District and town/parish council elections will be held on May 4.
At district level candidates are vying for 56 seats to represent 23 electoral wards.
For the first time voters will need to show photographic ID to be able to cast their vote in May’s local elections. See full list of photo ID accepted at GOV.UK
If you do not have any of the accepted photo ID, and you want to vote at the polling station, you will need to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate. This is a free photographic identification document specific for the purposes of voting. Apply here
Postal voters will not be affected and will be issued with their postal ballot papers as usual.
All profiles are submitted by candidates in their own words
Joanne Bright -Labour Party
Joanne has lived and worked in the ward since 2013 and her children attended the local schools. She cares deeply about this beautiful corner of Thanet and is aware many in this community face financial, health-related and social challenges right now. As your local councillor, she will listen to your concerns and commit to improving your neighbourhood for the benefit of the whole community.
As a staff member at St Peter-in-Thanet school, Joanne is knows well the difficulties many local families face due to the cost-of-living crisis. Rising energy bills and soaring inflation are not only problems at home but also for your schools, community services and local businesses. Joanne will always fight for those affected by funding cuts.
Joanne is passionate about reducing carbon emissions and protecting the natural environment. The climate change emergency will be at the heart of every decision she makes as a councillor. She will always challenge council decisions that might have a negative impact on our environment and will ensure there is a focus on decarbonisation, so we can move closer to TDC’s target of reaching carbon neutral by 2030.
Tina Gull -Thanet Green Party
I live in Broadstairs, where I run a B&B and work as a life and business coach.
I believe strongly in social and racial justice and in fairness, and in ensuring that the most vulnerable people in our society are protected and cared for. I’m an advocate of lifelong learning, which changes lives, and I put my beliefs into practice by recently completing a degree in Politics as a mature student. I want to see learning & training opportunities made available to all our adults & young people to improve their quality of life as well as their job prospects.
I’ve always had an interest in nature and caring for the environment. I have created a wildlife haven near my home which includes a wildlife pond and hosts many wild animals and birds, with provision for insects and bees so vital to the balance of nature.
As a Councillor I would speak up for residents and be guided by them on priorities for action. I’m honest, reliable, hard-working, down-to-earth and willing to help others – and I believe that in our small ways we can all make a difference.
Charlie Leys – Conservative
I was born in Ramsgate, went to school in Broadstairs and moved to Margate about five years ago. More recently my partner and I have moved back to the family home on Beacon Road, where we now live with our bulldog, Harold.
For the last nine years I’ve worked in retail, starting out on the Meat & Fish counters in a supermarket in Ramsgate and latterly working in commercial sales for a well-established department store chain.
I’ve had a bit of experience of being a councillor before, both at TDC since 2021 and Broadstairs & St. Peter’s Town Council between 2015-19. In my short time at TDC I’ve made strong connections with our local Police team and held senior stakeholders at Southern Water to account. I’ve made it my absolute priority to ensure our council tax is spent properly, scrutinising decisions to make sure we’re getting value for money.
Our councillors are supposed to represent the views of their community in the Council. Instead, we often get people who do the reverse and parrot the Council-line. If you elect me I promise wholeheartedly to fight for the priorities of our community and be your voice in the council meetings
Jenny Matterface – Labour
Jenny has lived in Beacon Road ward since 1971, raising her family here. After retiring from teaching in local schools, she served on both Thanet District Council and Broadstairs & St Peter’s Town Council from 2011-19, including three years as TDC Labour leader from 2016 to 2019. She is experienced in planning and licensing matters.
A community activist for much of her adult life, she was involved in organising the successful campaign against the streetlight switch off by KCC in 2014 that led to a petition being taken to County Hall. She fought two bus cuts by KCC and Stagecoach, co-ordinated the protests against two large planning applications that would have been damaging to our ward and has highlighted the fly-tipping that has been an issue here for some years.
As chair of CT10 Parochial Charities, she has been able to help many residents who have been in need, with grants providing replacement beds, washing machines, repairs to essential vehicles, carpeting, etc.
A food bank volunteer, she knows the impact of the current cost of living crisis on our local community. Well known locally as a “go-to-person” she can be relied upon to be responsive to messages.
Aram Rawf – Independent
In May 2019 I was elected to Broadstairs and St Peter’s Town Council and Thanet District Council. My aim is to be a voice of the people in my ward.
In the district council I have served on the General Purposes Committee dealing with challenging issues such as bullying and bad management in the council. On the town council I have been a member of the tourism committee and lobbied for council investment in our beaches, lift, toilets and rubbish collection.
Through my service I have claimed ZERO EXPENSES for my work as councillor I have donated 75% of my allowance to local community groups and causes. My aim has always been to give something back to the community that welcomed me and gave me an opportunity to survive. I grew up in war, and I know what it is like to be afraid or hungry. So I have regularly been a volunteer for local and national charities. During the Covid19 pandemic I volunteered in the community to help with collecting prescriptions and shopping for vulnerable residents. When the vaccination programme started, I became a volunteer at a vaccination centre. I have taken part in many campaigns for the local community. I live in Broadstairs and now I’m working in Thanet on a project to improve the experience of mental health service users.
- Responding to the needs and concerns of local people.
- Improving how the council listen to the local community.
- Being a voice for everyone and giving residents a voice.
Barbara Young – Conservative
Jill Bayford -Conservative
I moved to Kingsgate, Broadstairs in 1985. Our children were educated locally and now, happily for us, live close by with our grandchildren.
I retired three years ago, having been employed in Adult Education at East Kent College and have found my work as a councillor most rewarding. I have served Bradstowe Ward on Thanet District Council for four years and currently hold the position of Cabinet Member for Housing; this year is my eighth year as a member of Broadstairs and St. Peter’s Town Council, where I chair both the Planning and Staff Management Committees. It has been a privilege to represent Bradstowe Ward, working to maintain and enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors to the area. If re-elected, I would welcome the opportunity to continue my work in our beautiful town.
George Rusiecki – Conservative
I first moved to the Broadstairs area in 1979 when I was stationed in the RAF at Manston. I fell in love with the town and met and married a local girl. We have gone on to have 3 wonderful children, who have all gone through the local schools and on to universities around the country. Having spent around 34 years in Air Traffic Control and running various businesses and a charity in Broadstairs, I now concentrate on giving back to my community with my work as a councillor. I hope to bring my experiences to help local people and businesses with the everyday problems that can affect us all. Being semi-retired I found I have the time available to give something back to my community and hope that the people of Bradstowe will give me this chance.
Kay Dark – Labour
Kay has lived in Thanet for four decades and her five children attended local schools. She is a past local mayor and former chair of Thanet District Council, with 12 years’ experience as councillor. She is experienced in dealing with licensing and planning matters.
If elected, Kay will do her utmost to improve the lives of the people who live and work in Bradstowe ward.
Meg Harvey -Labour
I have lived in Thanet for over 50 years. I was a full-time mother of two sons, (both born in QEQM and educated locally) then taught briefly at the Royal School for Deaf Children. This was followed by 12 happy years at Drapers Mills Primary School, teaching the very youngest pupils.
I have always been interested in special needs education and after further training was appointed to Laleham School for Dyslexic Pupils. During the 18 years I was there the need for such a school declined, because many schools opened their own dyslexia units.
My husband and I are now both retired, so are aware of the challenges that face people at this stage of life; the on-going difficulties with GP provision, poor public transport and the dreadful state of our roads and pavements (he is in a wheelchair).
I believe it is only a Labour council that will begin to address the needs of this special area. There is an increasing gulf between poverty and affluence, accentuated by the huge rise in property prices across the island. The rise of Airbnb is making finding living accommodation for those who need to rent privately almost impossible. Strong Labour voices on the council will address these needs.
Steve Roberts – Green
I live in Broadstairs and love it here. I’ve worked in social care for 35 years. I currently create and deliver leadership courses for managers, and I’m also a funeral celebrant. I want to use my life experience, professional abilities, energy and enthusiasm to make a difference to residents’ quality of life, and to help address the climate crisis at a local level. Becoming part of the growing team of Green Councillors in Thanet is one of the ways I hope to do this.
I am passionate about the environment and about Broadstairs. If I’m elected, I’ll prioritise these issues which Bradstowe residents have highlighted as the most important for them:
- housing: lack of affordable housing, highly priced developments on greenfield sites, AirBNBs affecting rents and availability of rental properties
- transport: cuts to bus services, unaffordable peak-time rail fares, pedestrian safety, illegal & inconsiderate parking in the tourist season
- waste management & pollution: Southern Water discharging raw sewage onto our beaches, sea water quality, litter on our streets & beaches, limited recycling facilities
- jobs & training: supporting local businesses, increasing apprenticeships and training opportunities for young people
Robert Stone – Lib Dem
Robert Stone is standing for the Liberal Democrats because he believes that Thanet has been let down by years of Conservative rule and that the people that live here deserve better.
His main interests are supporting local hospitality businesses, community building and helping people when things are tough, protecting the environment and reducing the impacts of climate change and making sure that the people in Thanet get a fair deal.
Bob Bayford – Conservative
Having been a regular visitor to Thanet since childhood, I knew that it was a lovely place. Some thirty eight 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 and Jill and I enjoy quality time with our grandchildren maximising the benefits of being in such a family friendly place.
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.
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, it would be a privilege to continue in this role.
Howard Green – Labour
As a former Thanet district councillor, Howard brings his experience to the role should residents choose to elect him. He has previously served the local authority on a number of committees including planning, general purposes and the emergency services sub-committee and has represented it on the Kent County Playing Fields Association.
Kingsgate ward has a number of issues that need attention, including sewage outfall, coastal erosion, litter and inconsiderate parking _ when often public car parks remain mostly empty due to high charges.
Planning and improvements to existing property need to be undertaken in a reasonable manner, with due consideration for all interests, including improved sustainability and quality of the finished product. The fit into the existing high-quality environment needs careful consideration if Kingsgate is to retain its unique character.
Residents now able to make direct representations must be listened to especially where contentious developments are concerned. Labour offers residents this consultative approach. Please support us at the ballot box on May 4th.
Alan Munns – Independent
My name is Alan Munns, I have decided to stand as an Independent Councillor to represent Kingsgate. Like so many residents I feel we deserve more and better from our council. That means also representation and responsiveness when fellow residents
need it. For those who do not know me: I’m a local businessman, not a professional politician. In my professional life I have worked at senior management level for major US and UK, banks and financial services companies.
I am used to navigating complex corporate and governmental structures to deliver results. I have set up and run a manufacturing business and a property management company. In my spare time I’m also a qualified pilot and restore vintage aircraft.
Whilst my CV is business focused, I care enormously about protecting the local environment including our beaches and green spaces. We need to be doing much more in this regard in Kingsgate.
If elected, I look forward to the opportunity of making a meaningful difference in local community.
Ahsan Ashfaq – Conservative
I have lived in Thanet with my family for the past 19 years. Over the years, we have lived in Cliftonville, St. Peter’s, Palm Bay and now Kingsgate. We love the area and have made it our home. My siblings were lucky to have grown up here and been educated at local schools.
I currently work as a junior doctor at QEQM Hospital, where I have the privilege of serving the local community. I am also a non-executive director at an academy trust responsible for some of our local schools. In the past, I also worked as part of the COVID-19 vaccination programme at SAGA.
As the son of a local accountant, I have seen first-hand the role local businesses have played in the regeneration of Thanet. I am passionate about ensuring that businesses have access to the appropriate infrastructure, transport links and resources.
It would be my honour to be your voice for St Peter’s on TDC. If elected, I will put my heart and soul into advocating for the things that matter most to you.
Roy Dexter – Conservative
I’m the current Mayor of Broadstairs and St. Peter’s and a family man that lives in Broadstairs. In 2015, after serving 14 years as the Broadstairs and St. Peter’s Town Clerk, I was elected as a St. Peter’s Ward Councillor. I’ve served on numerous TDC committees and community groups including Planning, Governance and Audit, Licensing Board, Independent Police Advisory Group and spent six years as a Governor of the NHS East Kent Hospitals Trust. I’m committed to the well-being of our community and, using my local government administration background, will continue to support and represent the residents of St. Peter’s.
Paul Moore – Conservative
Currently working as a fire fighter in Kent Fire & Rescue Service I very much see being a councillor as an extension of my public service; a chance to put something back into the local community which has been so good to me.
I am passionate about equality and fairness and mental well-being – ensuring every resident has the best chance in life.
If re-elected, I will continue to commit my knowledge & expertise for local residents and to the council, especially in terms of how housing and local conditions can have an effect on my community’s well-being.
Gail Banks – Lib Dem
I have lived in Broadstairs for 6 years. 35 years of experience in community care, and in educational provision for children who fall outside of the system, drew me to volunteer for The Gap Project. I am a director and volunteer at The Gap In The Market in Broadstairs High Street, that supports the Project.
I am passionate about building community and supporting people when times are tough. I am standing for the Liberal Democrats because the local council have taken the people in Thanet for granted. The electorate deserve better.
David Cooper – Labour
I have lived and worked in Thanet for many years – this is my home and the home of my family.
For as long as I can remember I have been involved in the community, from working as a warden at Pegwell Bay and Stonelees Nature Reserves to serving as a school governor, and I am now seeking to continue to serve our community as one of your local councillors in St Peters ward.
While I love Thanet I am not so besotted that I am blind to its imperfections and I am acutely aware of areas that could certainly do with improvement. But these improvements must be real. They must be sustained and they must be sustainable. Flash-in-the-pan schemes might benefit speculators but they do nothing, long-term for those of us here for the long haul.
What we need and what Labour – and I – promise is investment, not only of money but of time and commitment, in Thanet that is long-lasting and enhances rather than destroys what makes our home unique. We can all see the damage that has been inflicted on us, as an area and as a nation.
Help us to make things better. For us and for the generations to come. For a better, greener, fairer Thanet. For a Thanet meant for all of us, vote Labour.
Jason Evers – Labour
My activism in 1987 began with fundraising for Greenpeace. I later became a volunteer mentor at the Windmill Community Gardens (WCM) and pursued my interest in horticultural therapy. Horticultural work has been my mainstay in life since the age of 16.
I also worked for Stretch Arts gallery as a curator and an artist. Stretch helps to create work opportunities through art projects for former prisoners.
Currently I volunteer for Kent Coastal Volunteers as a driver and work as a self-employed gardener.
I have also been a lay director of the Citizens Advice Bureau, a volunteer board member of the Institute of Horticulture, a business mentor for the Prince’s Trust and the co-chair for the Mind & Soul Choir, based at Maudesley Hospital in Camberwell.
I joined Labour when Jeremy Corbyn became the leader after listening to his green commitments. I am a firm believer in the party as a broad church.
My chief interests in this campaign are to see the council build affordable homes on more sustainable sites, not farm land or green belt, and to support those who are in care or have learning difficulties (I have dyspraxia). I want to make sure that roadworks, recycling and waste services are carried out properly.
I am a firm believer in cooperation and dialogue to find a way forward.
Mike Garner – Green
I was elected to represent St Peters Ward on both TDC and Broadstairs Town Council at the last election in 2019.
Since my election, I’ve worked with residents’ groups to create new play areas and protect green spaces, and with the Tree Warden to encourage new planting and build biodiversity across the District. On TDC I’ve made myself available to represent local residents whenever they’ve had issues to resolve, whether they’re related to planning, housing or any of the other responsibilities of the Council, and I’m proud to be a Councillor they can rely on.
I’ve also played an active role on a number of Council committees including Planning and the Climate Emergency Advisory Group. On the Town Council I’ve managed to persuade the Council to adopt resolutions to implement 20mph speed limit in all residential areas, a Plastic Free Broadstairs declaration and a commitment to tackle anti-social graffiti across the Town.
Both Councils need more Green Party representation to make sure these policies are actively implemented so we can make Broadstairs and the rest of Thanet a safer and cleaner place to live, so I’m delighted we have so many excellent Green Party candidates standing for election this year!
Kevin Pressland – Green
I’ve had a long career in horticulture, from running my own gardening business to managing and motivating teams at the Olympic Park, and I’m deeply committed to the environment – but also to the social change we need to help Thanet thrive. We have huge skills shortages in the renewables sector, for example, so now is the time we should be massively expanding training opportunities for our young people to build careers in renewables.
I worked for over 2 years as TDC’s Horticulture and Biodiversity Officer, making positive progress and establishing excellent contacts across Thanet with committed individuals and groups that I’d hope to build on as an elected Councillor. This work gave me an understanding of how Local Authorities should operate and the limitations of how TDC has been run in recent years.
I’ve campaigned for many years for environmental and social change and stood several times as a local Green Party candidate. If I’m elected, I’d want to work for simple improvements like safer and cleaner streets, solar panels installed on all new commercial buildings and more local food growing to improve our health and reduce transport miles.
Jason Savage – Thanet Independents
Matthew Thomas – Labour
As a local business leader and Thanet native, Mathew understands the impact of housing, infrastructure in the community and cost of living struggles we all face. He believes in creating a sustainable and affordable living environment for everyone in the area, while also promoting economic growth and business development
David Banks – Lib Dem
I moved to Broadstairs 6 years ago, after working in the Civil and Public Services for 36 years. I am now retired and am actively involved in a local church. I am standing for the Liberal Democrats because I believe that Thanet has been let down by years of Conservative rule and that people that live here deserve better. We must protect the environment and reduce the impacts of climate change, making sure that the people in Thanet get a fair deal.
Ruth Bailey – Independent
During the last four years as an Independent Town and District Councillor I believe that I have proven myself to be a capable, conscientious councillor who is responsive and proactive.
My attendance at council meetings is excellent and I contribute regularly asking challenging questions. I respond promptly to emails dealing with issues effectively.
While taking an active interest in all Thanet wide issues my main focus has been, and always will be, championing Broadstairs to make it the best place in which to live, work and visit.
I have many Broadstairs based volunteering roles, am a trustee of a local charity and on the Plastic-free Broadstairs steering group.
I have a good relationship with many community organisations in Broadstairs and work closely with them to enable and support town projects.
Communication to me is key and I regularly share news and information which I am told is useful.
I am keen to be able to continue representing residents. Another councillor recently told me ‘You get things done!’ I believe that encapsulates my last term of office and is my commitment going forward into a second term.
Michael Bridges – Conservative
As a proud resident of Broadstairs and a dedicated community leader, I am excited to announce my candidacy for the local council elections. As chair of the Broadstairs Tourism and Leisure Association and organiser of many popular events in the town, I have a deep understanding of the unique needs and values of our community. If elected as a local councillor, I will bring this same energy and commitment to the council. I will be a strong voice for the residents of Broadstairs, and I will work tirelessly to address the issues that matter most to our community I have a deep understanding of what makes Broadstairs special. I have a track record of delivering results, and I am committed to making our town an even better place for all its residents. I would be honoured to have your support.
Kristian Bright – Labour
Kristian has lived in Broadstairs for the last ten years and his children have thrived at our local schools. He loves our town and its surrounding area and makes the most of our beautiful beaches and thriving hospitality scene.
Kristian is passionate about social justice and the need for a fairer, more equitable society. The Conservatives’ cost-of-living crisis is placing enormous financial strain on us all, but particularly on the most vulnerable in our community.
As a local resident, Kristian shares your concerns; about the increasing difficulty in securing the medical and dental care you’re entitled to, about the increase in anti-social behaviour in our public spaces and about the pressure of new housing developments on overstretched local services.
He also shares your anger that water companies have been given free rein to pollute our beaches with sewage while failing to deliver a reliable supply of water to your homes.
Kristian says: “If you elect me to Thanet District Council, I will fight for improved local services and amenities and, as a hugely experienced business professional, I will work to ensure your council taxes are spent as effectively as possible.”
Roopa Farooki Labour
Roopa is an NHS hospital doctor. She worked full-time and frontline throughout the pandemic at QEQM hospital, in intensive care, A&E and the acute medical wards, looking after the local community.
Roopa says: “My patients and their families are also my neighbours. I’ve lived in Viking ward for 16 years with my family, and our four children have gone to local schools: St Mildred’s and Upton. My husband is a Broadstairs local. He went to those same schools, and now works at Upton. We are rooted in our community and feel proud of our shared history.
“As a local resident, and healthcare worker, I feel the same frustrations as my neighbours. I believe we should judge ourselves by how we treat the most vulnerable, and many people have been let down – for example, when the water company left those who were elderly and housebound without water, when our beaches were abused, and when our outside spaces haven’t felt safe.
“I’m standing as a Labour councillor for the same reason I became a doctor: I want to help, and I want to do better. I promise to use my energy and activism to make this a cleaner, safer, kinder place for everyone.”
Will Jarman – Green
I’ve lived in Broadstairs for the past 30 years. I work in Thanet for Porchlight, supporting people with their mental health and wellbeing.
I have a grown-up family, which gives me more time to dedicate to improving our local area. I’m involved in a few local woodland and environmental projects; we’ve planted over 120 native shrubs and trees in Holmes Park in Broadstairs over the last 2 years, for example. I also help raise money for Porchlight – most recently by walking 100 miles in March for homeless people with my labradoodle Lily as part of the Paws for Porchlight challenge!
If I’m elected, my main priorities will be listening to our residents to understand in detail what they want and improving the functioning and reputation of our local Council.
I’ll also focus on helping to halt overdevelopment and protect our green spaces, end the dumping of sewage in our seas once and for all, and explore ways to make our town more bus, pedestrian and cycle friendly.
John Nichols – Conservative
I am born and bred in Broadstairs. I am committed to the fishing industry at Government and European level. For over 30 years I earned my living fishing and giving boat trips from our historic harbour, and I am passionate about our stunning town.
Elvira Orhan – Labour
Elvira is a family solicitor. Her work allows her to engage and assist families to address their concerns and achieve the best outcome through the legal system.
She has been exposed to situations which have allowed her to develop numerous skills and think on her feet. However, she says that what the profession has taught her most is never to give up.
Elvira says: “My two children attend primary and secondary school here. I cannot think of a better place to bring them up. I admire the love each resident has towards Broadstairs and it pains me to see the disappointment in their eyes, their despair over feeling helpless in certain matters and their voices not being heard.
“I share the worry regarding the health system and its accessibility; the feeling of being isolated, about poor transportation due to lack of buses or frustration with parking facilities.
“Moreover, continuous construction of new houses means that we all might feel the strain of accessing basic services such as education, healthcare and food supply. We need balance and to bring our town back to its glorious self.
“I believe in our community, so I hope the community will believe in me.”
Horace Shrubb – Conservative
I have lived in Broadstairs for 48 years, I am a local radio presenter, fundraiser and a committee member for the Broadstairs and St. Peter’s Chamber of Commerce.
I had a fantastic education at Dame Janet Infants and Juniors, then at Conyngham School Ramsgate.
I also work with local charities, helping them with fundraising events including quiz nights and dinner evenings. I hold regular meeting for charities, community groups and non-profit making organisations. I give advice and help them raise awareness and funds for their own causes. I have been helping various causes for over 35 years.
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