Thanet district election: Ramsgate candidates


Central Harbour ward

Raushan Ara Labour

Thirty years ago I moved to Ramsgate, it was a thriving town with strong businesses and tourism. Now the town is in dire need of regeneration. I have raised a family and continue to run a small business and understand the pressures faced by businesses in Thanet, due to high rates, rents and parking charges.

Parenting a special needs child has given me insight into the issues which effect families, with many facing cuts to welfare, care and support. Volunteering with the homeless and vulnerable has driven me to seek real changes in our society, which I believe Labour can deliver.

As an active member of the Labour party, I have campaigned for local, county and general elections Through doorstep campaigning I have formed strong ties within South Thanet. My personal ethos is, “f you want change to happen you have to be that change.

Peter Campbell Labour

I have had the honour of representing the residents of Central Harbour Ward for the past 12 years. During that time I have been available to residents 365 days a year, being the most conscientious of Councillors, as my attendance record can verify.

I have, and still am, an opponent of night flights at the now disused Manston Airport. I support the plan for a mixed use development of the site offering long term jobs and supported housing. If elected I will support the concentration of resources to improve the cleanliness of my ward and Ramsgate Town. I have been instrumental in the purchase, by Ramsgate Town Council, of the old fire station in Effingham St, and look forward to developing the site in consultation with local residents. As a ward councillor I have, with other members, enabled a rape and assault counselling service and Citizen Advice presence in Ramsgate.

John Davis Conservative

Born, raised and educated in Ramsgate, I have spent much of my working life locally, and have seen many changes to our town, some good, but too many not good at all! I have been a community activist for a number of years (including previously chairing FoRS, and as founding chair of R.A.G.), campaigning and working to improve our environment and economic prospects with particular interest in heritage, tourism, community welfare, and housing standards (particularly in the private rental sector).

As a community we have repeatedly faced various environmental threats, and for the record, I do not agree with any plan for scheduled night flights at Manston, and continue to vigorously oppose any attempts to “industrialise” our port and harbour. To improve local opportunities, we need to attract inward investment, and to support regeneration initiatives such as the Maritime Village at the Port of Ramsgate, and continue to work collaboratively with initiatives such as Historic England’s “Heritage Action Zone”, to protect and enhance our stunning historic environment and tourism offering, whilst embracing modern technology and developing forward vision to the benefit of all. I would consider it an honour and privilege to provide a strong voice representing you at council.

Morgan Harris Conservative

I’m a long-term local resident, living in Ramsgate with my wife and young family.  Having obtained my degree in Horticulture from Hadlow College, I spent more than 25 years employed by TDC before leaving to develop my career in Horticulture.  During my time at TDC, I was on the team that successfully bid for £1.6 million to regenerate Ellington Park, as well as helping a number of successful community groups become established, and believe I can truly help improve our town as an elected member representing you.

Samara Jones-Hall Independent

Samara Jones-Hall has now withdrawn herself from the election due to medical reasons.

Thomas King Labour

I am standing for the Labour Party to help promote a fairer, more inclusive society here in Thanet – one of the most deprived areas in Kent. A Labour council will look to eradicating the poverty in which many of our residents, young and old, still live. One in five children here in Thanet live in poverty and many go to school hungry. Despite the good work that food banks do, there should be no need for them in a modern, civilised society.

If elected to serve residents Central Harbour I will strive to make my commitment to a Thanet, that embraces a better quality of life for all, with more social housing and employment opportunities. That is a Thanet which truly will be for the many, not the few.

Mandy Shonk Thanet Independents

Trevor Shonk Thanet Independents

James Thomas Conservative

I came from London to Thanet in 1999.  I now own and run the very popular Royal Harbour Hotel and Empire Room Restaurant in Ramsgate.  As an employer as well as a resident in the ward, I am able to connect with both residents and small businesses alike. I am often found collecting litter in the hedges outside the hotel in Nelson Crescent.

Becky Wing Green Party

I moved to Ramsgate in 2010 after falling in love with the place on trips abroad using the Sally Line. I’m originally from the East End, so a genuine DFL, but taught for 25 Years in Barnsley. I now work with Charlton Athletic Community Trust as a mentor for young people – our most valuable asset who are often ‘not heard’.

I chair Addington Street Community Group, which aims to bring the community together and support our small businesses. Like many others, I’m regularly out litter picking, helping paint our Victorian Shelters and planting bulbs.

As a working-class child who was able to access free education to become a teacher, I have a passion for education, which empowers and improves life chances.

If elected, I will put people and places first, working to ensure:

  • Every penny TDC spends maximises benefits for residents
  • TDC finds creative ways to address the poverty and deprivation that blight the area
  • Small businesses and our high streets are supported to grow
  • Greater powers and funding are delegated to Town and Parish Councils
  • Street cleaning and recycling are improved for a cleaner, greener town
  • A fair deal for Ramsgate, its people, places and assets: we are not for sale to the highest bidder!

Cliffsend and Pegwell

Steve Ansell Labour

It is the job of politicians to represent the people who elect them.The only way to do this is to listen to the people. Too many politicians only listen to the people every few years at election time- or worse still they pretend to listen to get elected. When Jeremy Corbyn visited Ramsgate he promised less “top down” politics and more “bottom up” politics and that’s how we do things in the Labour party. We are a democratic party and we listen. Locally we are all losing our NHS services and out local government budget is being cut to the bone by the Conservatives, threatening our safety and security as well as our basic services. People are forced into homelessness, families are forced to use food banks, and our police are critically underfunded. The situation is dangerous. People are naturally worried and all politicians need to take notice. As your councillor I will make sure you can regularly tell me your views and I will make sure those views are heard in the council chamber.

Michael Barnbrook The For Britain Movement

Grahame Birchall Independent

If I am fortunate enough to be elected, I can guarantee delivery of a Local Mayoral Referendum in Thanet, which is the first step in our campaign to re-write TDC’s constitution, as a cross party exercise. The overriding aim of the campaign is to bring much more, open, transparent and accountable government to Thanet. The GRIT campaign, which is open to all party members, aims to achieve this through a combination of a directly elected council leader (Mayor) for Thanet, a politically balanced executive, powers of scrutiny for all town councils/area committees and statutory rights of consultation for local voluntary and charitable organisations. A directly elected council leader will, on its own, bring much greater representation for major communities such as Ramsgate, than currently exists.

Christine Hudson Labour

My experiences as a local resident and business owner has given me insight into local issues. If elected, I will support all practical measures to make Thanet a better place to live and work. I have carried out fundraising activities for a number of organisations and host a monthly coffee morning to help fight loneliness and social isolation. Having been actively involved in youth football for several years, I’m keen to improve local sports and wellbeing opportunities, particularly for young people. My priorities are to increase and improve local housing stocks; promote and support initiatives to end homelessness and to secure the provision of an official, well run site for the Travelling community. I will also work to promote initiatives to support our local business community, attract new businesses to the area and increase facilities for tourists.

Abigail Randall Green Party

I’ve lived in Pegwell nearly all my life. Thanet is a great place to live because of how blessed we are with natural beauty.

I’m lucky enough to live right next to a nationally-recognised nature reserve. The Thanet Coast Project has been hugely successful in raising public awareness and getting people involved in looking after our coast. I’m shocked that Thanet District Council are considering closing it: this is a short-sighted policy that we will come to regret.

I work in retail in Canterbury and feel we must all support our traditional town centres, which are under threat from rising rents and internet shopping. Working in Canterbury also reminds me every day how significant East Kent is in our country’s story, and I believe we could do more to promote Thanet’s proud history to visitors and locals alike.

I’m very involved with my local church and am deeply concerned about inequality in our communities. It is simply not acceptable that people in Thanet live in poverty in 2019.

I joined the Green Party because it’s the only party that tries to balance social justice, the economy and the environment. I believe that by following Green policies, it’s really possible to have it all!

Brenda Rogers Conservative

I have been a TDC councillor in Cliffsend and Pegwell Ward for the past four years. It has been challenging. I have represented residents and their concerns at planning committee on numerous occasions. I am on the Licensing Board and the Joint Transportation Board. The decisions taken at these meetings are paramount to the wellbeing of the people in Thanet. I hope to be re-elected to continue my work as a voice for the residents of my ward, to help to boost the local economy, to protect against overdevelopment and to promote Ramsgate and Thanet as a whole, as a wonderful place to live.

David Stevens Conservative

I am a retired teacher with 34 years’ experience of dealing with people and sports teams. I currently live in Pegwell and have lived in this area all my life. I feel passionate about Thanet and Ramsgate in particular and its residents. I care about the future of Thanet and support projects which promote jobs for present and future generations, as well as local tourism. Within the Cliffsend and Pegwell Ward there are real areas of concern such as the proposed Parkway station, changes to bus routes, particularly in Cliffsend, parking problems, protecting our green spaces and facilities at the Western Undercliff and these are key priorities for me. The nitty-gritty issues about housing and planning, refuse collections, weeds and litter are also local matters I care about. As a good listener, regardless of political persuasion, I will endeavor to address any issues my constituents in Cliffsend and Pegwell may have

Nethercourt ward

Stephen Byrne Conservative


Elizabeth Green Labour

As a resident of Nethercourt I am very aware of the issues that concern residents, especially local crime, litter and anti-social behaviour. I believe in working closely with residents, as I did previously, when a county councillor for Ramsgate, successfully gaining funding for pedestrian crossings and a speed limit on Nethercourt Hill following serious accidents. My priorities will be help defend against cuts to our health service including QEQM,  to tackle environmental problems, such as the air pollution from traffic around St Lawrence High Street, one of the worst in Thanet. We need a plan to reduce this especially around Ellington School. I’ve fought and argued continuously against night flights at Manston at both TDC and KCC. Hopefully this threat will soon be lifted.

Colin Grostate Conservative




Tony Ovenden Labour

My key interests are the heritage and environment of the Thanet coast, something I have been involved with for many years. I believe that if we do not seek to conserve it, we will lose it – the destiny of our future really is in our hands. I like to be positive with what we have got, as there is a practical solution to almost everything. I administer specialist social media subject groups and contribute to others in a positive way. Social media is a positive way forward to share practical knowledge, new discoveries and share positive opinion and data. Information does more to empower people than anything else, as a good knowledge base is the way to take local issues forward and to reach out more. Times are changing as more residents have a greater opportunity to have their say and concerns to elected representatives than ever before through social media. This will only work if an elected representative is prepared to listen and take matters forward in the first place. I aim to be that candidate.

Tim Spencer Green Party

My background is in Sciences – I have a degree in botany & zoology. I worked for many years as a freelance photographer, but retired when digital became the norm.

I moved from Margate’s Cliftonville in 2011 because my partner and I bought a small plot of land in Pegwell. We built a modern energy-efficient ‘eco-house’,  and our permaculture forest garden thrives, with a Kent Wildlife Trust Gold Award.

I joined the Ecology Party (now the Green Party) in the early 1980’s and have had a love-hate attitude to politics ever since.

To me a ‘green’ way of life should be easy – it is the future, if there is to be a future for us all. I don’t understand why people don’t acknowledge there is no Planet B and that common-sense sustainable living is satisfying, healthy and fair.

Green politics promotes an economy for the common good. What’s not to like?

Paul Weller UKIP

Eastcliff ward

Steve Albon Labour

I have been a resident in Thanet for over 40 years and have been at my current address in Ramsgate for the last five. I worked in local government for 34 years and know how a council should operate. I am standing as a Labour candidate on May 2nd as I believe the current council administration has failed to act on behalf of the people of Thanet, especially Ramsgate, which seems to be the poor relation of the three towns when it comes to money being spent. My priorities are to get social housing built, the Pleasurama site dealt with and to assist local business to flourish, along with empty shops and properties occupied and/or renovated. It is also my aim to work alongside relevant agencies to try and resolve anti-social behaviour within our town.

Tricia Hartley Green Party

I moved to the East Cliff 7 years ago from the North of England with my husband, whose family is from Ramsgate, and I’ve become heavily involved in community activities.

For the past year I’ve been a Ramsgate Town Councillor, which has taught me a lot. I’m a member of the East cliff community group, Secretary of the Town Team and Chair of Ramsgate Litter Forum – so I’m currently busy co-ordinating the Great Ramsgate Spring Clean! I’m also on the Neighbourhood Planning and Coastal Communities groups.

My working life was in schools, adult learning and later heading a national education charity. I’ve worked with national and local government, so I understand how Councils should function – and I’m concerned that TDC doesn’t seem to be working as it should.

If elected, my priorities would be:

  • Ensuring open, honest, straightforward decision-making at Town and District levels
  • Delegating more powers and funding to Town and Parish Councils
  • Improving street cleaning, waste and recycling for a cleaner, greener town
  • Exploring how Councils can help address poverty, low aspiration and limited opportunities, particularly for our young people
  • Ensuring a fair deal for Ramsgate!

Helen Crittenden Labour

I was born and brought up in Ramsgate and have lived and worked in or around Thanet most of my life, where I still work and where most of my family still live.  I have worked in admin and various forms of social care and research.  I’m standing for Labour as I believe it is only Labour that truly stands for the welfare of the ordinary person in the street

Corinna Huxley Labour

Corinna has been in Ramsgate since 2003, when she moved into Eastcliff, and currently works part-time for Kent County Council library services. She previously represented Central Harbour on Thanet District Council and Eastcliff on Ramsgate Town Council, serving as chair of licensing on TDC, chair of planning at RTC, as a member of the housing working party and as a board member of Your Leisure.
If elected she will again be a conscientious and hard-working ward councillor who engages with residents and helps resolve issues they raise. Corinna knows from experience how the council works and how to access its resources to benefit residents. She particularly cares about fly-tipping, littering, dog mess, campaigning for better quality private rented accommodation, reducing the number of empty properties in the ward and increasing the number of police on the streets. She is opposed to night flights at Manston airport

David Kingham Conservative

Janet Kingham Conservative

Sarah Larkins Independent

Peter Parsons Conservative

Sir Moses Montefiore ward

Terry Connor UKIP

Clean streets, regular bin and recycling collections and finding a solution for the deficit at Ramsgate Port are on the manifesto list for UKIP.

Terry Connor says the marina village option could be looked at although it may exclude ordinary ‘working class’ people.

He added: “I would like to see more social housing and the hospital keeping its stroke unit. I also feel we could do a lot more with our open spaces, for example ramsgate FC want to move to Jackey Bakers and have a centre and facilities for children. I’d also like the free parking back at Leopold Street that Ramsgate Town Council were paying for until Thanet council put the price up.”

John Holmes Conservative

Mark Hopkinson Labour

I grew up in Ramsgate and have lived here for the majority of my life. I’m a teacher and have worked for several years in secondary schools and colleges in East Kent. I now carry out full-time research into education. As someone with a daughter and two step children attending Thanet schools, I am well aware of the serious consequences of Tory cuts to public institutions like schools. As one fellow Labour candidate says, “these are services we have already paid for”, so why are we expected to put up with endless cuts? I’m standing to put the positive, inspiring new Labour manifesto for TDC into practice. Above all, I want to help enact a “Preston model” style review of council spending – a radical approach that has had great success around the UK. It could really help build a thriving Thanet without costing council tax payers more

Paul Messenger Independent

TDC is about to commit itself to subsidising another loss-making enterprise at enormous cost to the council taxpayers of this district. To date I have been thwarted in my attempts to promote the MDL ltd option and as an elected Independent member I will pursue this development opportunity with vigour. The industrialisation of the port makes no commercial sense and will damage tourism in the area forever. It would also rule out all hope of a Maritime Village Development. More importantly, this proposal would “future proof” losses on the port for years to come and result in further, avoidable £3 million cuts to TDC core services by 2023.

I believe I have a duty to fight these financially crazy proposals in any way I can. Not least because I believe the first question any councillor should ask is this : does this proposed business deal pass diligence and compliance and will it benefit my constituents?

I want to ensure King George VI park has better TDC maintenance than it enjoys at the moment. I want to ensure Dumpton area in general receives its fair share of Highways issues. I want look at speeding incidents along Dumpton park drive and see what can be done to encourage safer driving speeds there. Road and path cleanliness in Dumpton needs better TDC attention. If elected I want to support the initiative of a plastic free coastline. I will continue to support Aviation returning to Manston. I will support maintaining and improving NHS medical services for the area.

Pat Moore Labour

I am an experienced former councillor and previous mayor of Ramsgate, who has lived in the town since 1982, and in Dumpton Park Drive for 20 years. I worked for the council in the housing benefits enquiry counter for 19 years and met many people with many problems. My job was to try to find an answer to them or explain why not.

Since retiring I have volunteered for many organisations, including the Maritime Museum, Ramsgate’s Visitor Information Centre, and the local credit union. I joined Montefiore Heritage Association, Ramsgate Twinning Association, knitting for QEQM Special Care Baby Unit and helped with litter picking.

I am standing for Labour as I see many injustices and would like to be involved with making life better for residents. Dog mess is a problem wherever you live. A lack of buses is a problem in some areas. I will always be very vocal in trying to make Ramsgate a better place to live.

Gary Perkins Independent

Gary Perkins moved almost next door to the Montefiore Synagogue in Ramsgate 2007.
He has worked in education for 30 years as both a Gallery Educator and University Lecturer in Liverpool and London. As a sculptor, Perkins has worked and exhibited in Japan, USA, Australia, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates and throughout Europe.
Gary is possibly best know locally however, for his creative political activism, most recently in disguise as an escaped concrete piling from the Pleasurama stalled building project.
Perkins hopes that by sidestepping any party political endorsement that he will be better placed to represent everyone in his ward and offer them a choice at the ballot box.
He said:“We have in our ward some Thanet’s best outside spaces, I want to make sure that our parks, beaches and the streets we share are safe, clean and available for everyone to use and enjoy”.

“Without getting too Biblical, Sir Moses Montefiore Ward is a little like Noah’s Ark: We have two general practice partnerships in our Health Centre, two dental practices, two Primary Schools, two large green spaces in King George VI Memorial Park and Ramsgate Cemetery, even our Chip Shops and Tattoo Parlours come in pairs.

“ I want our unique community and the public services and infrastructure that we rely on to be protected, maintained and enhanced and I will work hard, thoughtfully, passionately and creatively with TDC to make sure that happens”.

Vic Todd Conservative

Newington ward

Karen Constantine Labour

Karen Constantine won Newington in January 2016. She then went on to win a Ramsgate seat at Kent County Council in May 2017.

Karen is passionate about local issues, and helping local residents. She has assisted hundreds of people with housing issues, homelessness, benefits, health difficulties, problems at work, litter, traffic and education matters.

Karen makes certain she is available to Newington residents. She delivers her newsletters across Newington regularly. She runs a website and holds regular surgeries.

She speaks up at Thanet District Council and is often seen on the TV, in the newspapers or heard on the radio. Fighting for improvements for her ward.

Passionate and vocal about local politics, she has campaigned tirelessly against austerity, homelessness and lack of economic regeneration. She has fought for street lighting, better bus services, bulk waste collection, to save Newington library and to keep the Stroke service at QEQM.

Karen regularly supports community groups in Newington, she also helped to run the Summer Kitchen.

Karen is the South Thanet CLP Policy Officer, a member of the Labour Party South East Regional Board and a member of Labours National Policy Forum.

Rick Everitt Labour

Rick Everitt has two terms’ experience as a councillor and was a Labour parliamentary candidate in the 2010 general election. He grew up on an SE London council estate and after a spell at the Home Office became a football journalist, working as sports editor of a local newspaper, before spending 14 years at Charlton Athletic, initially setting up and leading a new communications team in the Premier League. He first moved to Ramsgate in 2003 and now works as a freelance football writer and publisher.

As a Ramsgate councillor and cabinet member from 2011, Rick led on the transfer of the Victoria Pavilion to Wetherspoons and delivered four consecutive budgets with no increase in Thanet’s part of the council tax charged to residents. He is passionate about helping residents, tackling poverty and improving the local environment, as well as the regeneration of Ramsgate to provide more jobs for local people.

Katie Gerrard Green Party

I’ve lived in Newington for four years and watched Thanet slowly regenerate. The changes are great for tourism – but regeneration has brought rising rents that have forced some residents to move out of homes they’ve lived in for years, often downsizing to too few rooms, with uncertainty over deposits and landlords not accepting pets or housing benefit. If regeneration is to work for everyone, we must find ways to support and protect our long-term residents.

I’ve worked in community development and believe regeneration doesn’t start with shipping in external consultants; it starts by asking local people what they need. Residents know what needs action in their community – and very often exactly how to do it too! I’d like to see grassroots programmes funded and local people employed to run them to support and grow their own areas – and in Newington, which has an enormous amount of talent, the Big Local has shown the way!

I’ve also worked in recruitment and employment support. Thanet and East Kent see fewer job opportunities and lower salaries than surrounding areas. We need investment in local business, pop up shops and youth employment to create sustainable, well-paying jobs so the next generation of Thanet young people needn’t move away to find work.

David Spicer Conservative

Sandra Spicer Conservative

Northwood ward

Don Challenger Labour

I was born and raised in Dartford but have lived in Thanet for more than nine years. My main career was in IT, finishing as a business analyst consultant. I am currently work part-time delivering medication for a pharmacy. My spare time is mainly spent in the garden, but I enjoy playing badminton and golf, and reading, as well as politics. My core beliefs are social justice, equal opportunities, anti-discrimination, wealth redistribution and social housing. If elected in Northwood, I will fight for improvements in local housing, street cleaning, and homelessness, as well as ensuring I represent all the people of the ward and Thanet.

Keith Clark Conservative

Mary Dwyer-King Labour

I am an experienced former Ramsgate councillor, which has been a long-term Labour member and trade unionist. I have a disability, I have worked in the retail sector locally and I live in social housing, so I have a good understanding of such matters, and have continued to advise and help residents even after losing out in the council elections by just 17 votes four years ago. I will continue to assist, without prejudice, anyone who needs my help. Clear public priorities are street cleaning, tackling dog mess and parking charges. We also need better schooling, a more visible police force, better appointment systems for patients, more council housing, easier access to free training schemes, better help with claim forms and more support groups for young parents, the disabled and the elderly. There is so much to do and I hope that the residents of Northwood will give me the chance to push forward their priorities. If they do I will not let them down.

Nickie Holding Conservative

Ross Holding Conservative

Lynda Piper Thanet Independents

I have been a teacher for over 30 years and taught at Dame Janet School for nearly 10 years after we moved here. I have been a very busy councillor since the 2016 by-election, serving on the planning committee, governance and audit and, for the last year, as chairman of the finance scrutiny committee. I will continue to work just as hard if yu elect me for the next term of office.

Stuart Piper Thanet Independents

I am a former Army helicopter technician and church minister with wide experience of helping families in very difficult situations. I moved to Northwood in 2001, I worked at the Pilgrims Hospice for 7 years and then worked in central Kent for the NHS. I served as Thanet District council chairman from 2015-2017, representing Thanet all over the south-east. I am the leader of the Thanet Independents Party and have been a very active councillor since 2015 and if you elect me I will continue to be active for the next term of office.

Our decisive action also put an end to the indecision of Labour and Tories over their failure to submit a Local Plan for examination since 2011. We have frequently challenged the current practice of secrecy and called for better standards of communication with elected representatives and members of the public.

George Rusiecki Thanet Independents

I worked at Manston Airport in air traffic control for a number of years as an RAF serviceman and also a civilian. I have a commercial fishing boat in Ramsgate harbour. I am therefore fully committed to seeing both those key areas given every chance to succeed. I have been working to find investors for both ventures. I have enjoyed working with local people since elected in the by-election in 2016 and have served on the overview and scrutiny committee, the planning committee and the maritime working group. If you elect me I will continue to work for the benefit of local people, especially here in Northwood.

Peter Wharmby Labour

I’ve always lived in Ramsgate, always supported Labour, because they come up with better answers to the worst problems, despite changing times. Local assets – beaches, cliffs, sea-fronts, promenades and harbours, dense housing, a large trading estate, an airport no one can make use of – make us different. Hundreds of local businesses and catering establishments are in the list of things we can offer. Like loads of places there are all those things we can all see need money spending on them.  The longer it is put off – the more it is going to cost. I would see the local Labour Party and TDC make themselves relevant to need.  In these elections we have the greatest need with the least money. It’s a fantastic challenge – worth taking on-and  it would be great to be involved, even better to make a difference we can all benefit from. Vote Labour

Jordan Williams Lib Dem

Jordan Williams has been selected by the Liberal Democrats to stand in the upcoming elections for Northwood Ward. “This is a great opportunity to give something back to the community I grew up in. In these elections we will get a chance to elect people who will speak strongly and passionately for the local residents and that is exactly what I would do if elected.” says Jordan.