Thanet district election: Broadstairs candidates


Bradstowe ward

Jill Bayford Conservative

Having made several trips to Broadstairs with our young family and fallen in love with it, my husband and I decided to move to the area in 1985. Our children were educated locally and now live close by with our grandchildren.

I have been employed in Adult Education at East Kent College for the past sixteen years and have found this work to be very rewarding and beneficial in broadening people’s prospects of finding work.

I became a Broadstairs Town Councillor, representing Bradstowe Ward, four years ago and have enjoyed the experience of working to maintain and enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors to the area.  If elected to Thanet District Council, also representing Bradstowe, I would welcome the opportunity to broaden the scope of my work in our beautiful town.

Jemima Brown Labour

As your councillor for Bradstowe Ward I will work hard to represent your interests and put across your points of view at District Council level.

Professionally I work as an artist, exhibiting work both locally and further afield. I also have valuable experience of working for arts organisations and property companies in a regeneration context.

I moved to Broadstairs with my husband and our son in 2014. We love Thanet! After 25 years in London it is a huge privilege to live somewhere so special. Even as a fairly recent incomer, I am keen to participate in helping to make our community brilliant for everyone.

David Parsons Conservative

Having lived and worked in Thanet my entire life, I have developed a full and thorough understanding of the challenges we face as both a town and as a district. I am a family man and the proud father of two young boys who ensure my spare time is well spent. For almost fifteen years I have also been busy working in our local hospital on the frontline of the NHS.

It has been an enormous privilege to represent Bradstowe at Thanet District Council for the last four years and I am keen to build upon those precious links I have forged with our wonderful community. I remain incredibly optimistic about Broadstairs and firmly believe our best days are ahead of us.

Robert Stone Lib Dem

Robert Stone moved to Broadstairs in April 2015 where, with his partner, he took over The Bay Tree Hotel, which has undergone a major refurbishment and is now proving very popular. The business has also provided several jobs and its guests are also spending in other local businesses. Robert and his partner are both active within the BTLA (Broadstairs Tourism and Leisure Association) promoting local businesses. In Sydenham, London, Robert was a member of his local PCC and a church youth group leader. His background is in business travel management and in the care sector. Robert has been attracted to the Liberal Democrats very democratic and proactive way of reaching out to the local community, listening to concerns and addressing the very local, but often highly important issues we are told matter and then building upon these, especially working in a non-partisan and non-confrontational way.

Margaret Symonds Labour

I am a retired teacher of English as a Second Language, married with two adult children and four grandchildren. Since moving to Broadstairs in 2006, I have been involved in local politics and campaigns, including the successful campaign to restore street lighting, and am currently involved in the Thanet Stroke Campaign to keep Stroke Services at the QEQM hospital in Margate. I have also been Chair of the Isle of Thanet Archaeological Society for 8 years, and served for 28 years on the Kent Valuation Tribunal, dealing with Council Tax and Business Rate appeals.

Every resident deserves to live in clean, safe surroundings, with equality of access to good local services including medical facilities, public transport, and support for families, older people and those who are disadvantaged in any way. As your Labour councillor, I will listen to your concerns and do my utmost to improve conditions for Bradstowe residents

Mel Winter Green Party

I have owned a small business in beautiful Broadstairs and met and listened to many local residents on a daily basis – so I’m familiar with the diverse needs in the area, from older residents to young families. I am confident I have the experience needed to relate to Bradstowe’s community and stand up for what residents feel is important.

I am approachable, eager to listen, energetic and caring. I’m currently developing my skills and have recently returned to university as a mature student in Canterbury.

My mother and grandmother were both born in Ramsgate where they still live today.  My family have lived in Thanet for the last sixteen years, and in the past with my husband and two children we rented one of the cosy council-owned beach huts on Stone Bay.

I am a Green Party member because the Green Party understands the radical change needed to shake up local government. The Green Programme is ready to unleash the power of local to protect and revive our communities, after years of neglect and decline.

We are proud to do politics differently, and now just need votes to make this happen!

Follow me on Twitter at

Beacon Road ward

John Buckley Thanet Independents

Ian Ellard Lib Dem

I used to live and work in London with my Civil Partner Steve. I had a stressful job  A mental health crisis forced me to take early retirement. Steve came up with the idea of moving to Broadstairs for a quieter more tranquil life. I was able to reinvent myself and become an artist.

At 63 I love painting and drawing . It really makes me appreciate and beautiful the Thanet coast is. Its still a thrill that Joss Bay is walking distance from my house. I do a lot of work in Care Homes helping people with dementia express themselves through art.

Years of cuts have left TDC services in tatters. Residents can no longer get free collections of unwanted large items like sofas and mattresses. Environmental health no longer provide free treatment if you have a pest infestation like mice or cockroaches. Bed Bugs are making an unwanted comeback . If elected I want to restore free services.

Jane Lee-Hopkinson Labour

Jane Lee was born in Yorkshire in 1950 but like many northern families, in 1957, hers emigrated to Canada on the government’s assisted passage scheme for those who had been longer than ten years on the council housing list. She returned to England in 1973 during the miners strike and the three day week. Her father had sent her with some money for the miners and advice about the labour party. In London she worked her way through university and graduate school, became an historian and, by the time she retired, a senior academic and head of Department. The Labour Party’s plan for a National Education Service is of great importance to her. Her husband was born in Ramsgate, his mother being of a Thanet Family since 1800. They retired to Broadstairs in 2015 and are active in several local campaigns and Jane is women’s officer for the South Thanet Constituency.

Charlie Leys Conservative

I have lived in Thanet for my entire life and adore our district. I attended the Hereson school, and have recently graduated from University.

You may recognise me from working in a local supermarket or indeed as serving as your Deputy Mayor for the last two years.

I was elected in 2015 to the Town Council and have tried to bring a fresh, new outlook on issues that affect the town. If elected I shall push for better facilities such as public toilets.  Secondly, Broadstairs relies on tourism; I will work with others to ensure that we retain our heritage while looking to entice new people to the town. Finally, I believe I can be a voice for the younger generation who are under-represented on TDC.

If you see me out and about don’t be afraid to say hello!

Paul Moore Conservative

I was educated in Broadstairs and trained at Sandhurst, I then went to University in London and Canterbury.  I served in the Army as Lieutenant in the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment.   At various times since leaving School, I have worked in the family business, and am now a Manager in the local Kent Fire and Rescue Service.

On the 7th of May 2015, I was elected as a Conservative Town Councillor for the St. Peter’s Ward in Broadstairs.  I have served on numerous comittees – Finance and General Purposes, Planning, and Tourism.  I have the honour of currently being Mayor of Broadstairs. I have strong community ties and care very passionately about the constituents in my ward.  I am at all times available to offer any assistance.  It is my intention to widen my political role by being elected onto Thanet District Council.

Aram Rawf Labour

I live and work in Broadstairs, in our hospitality industry, I have won awards for customer service and I know what makes our local economy tick.

I understand the immigrant experience I came here in 1999 as a teenage refugee fleeing torture in Iraq. I’m now a British citizen working and volunteering for our community. Immigrants put more in than they take out!

I have a track record in campaigning, I have campaigned for street lighting, public transport, the NHS and against racism. My priorities will be in supporting all the resources available to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour, to provide cleaner streets and to sustain our natural resources.

I will always be available to you, engaged, involved. If you have a problem I will be there for you.

I will be fighting for our public services particularly our NHS services. We will make them excellent and keep them local.

Hazel Slater Thanet Independents

I am standing for Thanet Independents in the upcoming local elections. I was born and raised locally. I worked at St. Peter-in-Thanet Junior School for approximately 18 years, eventually becoming Assistant Head and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator. I then went on to work for a further six years with challenging young people in Pupil Referral Units both in Ramsgate and Folkestone.

Throughout my career in education I have gained vast experience of working alongside other agencies to improve outcomes for vulnerable young people and their families. I enjoy being part of a community and as I am now retired, will be able to devote myself to the issues that are important to residents in the Beacon Ward. Having spoken to some of the constituents I have become aware of the following concerns;  congested traffic/safety issues due to the parked cars in Callis Court Road,  particularly on Sunday mornings,  anti-social behaviour in other areas, theft from cars and unsightly littering and fly tipping.  If elected I will be able to hold regular surgeries within the ward, to work with residents, to make Beacon Ward an even better place to live.

Kingsgate ward

Bob Bayford Conservative

Having been a regular visitor to Thanet since childhood, I knew that it was a lovely place. Some thirty four years ago, my wife, Jill, and I decided to move to Kingsgate with our young family. It is a move we have never once regretted.

My children both attended local schools and have made their homes here. I work with my son, Joe, in a financial services practice. Jill is a teacher at East Kent College, helping people to improve their basic skills, in order to enhance their chances of employment. My daughter, Georgie, runs her own business in TV production.

I believe that the quality of life here is second to none and part of my motivation for being involved with local politics is to help to maintain this. There are many factors that can affect our lives and our local councils have a role to play in enhancing the positive and minimising the negative impacts that affect us all.  I am presently Leader of Thanet Council and try to use this office to effect positive change.

Locally, I believe that maintaining the Green Wedge policy is vitally important. The open space it protects not only separates areas of built environment, preventing an urban sprawl, but also maintains a valuable open space for us all to enjoy. It is also desirable that our beaches continue to attain the standards required to achieve Blue Flag status.

Having been your councillor on Thanet District Council for many years, I would like to continue in this role.

Richard Symonds Labour and Co-Operative

A retired NHS Consultant, I have lived in the ward for 14 years. I want a healthy and well-resourced Thanet, a different approach to local politics not the powerlessness and incompetence of recent years. Labour and COOP  are united in concentrating on communities  We believe in keeping wealth local, not profiting big businesses like Pfizer, which can  leave without warning. We want to protect all our anchor institutions, like the QEQM Hospital, and the Port of Ramsgate and ensure they buy, spend and employ locally . We encourage democratically owned and controlled enterprises, like cooperatives. We want TDC to commit to local investment, to encourage small business and to seek the best local benefit not the lowest cost, in procurement;  businesses who will employ local people at living wages.  TDC needs to take back many services in-house. If elected I will work to coordinate in TDC this alternative economic approach, so appropriate for Thanet. 

St Peters ward

Gail Banks Lib Dem

For over 20 years I was employed in primary schools in inner London, working with children and their families to overcome social and emotional barriers to learning by supporting them at grassroot level, and liaising with appropriate professionals when necessary. I now enjoy hosting students from a local English language college in Broadstairs, and volunteering with the amazing Gap Project, by getting alongside adults with additional needs, and pottering about in the Gap in the Market shop in the High Street.

Representing a ward on Thanet District Council is an honour. If I was elected, I would see it as my duty and privilege to listen, learn and fight with integrity,  for the issues that really matter to the Broadstairs community.

Philip Coulson Labour

From being a local press photographer in Yorkshire I have travelled extensively in  this country and abroad and I understand  the importance of local issues to the well being of the community. I believe in equal opportunities for all and that we all benefit through inclusive engagement in our local community.

Roy Dexter Conservative

Having resided in Thanet all my life gives me a wealth of local knowledge and an understanding of the area’s changing demographics. I’m currently a Broadstairs and St Peter’s town councillor and a Thanet District councillor representing the St Peter’s ward. As an elected councillor I take a very active role at both the town and district and currently sit on fourteen committees and sub committees.

In 1999 I was appointed Town Clerk of Broadstairs and St Peter’s: A position I held for 14 years. To-date, as a retired town clerk and a standing councillor, I have nearly 20 years experience helping to maintain and enhance the well-being of our local community. By profession I’m an engineer coupled with an MBA, and over the years I have run my own business and worked for a variety of local public and private organisations at senior level.

My work as a councillor has been demanding but very rewarding. With a wealth of local knowledge and local government experience I wish to continue to help boost our local economy, resolve issues of concern, support our community and community groups, promote social inclusion, and help to protect our built and open space environments

Mike Garner Green Party

My name is Mike Garner and I’ve lived in St Peters with my wife Carole since moving down from Watford 3 ½ years ago. We love living here, and since retiring last year have enjoyed becoming part of this community.

As well as being active in the Green Party, I’m a volunteer for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, working with others to help improve areas near the coastline to restore and create habitat for Kent’s wild bees. I also have an allotment plot in Broadstairs.

I’m standing in the local election for the Green Party because I believe it’s vital that we’re represented by someone who will keep the environment at the heart of all decisions, and who will fight for improved public services rather than their reduction or closure.

Tackling Climate Change, the biggest issue we face, needs to happen at an international level, but we can do so much to improve our local environment – for example:

improving public transport and providing more walking and cycling opportunities so we don’t always need to use our cars

improving our waste services to make recycling easy, natural & automatic

I look forward to meeting some of you during the campaign.

Marc Rattigan Conservative

I’m a local family man that currently owns and manages business including a group of children’s nursery’s across Thanet. Having lived in Thanet for my entire life, I have grown a huge passion to see the area develop for the local residents. I have a wide experience and background in governmental departments, Healthcare, Education, and Business Management.I feel this experience would be an attribute to being a councillor. I feel the younger generation are under-represented in local government and I want to change this so that every generation has a voice within TDC.

Jason Savage Conservative

I have lived in the historic centre of St Peter’s for over 25 years as a committed member of the community and I am married with 3 children all of whom have attended local schools.

I am a retired Architect having worked in the building industry and later in business management. I have also worked abroad and was one of the few civilians to be decorated by HM Government for service in the First Gulf War. My wife and I are both active in the community and keen to preserve the individuality and character of St Peter’s.  I have previously served St Peter’s and Broadstairs as Town Mayor and currently support Thanet Conservatives as Deputy Leader of the Council. With your support I would like the opportunity to continue to uphold the unique character and history of St Peter’s.

Sarah St John Labour

A former primary school teacher, I now work with people who are training to be teachers.  I am a passionate advocate of education for all.  I believe in fairness and equality and the need to ensure that support services in the form of effective health and mental health are readily available for those who need them.

Viking ward

Roger Binks Conservative

I have lived in Thanet since the 1970s, moving to Broadstairs in 1995.  I am semi-retired, after running my hairdressing business locally for several years. I represented Viking Ward on the Town Council and retain a passionate interest in the fortunes of both the town and its residents. Having been a councillor, I appreciate it is not easy to bring about change and improvement.  I am passionate to preserve Heritage Assets, retain Green Spaces, promote Clean Streets, Parks and Beaches and reasonably priced parking.  I want to make Thanet a thriving economy and an even better place to live.

Ruth Brackstone Bailey Independent

My message for the electorate is to forget national party politics and embrace a local Independent candidate who has a proven track record of community involvement.

My belief is that national party politics have no place in local governance. As an Independent I am free to vote with integrity without toeing a party line. I regularly attend local community and council meetings and contribute on a range of community issues.

I am involved with the Broadstairs Visitor Information Kiosk, the Thanet Winter Shelter, the Water Gala, Fireworks and Food Festival, litter-picking, co-producing the Busy Broadstairs magazine, etc.

I opposed TDC’s allocation of £3million for office refurbishment at Council. While fully aware that there are increasing financial restraints on Councils, there is a need to prioritise how the money we do have is spent. In a coastal destination the expenditure needs to be on clean and welcoming towns with cheaper parking, clean, safe streets, hygienic toilets, well-kept beaches and open spaces, maintained public buildings, provision for the homeless and protecting our vital Tourism services.

Vote for an Independent candidate who cares about and actively contributes to the area.

Fiona Crawford Labour

I have been a resident of Broadstairs for 16 years and am a Local Business Owner of Helter Skelter – a hub of the community and winner of Britain’s Friendliest Business.

I have been a community campaigner, raising money for charities, PTAs and creating campaigns to attract people into the town. I’m a Former Chair of the Broadstairs Chamber of Commerce and set up the Broadstairs Town Team, delivering beach/park cleaning and gardening groups. Created activities to support local businesses and attract people into the town, including Film on the Beach, Guinness World Record Dancing Queens event (for which we still hold the record). Started the annual Trick or Treat Trail and Halloween events, and the Helter Skelter Pirate Party. Set up an anti racism campaign and support the Save our NHS in Kent campaign. Managed projects and events encompassing the skills of key stakeholders in our community.

Jeremy De Rose Lib Dem

After coming to Broadstairs from Surrey in 1976, I moved to Margate for a few years. I have lived in Viking Ward, Broadstairs since 1984, and have worked in the railway industry since 1973.  I am a chartered member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport, and a trustee of the Spitfire Museum at Manston; for eight years I served as chairman.  I am particularly interested in: working to improve street cleaning and combat fly-tipping; improving bus and train services; encouraging investment in tourism and transport; recycling; improving the efficiency of TDC.

Terry Macdonald Green Party

David Saunders Conservative

I have lived in Viking Ward for thirty of the fifty-five years that my wife, family and I have lived in Broadstairs. Since being elected in 2009, I have on two occasions been honoured with the position of Town Mayor for Broadstairs & St. Peter’s and I am the current Chairman of Thanet District Council. With the experience gained, I consider myself to be a proven and highly regarded Councillor and if re-elected will continue to be accessible to the residents that I serve and to act speedily and effectively on any concerns that are brought to my attention.

Mave Saunders Conservative

Having lived the majority of my life in Broadstairs and with both my children and grandchildren being raised locally, I believe that this gives me an insight into the concerns and aspirations of a variety of age groups. I have been involved as an event organiser and fundraiser. Since being elected in 2007, I have had the honour of serving as the Town Mayor in 2009/10. One of my main achievements is the installation of a Pedestrian Crossing in Osborne Road. I have always tried to be helpful and accessible and if re-elected will continue to work tirelessly for all the Community.

Annie Watson Labour

I was born in Galway in the West of Ireland and always hoped to live by the sea again one day. I moved from London to Broadstairs seven years ago and love living in Thanet. Now retired, I spent most of my working life as a trade union

officer, promoting relationships between trade unionists in the UK and overseas. Later, I became an adviser on ethical trade, promoting a better deal for workers in the global supply chain, especially vulnerable women.

Since moving to Thanet I have been an active campaigner on many local issues – including the NHS, street lighting and cuts to bus services. I am standing for election as a Labour TDC councillor because I believe that Labour policies on housing, youth employment, public services and promoting the local economy will secure a better future for the people of Thanet.


  1. Paul Moore is conservative? Oh please, he’s the biggest joke ever and can’t even run the businesses he has now, not mentioning the fact him or the older guy can’t park or drive properly!! Who can take him seriously? 99% of St. Peters high street can’t and neither can the majority of Broadstairs residents.

  2. The Tory government has shown a complete disregard for democracy and the well-being of the people of this country at a national level and this trickles down to a sense of entitlement and contempt for the residents of Thanet at a local level. Let’s vote out this self-serving bunch of clowns! Labour candidates deserve to be given a chance to address the issues that relate to the people of Thanet! Out with Bob Bayford and his motel crew!

  3. There isn’t a single individual on this list that I want to put my cross next to. Think it’s best to scrawl ‘traitors’ across the slip.

    • A word of warning about “Independent” candidates. Some who are called “Thanet Independents” are actually a party! They are the people who left UKIP and set themselves up as a separate group in the last disastrous council.

  4. Well both Ruth Brackstone Bailey and Fiona Crawford are active in our area, doing things selflessly for the good of all. Those two are clearly the type of positive representation that i would like to have.

  5. Doesn’t seem to be any comments on whether they are pro or anti re Manston reopening!
    Quite an important issue I would have thought!

    • As per the above comment, I would like to know where the candidates stand on the possible reopening of Manston Airport as I would NOT vote for anyone who is against the airport.

  6. Labour are totally against manston airport They are a remainer party Thanet does not need or want a labour run council Please remember the last time labour run thanet council

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