Thanet district election 2023: Ramsgate candidates


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.

Voters will need to show photographic ID to be able to cast their vote. 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 in candidates own words

Central Harbour

Raushan Ara – Labour

For over 30 years our family business has traded in Harbour Street. I know the struggles businesses face. Attracting customers and visitors are vital and that requires a clean town. By working with local volunteers and the town council, I have ensured regular cleaning of Central Harbour ward.

As your sitting councillor, I secured the installation of additional railings in the harbour for the safety of visitors and residents.

I have helped with housing issues. I continue to campaign for more secure social housing and to reduce the number of rough sleepers.

I work closely with volunteers, residents, and community groups. My focus is how we can work together to find solutions. As a result, I received a councillors’ community champion award in 2019 and was named one of the Thanet Heroes of 2020 for my work during the pandemic.

My objective is to focus on local housing and improving our environment for residents.

I am always available to help residents in need.

Tricia Austin – Green

Tricia and Becky

I was elected to represent Central Harbour ward on TDC and Ramsgate TC in May 2021. I’d been a community volunteer in Ramsgate for years – I’m Secretary of the Town Team, for example, and I set up & chair Ramsgate’s Litter Forum – so I’ve built on this as a Councillor.

I’ve enjoyed working with both of my great Central Harbour colleagues Becky Wing and Raushan Ara, and have learned a lot from them.

Things I’m proud we’ve achieved include our motion for 20mph limits on town centre streets at Ramsgate Town Council, our support for the Traveller families living on Ramsgate Port (particularly helping 5 of the children start attending school), establishing a support group for Ukrainian refugees in Ramsgate that now operates Thanet-wide with over 100 members, and working with residents to resolve housing, planning and other issues.

As a former Local Government officer myself, I’ve also worked hard on improving TDC from the inside. I’ve led for the Green group of Councillors on tackling TDC’s serious governance issues and feel we’re finally starting to get somewhere – but with more Green Councillors in 2023 we can really make a difference!

Becky Wing – Green

It has been an absolute pleasure to represent and support the residents of Central Harbour award at both Ramsgate Town Council and Thanet District Council  – though initially it was definitely a ‘steep learning curve’!

As a ward councillor I have been able to support many residents, community groups and other organisations with a wide range of issues and concerns, some small, others more complex, and have worked hard to help achieve a positive outcome for all.

As part of Thanet Green Party, I have consistently asked questions at full Council meetings & committees in order to seek information and scrutinise and challenge decision-making, to try and ensure all the decisions the Council makes are in the best interest of residents, the town of Ramsgate and Thanet as a whole.

As we come to the of the electoral term I feel individually and as a member of the Green Group we have made great progress, and so I welcome the opportunity to stand again in Central Harbour alongside other great potential Green Councillors!

Andrew Chard – Conservative

My previous experience includes being a Councillor on Cheltenham Borough Council and also being Chairman of the Cheltenham Conservative Association, so I have the experience and knowledge to represent the people of Central Harbour ward

My career has included working in the early days of the Computer Industry, then forming my own business in conjunction with Barry Manners, specialising in, initially lettings, and then property management and property refurbishment.

In 2010 we sold that business which was based in central west London and relocated to Cheltenham where we refurbished a Regency Terraced House and then letting it out as, what would today be known an AirbnandB which was then bought by our most loyal client. Following that we relocated to Margate and bought a property near to the sea and beaches which after an extensive refurbishment I now live.

Diane Heath – Labour

I have lived in Ramsgate for more than three decades, my children attended the local schools and for years I was a nursery teacher in Broadstairs.

I care deeply about this lovely corner of Thanet and am aware that many in this community face health and money worries right now.

As one of your local councillors, I will listen to your concerns and commit to improving your neighbourhood for the benefit of the whole community.

Local people face increasing hardship 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. I will fight for those hit by funding cuts. I am passionately committed to protecting the natural environment and our beautiful coastline. The climate change emergency will be at the heart of every decision I make as a councillor.

John Penny – Conservative

Gita Sahni – Labour

Already helping at the Pilgrims Hospice, I started volunteering with Our Kitchen when lockdown began in 2020, initially doing food deliveries.

I then helped set up Our Kitchen’s Margate shop and, as a trained chef, did a set of recipe ideas that were used to create food packages. My involvement increased when Our Kitchen opened a second shop at St George’s church in Ramsgate.

Meeting and supporting so many local people, and listening to their experiences, made me feel very much part of the community and determined to be more involved.

As someone with a BAME background, I want to use my experience to help bring about a better and more equal society.

I am passionate about nutrition and sharing this knowledge, enabling people to cook healthy, delicious food on a budget. I strongly believe in Labour values: better jobs and fairer pay, a health service that delivers, environmentally sustainable polices and utilising greener energy sources. I am concerned about the physical and mental well-being of people in our communities. Years of austerity cuts have had a massive impact, increasing the differences between the very rich and the poor.

I am committed to improving the lives of people who live and work here. To safer streets, greener spaces, the creation of jobs and opportunities and a more equal society. To better transport links and infrastructure. Most importantly, to a greener and more sustainable future

Toby Taylor – Conservative

Toby (on right)

Born in Ramsgate in the early 70’s, I saw Ramsgate flourish as a holiday destination and I am passionate about bringing this level of tourism back to our streets. In my younger years, I studied at Hereson until opening my first cycle shop in my early 20s. Now at nearly 50, I still take pride in looking after the local people via their bikes and cycling abilities. I have been a dedicated supporter of biking in Thanet since the late 90s, which saw the installation of the Thanet biker trail. Subsequently I recognise the importance of implementing safer cycling initiatives for work and school commutes, such as better cycling paths; this is just one example of my councillor objectives. As a long standing member of this community I feel that I can represent the people of Ramsgate at both the Ramsgate town and district council levels, and provide genuine support in our best interests.

Cliffsend and Pegwell

Grahame Birchall – Independent

I offer something different to any other candidate. I will raise a petition that will force Thanet District Council to deliver a local referendum, in which residents can force major changes to how we are governed locally.

As your councillor, I will ensure these changes bring a much stronger voice and fairer share of resources to your community in Ramsgate, Cliffsend and Pegwell. This is not an empty promise. I will use the powers, given to all residents, under various Acts of Parliament.

As Chairman of the grassroots Government Reform in Thanet (GRIT) campaign,  I am dedicated to the reform of Thanet District Council, to make it more open, transparent and accountable to us. Please see our website at

I have been involved in local activities for 30 years, serving as city councillor for Whitstable town centre and as President of its Chamber of Commerce for several years.

I believe Manston airport has been ruthlessly exploited by successive political parties, and under our new system of government in Thanet, it should be given one last, proper, chance to succeed.

This election in Pegwell and Cliffsend could be the turning point for the future of Thanet. Don’t waste your vote.

Vitas Bowyer-  Green

Vitas with town council candidate Deb Shotton

I’m a secondary school teacher and a passionate environmentalist, raising my children to understand how the choices we make in our daily lives affect others in our local, national and global communities.

Through my work I’ve become acutely aware of the importance of standing up for our schools, hospitals and social services – in fact, all the things communities need to thrive, flourish and offer opportunities to all our residents. Smaller communities like Cliffsend and Pegwell risk missing out on essential services – bus services, for example, are limited and Cliffsend doesn’t even have a shop yet, despite many promises that one will appear.

My Green Councillor colleagues set a great example of hard work and dedication – but also of providing challenge and asking awkward questions! If I’m elected I’ll be determined to hold the Council to account and do my best to ensure we always act in the interests of residents. I’m excited about the incredible opportunities we have in the coming years to create a fair, compassionate and sustainable society that looks after our planet for future generations, and I want to help make sure we can all be part of that.

John Davis – Conservative

John and Brenda

Born, raised and educated in Ramsgate and having lived in Cliffsend and Pegwell, I have seen many changes to our district – both good, and not so good!  I have been active for a number of years, campaigning and working to improve our environment and economic prospects, with particular interest in heritage, tourism, community welfare and housing standards.  To improve local opportunities, we must attract inward investment, and to this end, I am an active member of the Ramsgate Regeneration Alliance.  I would consider it an honour and privilege to provide a strong voice representing you at Council.

Brenda Rogers – Conservative

I have lived in Pegwell for most of my life and have been your councillor for the past 8 years. I am deputy chairman of the Licensing Board at TDC. I regularly attend Cliffsend Parish Council meetings and the weekly coffee morning listening to concerns of residents. I also attend the West Cliff Association meetings. I have supported residents with planning application concerns and represented them many times at planning committee.

I’m a retired business owner, a trustee of an alms house charity in Ramsgate, chairman on the trustee board of the local RSPCA and also a volunteer at the animal centre for the past 10 years. I have the time and commitment to listen and act on your concerns and would love to continue my work as your councillor.

Beryl Harrison – Thanet Independents

I was born in South Yorkshire and moved to Canterbury just after the war. I have lived in Cliffsend since 1997. Cliffsend Parish Council is now celebrating its 20th anniversary. My working life has focussed on helping people with a variety of physical and mental disabilities. I am a keen fundraiser for a number of important causes and I have enjoyed serving the local community for 15 years as a Councillor at Cliffsend.

In recent years we have engaged in the planting of memorial trees in the Marjorie Chapman Meadow and a personal pleasure for me was the designing of the Village sign on Hugins Green in 2012 after the original had been lost.

Representing the local community is a partnership and I would encourage all residents to have their say and to use me to put your concerns as a top priority as your representative at Parish and District Councils. One of the overriding constraints is financial resources. Clearly not all ventures can be funded from local resources alone. It will be a challenge to prioritise the projects that we are able to carry forward. Together we can work for a secure and brighter future for our Ward. I will make myself available to residents at all times and deal with all enquiries promptly.

Peter Heath – Labour

I am standing to be your local councillor. You may know me already as I have lived here for over 35 years. Retired now, I used to run the vintage pinball museum in Addington Street. Currently, I am chairman of the Thanet Roadrunners Athletic Club, and I will be running the Manchester Marathon in April.

There’s much to be proud of in our area – it is a truly beautiful corner of Kent. Yet cuts to district budgets have led to fewer services and more problems. For example, there’s only one dog warden in the whole of Thanet – and there are plenty of dogs, I have one myself. The NHS is under strain, as are social services, plus there’s the plan for the airport with noisy cargo planes – and which area is next to the flight path? This one.

So, how about a change? Let me know how I can help you.

Laurie Hudson – Labour

I have a background as a community mental health nurse, and a trade union activist for over 40 years. I am excited to be nominated and to have the opportunity to serve our community.

I have seen first-hand the devastating impact that mental health issues can have on individuals and families. If elected, I will advocate for policies that support mental health services and reduce the stigma around the issue.

As a trade union activist, I have fought for workers’ rights, fair wages, and safe working conditions. I believe that strong workers’ rights and fair wages are essential to creating a vibrant and thriving community.

I am acutely aware of the challenges that many of us face due to the rising cost of living and the impact on our local services. Families are struggling to make ends meet, and businesses are facing budget cuts and service reductions. If elected, I will work to find solutions that support our residents, local businesses, and promote economic growth.

I also recognise the pressing issue of climate change and believe that we must take action to reduce our carbon footprint and protect our environment. I am committed to serving our community and addressing these challenges. I would be honoured to have your support and serve you as a member of the council. Thank you.

Tim Spencer – Green

I’ve lived in Thanet for 16 years; I live in Pegwell and previously lived in Cliftonville. I got involved in the ecology movement in the 1970’s while studying Botany and Zoology at a London University. Since then I have supported the Green Party and became politically active when I moved to Thanet.

To see four Green councillors serving in Thanet District Council 2023 has been a tremendous encouragement. But unless there is an even greater change to how we all think and behave, I’m worried that our local and global futures will very soon become irreversibly damaged. TDC declared a climate emergency in 2019 and has made some good progress since then, but time is running out. TDC needs more Green councillors and it needs them now!

Robert Wright – Lib Dem

Born in Brussels in 1947 from English Father and Belgian Mother.

I have lived in Thanet on and off since the age of 3, in my early twenties I worked for Hoverlloyd, in Pegwell Bay for ten years, but my background is in Design and Restoration. Since my retirement,  in 2015 I have been a Birchington Parish councillor, presently chairman of the planning committee.

In the Parish we expect not to bring politics into the mix , as we work together for the good of our community.


Steve Albon – Labour

I was proud to be elected in 2019 to be a councillor for Eastcliff ward for both Thanet District Council and Ramsgate Town Council.

During the last four years, I have been a cabinet member and shadow cabinet member at Thanet District Council in the operations and waste and recycling areas. I have also been a member of the planning committee, general purposes committee, and the investigation and disciplinary sub-committee (which looks at staffing matters).

At Ramsgate Town Council, I have been the chair of the planning committee and also the Radford House (old fire station) restoration committee. For the last year, I have been the chair of the council.

I have represented residents’ concerns over issues such as poor housing, planning concerns and waste, litter and recycling among many other matters that affect our residents’ daily lives.

There is a lot more work to be done and it is imperative that Labour gains control of both Thanet district and Ramsgate town councils, to ensure residents are listened to and appropriate decisions taken.

Helen Crittenden – Labour

I was born and brought up in Ramsgate and have lived here for most of my life.  After working in shops and offices, I trained and then worked as a social worker for several years before taking a travel sabbatical. I now work for a national social research company.

Since being elected in 2019 I have enjoyed the privilege of serving my community as a district and town Councillor, including on the standards and planning Committees at TDC and as chair of the town promotion committee at RTC.

I am standing for re-election as I hope to be able to continue to represent my community for the next four years. There is still much work to be done.

There are few if any easy answers or solutions that will keep everyone happy, but my pledge is that I will do my best to represent the varying views and needs of the residents of Eastcliff in an honest and open way.

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.

Corinna Huxley – Labour

I am an experienced and hard-working member of Ramsgate Town Council (RTC) and Thanet District Council (TDC) and have completed two spells on each.

At RTC I am vice chair of the town promotion committee and the Active Ramsgate working group. I am also a member of the open public spaces strategy group.

At TDC I am a member of the overview and scrutiny committee, the licensing committee, and the climate change and housing cabinet advisory groups.

We hold monthly ward surgeries, street surgeries, produce regular newsletters, and attend Eastcliff Community Group meetings and litter picking events.

If re-elected, I will continue to lobby for a playground upgrade to Boundary Park; the regeneration of King Street; more council housing in the ward; a reduction in the number of empty homes, shops and plots of land; and RTC to take over maintenance of the Eastcliff bandstand, the Eastcliff lift and Albion Gardens, as well as protection of TDC-owned listed monuments such as the Destiny statue in Albion Gardens and the two stone lions on the Eastcliff Promenade.

I would also like to continue to work, with the help of volunteer gardeners and the RTC technicians, to tidy and plant up the Eastcliff Promenade and other green spaces.

Gerry O’Donnell – Conservative

I have been running businesses in Ramsgate for over 15 years. In 2012 I opened Gerry’s Coffee House in Albert Court having served my apprenticeship at the Toll Gate kiosk on the East Cliff.

It has given me a ground-level insight not just into the problems that Ramsgate has but how the locals have reacted to them.

So what do I believe that you and I want for Ramsgate?

First and above all we need JOBS: I’ve capitalised that because full employment is the most important factor in a happy healthy community. I will support any sensibly costed and long-term solution. That’s why I support the reopening of the airport. With a realistic and sympathetic management I believe the airport could provide, within a short time, at least 200 direct and indirect jobs with more to follow.  Modern Aircraft are increasingly quieter and less intrusive.

Graffiti: I promise, from Day 1, to get rid of the graffiti from the Towns and will set up a programme to ensure that as soon as it appears, it is removed.

Lastly, I will, if elected, represent you with diligence, passion and determination.

Peter Sinden – Conservative

Tony Uden – Green

My family’s roots in Thanet are several centuries deep – but my father had moved to London before I was born, looking for work, like so many other Thanet exiles.

I’ve worked in the public and voluntary sectors all over England, with jobs that took me into many other European countries, working with politicians and civil servants across local and central government. I know how democracy is meant to work – and I know it hasn’t been working very well in Thanet in recent years.

On returning to Ramsgate twelve years ago to retire, I was devastated to see what decades of neglect and mismanagement had done to this beautiful town. Somehow it had been turned into one of the poorest towns in the country, and much of its heritage left to rot.

So I gave up my plan to leave public life to others at this stage – and, since the old traditional parties had so obviously failed and become part of the problem (though each claimed that next time it would be different) – I joined the Green Party to be part of the change that Ramsgate so much needs.


Michael Crees – Conservative

I’m a British racing driver from Broadstairs, a proud dad of 2 lovely children – Hugo and Bonnie – and have fantastic support from my wife Jodie.  I spent a lot of time in Nethercourt when I was growing up, it is an area that I love, and I would be proud to represent the ward on Thanet District Council if elected.

David Green – Labour

I’ve lived in Nethercourt for six years, in Ramsgate for three decades, working for 10 years at Clarendon School. I was elected to Ramsgate Town Council when it was first formed and was town mayor for its first four years. During that time, I was able to create the two grant schemes, now the Ramsgate Fund, that support voluntary organisations in the town. I was instrumental in the initial fundraising for the opening of Ramsgate tunnels and the formation of the Montefiore Heritage.

Previously a Thanet district councillor and cabinet member, I believe I can use this experience for the benefit of Nethercourt residents.

After a period away from local politics, I was elected to Nethercourt ward for Ramsgate Town Council in 2019. After consulting with residents, we established three priorities for the ward, reduction of the speed of traffic, parking on bends and road junctions interfering with traffic flow, and loss of trees.

These are all the responsibility of Kent County Council, making progress difficult. I have recently achieved a 20mph limit on the Nethercourt Estate and am making progress with the other two. If you elect me to the district council on May 4th, I hope this will help raise the profile of these issues

James Hose -Reform UK

TDC have problems. For years it failed to produce a local plan. A Review found a breakdown in relationships between senior officers. Overspends left it teetering on bankruptcy. I cannot solve these problems but I can provide a voice for residents.

I feel the main party’s seek election only to get sufficient councillors elected for their party to gain control of the Council.

I have lived in Nethercourt for over fifteen years and been active within the community. I want to identify issues pertinent to local residents and give residents a voice while working together to improve our neighbourhood.

I ran the Residents Association for a number of years and involved myself in Neighbourhood Watch. I petitioned Kent Police to subscribe to ‘Neighbourhood Alert’. They have since adopted the system now called ‘My Community Voice’

I have participated in litter picking and reported broken paving, blocked drains and potholes to KCC and Council. I persuaded British Rail to deep clean Ramsgate Station due to the pigeon mess and got the Post Office to repaint the post boxes. I pressured the Council to replace the canopy outside the carpark in Leopold Street. I currently help out keeping St Laurence Graveyard tidy.

Anne-Marie Nixey – Labour

Anne-Marie has lived in Nethercourt ward since 2015. She has been an active member of the community through her current work as a sitting Ramsgate town councillor and more recently as an elected Thanet district councillor, winning the March 2022 byelection with 55% of the votes cast.

Passionate about the area and town, she is currently chair of the Radford House committee overseeing the development of the old fire station in Effingham Street to become a community hub for all of Ramsgate, a two-year renovation project with an exciting future.

She has been involved in the 20mph zone recently instituted on the Nethercourt Estate and consistent in her fight to stop the DCO for Manston, which would see the ward being blighted by cargo planes throughout the day and night.

As a teacher of both special needs and students of a vunerable nature, Anne-Marie is aware of the inadequacy of local provision for youth and is fighting the closure of Priory Children’s Centre.

The health and well-being of her fellow Nethercourt residents are very much at the heart of her concerns and to assist this she opens her garden once a year for the National Garden Scheme, which raises money for nursing charities.

Seth Stephenson – Conservative

With ties to Thanet for over a decade, I am a young candidate passionate about bringing fresh ideas to the community and its council. Working with special needs children and developing a small business in educational goods, encouraging the next generation to become active in the democratic process is essential to me. I am committed to listening to community needs and working to create innovative policies, and I aim to facilitate the proper development of local industry, leisure, and commerce so that young men and women can thrive in Thanet too.

Michelle Thomas – Green

I live in Nethercourt ward and love it here. I’m a communications specialist working mainly in the entertainment industry, so I witnessed Covid’s devastating economic effects at first hand, and I’m even more concerned for local businesses and people now struggling with rising costs.

As a single parent of a high-needs child, I want to ensure that everyone has a voice and that we offer high quality support services to enable everyone to participate fully in education, training and work and enjoy a good quality of life. By prioritising some of our most vulnerable areas, we could dramatically improve our economy and job prospects.

I’m out and about every day walking my dog, and I’d like to see Ramsgate become more pedestrian-friendly than it is at present. I believe we need to build our communities around people, not cars, to improve our quality of life and help address climate change.

I’m an active campaigner on social and environmental issues, and I’m not afraid of speaking up! If I’m elected, I’ll listen, take on board residents’ concerns and make sure they’re heard.


Rick Everitt – Labour

Rick has represented Newington on the district council since 2019. He is the leader of the Labour group and served as leader of the council from October 2019 to April 2021, in which capacity he initiated and helped put together the successful £20m levelling-up bid for Ramsgate, including £500,000 for a training kitchen extension to the Newington community centre. He is a strong advocate of the levelling-up plans for Ramsgate port, believing that they offer the key to better job and training opportunities for Newington residents, as well as the wider community.

Rick worked in football for three decades, as a reporter, sports editor and then in communications and marketing for Charlton Athletic at Premier League level – sadly a long time ago now! – which included getting children from Newington Primary School to The Valley.

He has worked closely with the team at the Newington community centre and been a strong advocate for them within TDC.

Much of his substantial ward casework relates to housing issues, although he has noted how few people want to leave Newington, with its strong sense of community and family ties. He is proud to represent the ward and would love to carry on doing so.

Ben Harris – Conservative

Pat Moore – Labour

Pat came to Ramsgate over 40 years ago from Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. She is standing in Newington for both the town and district councils and has many years of experience on both.

As a town councillor from 2009 onwards she has always worked well with the Newington Community Centre, her councillors’ ward fund always going to this facility as she believes this makes it available to more people than anywhere else and that the full amount can be quite beneficial to residents. When elected mayor of Ramsgate in the past, she had her civic service at St Christopher’s Church and the buffet at the community centre.

More recently, she has cleared the pathway in front of the church, cutting down the bushes over the pavement, litter-picked the grounds and litter-picked all the way from the church to the centre. She has given plants for the copse. All this has made her a familiar and popular figure in the community.

Pat goes to every committee meeting at the centre, only missing a couple in all the years she has been a councillor, and is supportive of all that is done in Newington, with time and money wherever possible. She also supports the food bags at the centre and the lunch club.

Trevor Shonk – Conservative

For over 30 years I have worked at the Monkton Nature Reserve of which I am currently chairman and a trustee. I also put hundreds of hours into clearing litter and rubbish in Newington, making our estate a cleaner and better place to live.

I have routinely voiced my concerns about building thousands of new homes on some of the best agricultural land in the country. I am a fervent and enthusiastic supporter of further economic activity in the port and harbour. I would like to see greater involvement of our small local businesses, which are key to a dynamic and prosperous future for Ramsgate.

I am keen to see town centre improvements in Ramsgate, including the return of the weekly market.

We need to see a stronger and more visible police presence in our community. The Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent knows my views and, if you elect me, will continue to hear them.

I have loudly and consistently supported the re-opening of Manston airport. This project, once up and running, will bring colossal investment and business interest into the area, along with career and employment opportunities. If you support Manston airport – Vote Conservative on 4th May!

Phil Shotton – Green

I’m a Ramsgate resident who’s passionate about Ramsgate and Thanet. I feel strongly about improving the lives of all residents by encouraging investment in green, clean renewable industries, enhancing our housing stock by improving insulation, conserving water and reducing energy consumption. I support a blanket 20mph speed limit for Ramsgate, improved parking, cycle lanes and pedestrian areas. As a water user and all-year-round sea swimmer I want our beaches and waters to be clean and if I’m elected I will hold water companies to account.

I have a biological sciences background and I run a small computer software business. I also have a strong interest in energy conservation, green technologies and protecting our natural environment. I lead the Conservation and Environment Group for the Ramsgate Society and I’m a member of Ramsgate Town Council Climate Change Task Force.


Keith Clark – Conservative

Christina Collins – Thanet Independents

I have lived in the Northwood area for many years and have taken part in litter picks at Jackey Bakers and fighting for a fence to be installed.

I am now retired after a career in accountancy. I worked as a financial controller for many years and then a Finance Director for the latter part of my career.

I am pleased to be joining Stuart and Lynda as candidates as we all want what is best of our area and environment. I believe my experience will serve very well on Governance and Audit at TDC and the financial issues at Ramsgate Town Council.

Jim Driver – Labour

Jim has been an active community member since moving to Ramsgate ten years ago.

With a wealth of experience gained through operating music venues and restaurants, writing and reviewing for Time Out magazine for over 20 years, and founding and running an award-winning publishing house, he knows what it takes to get things done.

Jim is a dedicated candidate who promises to work tirelessly for Northwood residents, striving to make this an even better place to live.

With his experience, passion, and community spirit, he will represent your interests and ensure your voice is heard. With Jim on your side, you can be confident that you will have a hardworking and accessible representative who will fight for your interests and work tirelessly to make this an even better place to call home.

Debra Owen-Hughes – Labour

Homegrown on the Newington estate for the first 26 years of her life, Debra was brought up in the heart of the local community.

She has a strong background of advocacy in her working life, representing those

experiencing difficulties and challenges, and has fought hard for the benefit and prosperity of ordinary, decent people.

Debra is approachable, realistic and has a “can-do attitude”, believing there’s always a solution.

She fully believes that the residents of Northwood, Haine and Whitehall deserve better, having endured a “below standard” low-achieving council for long enough.

Debra said: ”It’s time to fight back post-Covid to reclaim our lives better than before. Better local services, better open spaces, and a better future for all in the ward.”

If she is elected, Debra added, “the benchmark will not be a race to the bottom but a real and prosperous push to the top. It’s time to live a better life”.

Lynda Piper – Thanet Independents

I have enjoyed serving our community since being elected to Ramsgate Town Council and Thanet District Council in 2016. I am a retired Teacher and my last teaching appointment was at Dame Janet School where I was the Literacy Co-ordinator for around 8 years. I am happy to support the changes being proposed at the school site because I am sure it will improve safety and teaching facilities. I have served on the Overview & Scrutiny Committee at TDC and worked with Cabinet Advisory Groups concerning the Local Plan and other matters.

Stuart Piper – Thanet Independents

I am recently retired having served 12 years in HM Forces, 6 years in Marketing and over 36 years in Ministry. I have worked with families for most of that time in a variety of different situations including serving residents of Northwood on both Ramsgate Town Council and Thanet District Council since 2015. During the last 8 years we have made good progress dealing with governance issues and some management problems within the district council and the future is looking# brighter. You deserve a council that looks after your local issues and that is always our focus. We are really pleased to have Christina Collins join our team. She has extensive local knowledge and financial experience.

Will Scobie – Labour

Will is an experienced local campaigner, having previously been a member of Kent County Council and Thanet District Council from 2011-2017. He was born in Thanet and lives here with his wife, three children, and two dogs (Ronnie and Reggie).

Will is the managing director of a local firm focusing on business resilience and cyber security, and holds three Masters degrees in politics and business. He lives just off Northwood Road and is standing to represent the local area in order to try to make a difference.

Will’s main areas of interest are around effective decision-making and finance. If elected, he is going to focus on ensuring that council money is spent effectively for the benefit of the residents of Northwood and Thanet. He also wants to work to bring stability to Thanet’s politics after years of disruption and division.

Please contact him if you want to learn more about his experience or ideas for Northwood.

David Spicer – Conservatives

Sandra Spicer – Conservatives

Mike White – Green

I’ve lived in Thanet for 35 years, in both Ramsgate and Margate, and love it here. I’m a builder, roofer and shopfitter and I’ve worked with many local businesses across the Isle.

I’m concerned that the cost of living crisis risks sending many smaller local businesses to the wall, just when they were starting to recover after the pandemic. If I’m elected I’d want to do everything I can to support local businesses, local jobs and training for local people.

I’m a keen sailor and Southern Water’s sewage pollution of our seas and beaches makes me very angry. We Greens have been pushing them to sort this out asap – and there should be no dividends for shareholders or bonuses for their senior executives until they do.

Unsurprisingly, I’m passionate about the environment and regularly volunteer with projects locally and further afield. A highlight of the past year for me was the opportunity to volunteer on a project in Costa Rica to protect sea turtles – the experience of a lifetime!

Sir Moses Montefiore

Marion Astley – Conservative

Clara Gibson – Green

Clara and Andy

I live in Montefiore ward: it’s a great place to live but we can make it even better.

I’ve worked with people all my life – as an NHS nurse and health visitor, and for the past 13 years as an independent therapeutic coach. I’ve learned people have better health & wellbeing when they’re confident to take action in their own lives and communities.

I’m passionate about helping people see the importance of voting, know what they want to vote for and feel confident to do so. I’ve been a local volunteer since moving to Ramsgate, setting up a group to care for the neglected & overgrown Winterstoke Gardens in Montefiore ward. The group’s grown to 12-15 regular volunteers and last year won the coveted SE in Bloom Judge’s Award. I now also represent community gardening groups on Ramsgate Town Council’s Open Spaces subcommittee.

I’ve been out and about talking to residents and I know we share the same priorities. If I’m elected, I’ll fight for clean streets and accessible pavements free of cars and dog mess. I’ll challenge, speak out, speak up and help others to do so, believing they really can make a difference.

Andy Stevens – Green

I’ve lived in Ramsgate most of my life, and in Montefiore ward with my wife and sons for 7 years. I want to be part of the solution to improve the local area and how the Council runs.

I worked in local government, including TDC, for 20+ years, managing services such as Benefits, Council Tax, Business Rates and Customer Services, so I have a good working knowledge of how local government works. I’ve also been Chief Operating Officer of a local college group. I now run a company helping businesses map and reduce their carbon footprint.  I sit on Ramsgate Town Council’s Climate Change Working Group and am impressed with their work – but there’s more we can achieve together.

I’m a runner, so I’m out and about locally all the time and often get talking with residents. My priorities for Montefiore ward are simple – to have clean streets, parks and beaches, to help TDC be more effective and focus 100% on what residents want, and to find ways to provide public toilet facilities all year round for locals and visitors. I get frustrated when emails to my Ward Councillors go unanswered – so if I’m elected, I won’t be that person.

Pat Makinson – Labour

I was born at a lucky time with a functioning National Health Service, free dentistry, free education, a grant to go to university, able to buy a property while in my 20s without parental help, retirement at 60, etc. I felt that I would like to give something back now that I my family are grown and I have time.

I love Ramsgate. It is one of the most beautiful towns in England. However, it is obviously deprived. Other parts of Thanet are more prosperous and some representatives appear determined to maintain that disparity. All of Ramsgate needs to be properly represented on the district council, especially where decisions affect this town.

I have worked hard to try and clean up the area, tackling businesses and other premises who leave their rubbish in inappropriate places.  As a town councillor since 2019, I am available to all residents in Sir Moses Montefiore by phone call or email, as well as holding monthly surgeries. In particular,  I have been working with residents of Dumpton Park Drive trying to achieve traffic calming.

I am frustrated by my inability to get things which generally fall to the district or county council done, so now I am standing for the district too. Despite that, I feel I have achieved much in Sir Moses Montefiore. There is still more to do!

Tony Ovenden – Labour

I am currently a Ramsgate town councillor for Sir Moses Montefiore ward. My aims are to improve our physical and social environment and the conservation of our heritage through public engagement. On social media I admin many successful local interest groups that connect with the public.

By communicating and listening, public engagement it at the heart of everything I do as a councillor. I find this to be very important with heritage issues such as the reopening of a maritime heritage centre in Ramsgate as a member of the Clock House focus group.

The same applies to environmental issues as, for example, I am a volunteer at the Montefiore Woodland and a member of the Thanet coastal stakeholders group that cares for our coastline.

At present nothing seems to be working in our country. Most of us can easily draw a list as to what is wrong without me having to point this out. I will fully support Labour party policies both locally and nationally to improve our quality of life.

Daphne Sharp – Conservative


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  1. Amazing how many Tory candidates have failed to provide a bio for Kathy Bailes.
    Don’t they have anything to say about their election chances?

    • It’s coordinated by North and South offices so if some people are away, I won’t get them until they come back.

  2. Which of these candidates were on the council when it bunged £10k to the anti-Manston campaign?

    • All the ones that, in their manifestos, made it clear what their stance on Manston was – and got robustly elected.

    • Hey Nigel who was in power when Riveroak was bunged £8.4Million of tax payer’s money. Coz it seems only one party pays out bribes to their mates and forgets who pays their wages

    • One of our local councillors lives with a certain Tony Freudman band no doubt benefits from the £8.5m of tax payers money they received from DoT

    • Nigel Munson, I assume you don’t live in or near Ramsgate. Are you not at all concerned about the health hazards and environmental degradation caused by aviation? Even Roger Gale is worried about the effect that aviation has, as he has at least one grandchild who lives near Heathrow.

  3. It seems strange that at least one of the candidates moved under the Manston flightpath and is now against the reopening of the airport. Makes you think….

    • It seems somewhat odd that at least 3 manston supporters have moved out from under the flightpath in the last 3 years.
      Odd I would of thought seeing as they profess to love planes

    • There is no “Manston flightpath” because there is no airport at Manston, and hasn’t been for almost 9 years.

  4. Just to be absolutely clear:
    It doesn’t matter who you vote for in the Local Elections when it comes to Manston. The Local Authority has absolutely nothing to do with deciding whether to grant a DCO or not. Any potential candidate asking for you to vote for them if you support Manston might as well ask for your support if you believe in Unicorns.

    • Andrew

      Good point.

      The money people will decide if manston opens or not. These people well decided if investing 500million into a a failed airport with poor geographical position. No infrastructure ie decent road or rail network, no fuel grid etc etc. Than their just have to persuade cargo and haulage companies to move to manston.

      If the money people think it’s a go’er it will open if not it wont.

    • Andrew is right, but remember to obtain a “Development Consent Order” (DCO) for Manston to re-open it must be shown there is a national need for it, which there isn’t as there are plenty of other airports with spare capacity, and in a better geographical location! But I will only vote for District councillors if they say publicly they are opposed to Manston re-opening, as an act of solidarity for the people of Ramsgate, and those in the CT11 postal area who will be mostly affected! Otherwise I will be abstaining, but will vote to get rid of Mackinlay, because he and Gale are traitors trying to promote the re-opening for their own nefarious reasons! Both think it will be a vote winner, but also Mackinlay owns a company called Mama Airlines, and his accountancy practice has a big client who’s set up a logistics company in the expectation Manston will re-open. Vote them both out next General Election, they couldn’t care less about the people of Thanet!

  5. So true Andrew! TDC councillors have zero power to influence the outcome of the future use of Manston.
    Yet this hasn’t stopped ex-UKIP, now Tory candidate Trevor Shonk from bleating about Manston Airport in his bio. He must think the residents of Newington are stupid, for if elected he has absolutely no influence over the fate of the former Manston Airport site.
    As for the Conservative government he refers to, it is unlikely to be in existence after the next General Election!

  6. As many of the candidates for local council claim that they can influence the outcome of the Manston vaporware, would they also mind nudging Rishi to give us back the £58bn in tax fraud plus the £74bn wasted by Kwasi’s little experiment? Thanks.

  7. What puzzles me is that after more than a decade of Tory misrule nationally and locally the Tory Party is still finding candidates to stand for them! Hopefully, they will not find voters to elect these candidates to give us more of the same!

  8. It isn’t the politicians that rule, but big money and the international banking cartels. I shan’t be giving any politician my energy by voting. Don’t bother, people.

  9. Really wanted to vote for Reform, then discovered the candidate, James Hose, is against Manston airfield, so find myself unable to vote for anybody.

  10. Tory candidates Trevor Shonk (Ramsgate), Bob Bayford (Kingsgate) and Sam Bambridge (Thanet Villages) have all jumped onto the Manston Airport bandwagon claiming that a vote for them will save Manston Airport!

    This is nonsense as TDC councillors have NO influence over this. The fate of Manson Airport is being decided nationally, not locally. It is so wrong of Shonk & co to try to pull the wool over residents’ eyes in this way!

    Tories are obviously desperate, so are making false claims about Manston Airport to get votes! Shame on you Trevor Shonk! The residents of Newington are not stupid!

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