schools. He worked for Lloyds Bank for many years including at their telephone banking centre in Fareham. Peter also spent several years serving as a special constable based at Cosham and is currently director of a local company helping small businesses. He is standing for Hilsea as he believes the city is best served by a Liberal Democrat controlled city council.


Kimberly Barrett - Liberal Democrats: Kimberly is the fourth generation of her family to live in Milton where she now resides with her husband, two boys and sausage dog. Kimberly formerly worked in the renewable energy industry and is passionate and knowledgeable about green schemes and clean energy. She founded the 10,000-strong ‘Keep Milton Green’ community group on Facebook seven years ago. If elected, Kimberly will work to ensure the beautiful, vibrant and community-minded area of Milton continues to improve.

Sarah Gilbert - Green: I am concerned about air pollution levels, lack of affordable housing, recycling rates and the protection of our green spaces. There are some significant planned developments in this area, including new housing at the St James’s Hospital site, a new leisure centre at Bransbury Park and the Aquind interconnector cable. Residents’ views on these projects must be heard and full consideration given to the environmental impact and the needs of the community.

Paula Savage - Labour: I’m a proud Milton resident and campaigner, with a record of action. Planting 400 trees around a Milton school, being the co lead of the ‘LetsStopAquind’ campaign and helping orchestrate the climate emergency declaration locally. I want to see safer cycling infrastructure, more support for our local businesses and more sustainable developments. I’m one of the co-founders of Portsmouth Coronavirus Support Group with over 10,000 members.

Jack Smith - Conservative: Jack grew up in Buckland and now lives in Eastney; he attended Flying Bull and Priory Schools and Portsmouth College. These days, he studies management at the University of Portsmouth. Jack has set up a number of micro-businesses, including one dedicated to breeding fish for sale. He wants to see the council do more to help the self-employed.


David Cairns - Conservative: Hey I'm David Cairns and I'm running for local councillor for the Nelson ward. I was born and raised in Buckland and grew up through my teens in Stamshaw and now I'm the landlord of The Tap pub in North End. This area of Portsmouth means alot to me and I feel that I am the right person to get things done, solve issues and be part of the heart in our community.

Georgia Hancock - Labour: We need new ideas to tackle the issues we face. If elected I’ll work with the police to tackle anti-social hotspots in the area. I’ll support local businesses to bring life back to North End and our high streets and work with the council to rethink the new Tipner development to preserve coastal wildlife environments, increase residents’ access to this beautiful spot and ensure there are more council homes.

Leo Madden - Liberal Democrats: Leo lives in North End. He’s represented Nelson Ward for over 30 years and is proud to be asked to stand again. Leo finds it heartening that this dreadful Covid emergency has rekindled our community spirit, with volunteers organising meals for children in holidays and for residents needing to shield. When Covid rules allow - Leo runs a regular monthly advice centre and if re-elected will, as always, put the interests of local residents first.

Duncan Robinson - Green: My prime concern is to ensure that air pollution in Portsmouth is reduced by tackling traffic congestion by seeking to increase the public transport infrastructure. I will also seek to increase the size of the Portsmouth clean air zone in line with residents wishes as well as promoting cycling within the city. I also wish to increase the proportion of recycled waste in Portsmouth at the earliest opportunity.


George Brown - Liberal Democrats: George grew up in Hedge End and was councillor there prior to moving to Portsmouth. George has since been involved in several voluntary roles in Portsmouth, raising money for people with learning difficulties or at risk of falling into crime. During the pandemic, George helped at The Hive by transporting food parcels and medications to those unable to access council services. If elected, George will campaign to support local people in their communities.

Mark Farwell - Labour: I grew up in Paulsgrove and the Leigh Park estate and have been dismayed at the way areas in the north of the city have been neglected. I want to see thriving shops and businesses in this ward, safer streets and hear residents’ concerns so I can do something about them.

Tony Hewitt - Conservative: I am a Portsmouth born father of three. We all live in the Paulsgrove and Port Solent ward. I have set up a community page, hold regular community-beach cleans, organise charity events & promote local businesses. I work with our residents associations and Neighbourhood Watch groups. I work closely with our elected Cllrs, Jo Hooper, Gemma New also Penny Mordaunt MP. I feel I am the best placed candidate for the position of councillor.

George Madgwick - Independent: As an independent who lives in Paulsgrove I live and breathe the local community. I know where our community requires support and my experience in business means I know how to succeed in getting things done. I aim to bring back a dentist into Paulsgrove, reopen the healthy living centre and fund free clubs and activities for youth and elderly in our community centres. It's time for a change, vote independent, vote George Madgwick.

St Jude

Raj Ghosh - Labour: I’m a local resident and carer helping our community. Over the past year I’ve been delivering food to those isolating, supporting local artists display their work around the old Knight & Lee building and volunteering with Pompey in the Community. Working alongside local councillors Judith and Graham listening to residents’ issues and ideas. You’ve told me you want a greener, cleaner Southsea – where wellbeing, the climate and rejuvenating our local high streets get the focus they deserve.

Stephen Gorys - Conservative: Stephen Gorys has worked locally for over 200 hours as an NHS volunteer responder and is an experienced mental health act manager volunteering in the local community to collect and distribute food to vulnerable people during the pandemic. Stephen is keen for proper consultation on the big issues that affect you in St. Jude’s ward. Stephen has the skills to challenge and deliver on your needs for our city.

Hugh Mason - Liberal Democrats: Everyone in Southsea seems to know Councillor Hugh Mason. Hugh has volunteered at St Simon’s Church for 27 years, serving food to the needy. First elected in 2004, Hugh is the city’s cabinet member for planning. A former Portsmouth university lecturer, he’s been instrumental in getting the £100m Southsea sea defences underway, which will help protect thousands of homes and local businesses in Southsea from flooding. He holds regular weekly advice surgeries in Southsea library.

Ian McCulloch - Green: We need a political system that puts the public first, and an economy that gives everyone their fair share. We need a planet protected from the threat of climate change now and for the generations to come. That’s the world we want to create and I believe we have the means to do it. The challenges faced by the people of Portsmouth include homelessness, poor air quality, unaffordable housing and a critically underfunded NHS.

St Thomas

Alicia Denny - Conservative: Alicia's community and heritage campaigning has included a successful call for a re-think on the future of the old records office and potential for a Sherlock Holmes museum. As a wife, mum and granny, who has also maintained a professional career as a journalist, she knows about many of the challenges faced by residents. A former city councillor, Alicia wants to represent the ward's people in the interests of democracy, accountability and value for money.

Ian Holder - Liberal Democrats: Ian and his family live in Pembroke Park, in the heart of St Thomas ward. The whole Holder family enjoy kayaking, swimming at Hot Walls and eating out in Southsea and can’t think of a better place to live. As a member of Friends of Old Portsmouth and with his children in local schools, Ian understands local issues. He’s been working closely with councillors Chris Attwell and Rob Wood, supporting local residents.

Elliott Lee - Green: I am a young adult and am visually impaired. I am a student and activist. I have experience in the health and social care sector as well as in the charity sector. I stand as a Green Party candidate here as someone who has been disillusioned by the inaction of other parties and past administrations to tackle the very apparent inequalities all around us.

An accessible city is a city for us all.

Rebecca Ozaniec - Labour: As a mum I care immensely about the future of our city. I have worked for human rights charities and mental health organisations for most of my working life, and more recently in supportive roles in education settings. Currently I am studying for a masters in international development with the University of Portsmouth. I want to see our streets safer, greener and our city a fairer place for everyone. A post-Covid recovery must prioritise residents’ wellbeing.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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