Rob Somerton-Jones, candidate for the Brighton and Hove elections Brighton News

SEVEN candidates are running in a by-election in the districts of Hollingdean and Stanmer for a seat on Brighton and Hove City Council on Thursday 6 May.

The seat became vacant when Labor adviser Tracey Hill resigned to move to Derbyshire for family reasons.

The seven candidates are Emma Dawson-Bowling née Hogan (Conservative), Leila Erin-Jenkins (Labor), Nigel Furness (Independent), Alex Hargreaves (Liberal Democrat), Zoë John (green), Des Jones (UKIP) and Rob Somerton- Jones (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition).

Each candidate was given questions that were submitted by community groups and voters.

Below are the responses from Labor and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate Rob Somerton-Jones.

Rob Somerton-Jones.

Rob Somerton-Jones.

Why do you want to be an advisor for Hollingdean and Stanmer?

I want to be an advisor because the TUSC are determined to offer a real alternative to the pro-austerity politics that have come to dominate traditional parties.

Residents need a fighting voice on council, otherwise further budget cuts and austerity are inevitable, and our communities cannot stand it.

I want to be an advisor who will stand up for work communities, not sell them or sell them. I refuse to vote for the cuts.

What do you think you bring to this role?

I am young, passionate and determined, while my party sincerely wants to make positive change.

We supported RISE and their campaign, unlike the incumbent advisers, and we fought against cutting their funding.

I am also supported by an excellent team of people who collectively have decades of experience in the trade union and activist world and who are as passionate as I am about stopping austerity policies. We’re bringing a new community-driven strategy.

What understanding do you have of the challenges children, youth and adults and their families face because of additional needs or disabilities?

Growing poverty is the biggest problem facing families and their children.

Stagnant salaries for caregivers and the reduction in benefits and services are the cause.

Caregivers do not receive enough payment or support, if any, for the work they do.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) conducts ruthless, cruel and humiliating assessments and support benefits have been wiped out, with fees doubling in the process.

Austerity has devastated services for people with disabilities and further austerity will only make the situation worse.

How well do you support the trend of building more houses on busy and polluted roads, thereby exposing more people to it?

I do not support this at all. Brighton and Hove needs affordable and environmentally friendly social housing, as well as private rent controls to end the housing and rent crisis in the city.

The decontamination of our roads is only possible thanks to mass public transport, affordable and respectful of the environment, truly public and not managed for private purposes.

How can you make sure that the residents of Saunders Park are not left out, as the area is very rarely mentioned or considered in the Hollingdean and Stanmer neighborhoods? There are no meeting spaces, no focus or strategy for the region and it is densely packed.

I went to Saunders Park to talk to the residents. Frankly, their treatment was appalling.

There are disabled residents without support who have not seen a social worker for over a year.

Others saw their parking space removed; another lamented the high rise developments taking place on the road at the University of Brighton.

These inhabitants have been forgotten and if there is to be a development strategy for this district, it is they who must shape it.

How do you think a park and ride program, as suggested by the Climate Assembly, could be implemented in Brighton and Hove?

The idea is good. However, that would mean building new parking spaces and widening the lanes to accommodate more traffic.

Cambridge has a good model of park-and-ride. However, the TUSC would require it to be owned by the public sector and operated by city council and would need capped rates to make it affordable.

If new parking lots are to be built, abandoned brown sites must be found before the green belt lands are built.

What would you do to improve the equity of transport in our city for the 40% of households who do not have access to a car?

Our bus network is good, but not enough. Fares are very expensive compared to London, for example, where fares are capped.

There are undoubtedly parts of our city that also suffer from poor connections, but the main problem is the cost of tickets, which forces many people to walk.

Public transport would be able to provide safe conditions for bus workers, while guaranteeing free fares for people with disabilities and price caps for low-income people.

Our playgrounds are dated and some equipment is broken. How are you going to advocate for improved play areas for our children?

Increased funding for youth services, including updating children’s play areas and repairing hazardous equipment, would be part of a needs-based emergency budget that a socialist council would address. work, to ensure that it is above all the inhabitants of the city who have priority. for investment.

There are no youth clubs in the area. What will you do to give teens something to do?

TUSC relies on a platform to use the powers of the board to adopt a needs-based emergency budget. Part of that budget would involve the refinancing and reopening of youth services that were cut by austerity politicians.

We would work with community groups to develop youth programs and events, with young people having a direct say in what activities would take place in their area.

What measures are you going to take to fight dog feces on our streets?

More garbage bins in parks and greater public accessibility to garbage bags, gloves and disinfectant in those bins is a start.

Greater investment in street cleaning crews, employed by the council, would help solve the problem of all litter on our streets, not just dogs.

What are you going to do about the waste problems linked to missed collections and people who put their waste in municipal bins?

Garbage collection in Brighton is chaotic for a city that is supposed to be a ‘green’ city.

For starters, single dumpsters for entire streets of people are unacceptable and more communal recycling bins / bins need to be placed in residential areas to prevent overflow and animals ripping bags.

Second, the board should bring the garbage collection in-house where it can be controlled properly and missed areas prioritized.

What will you do to make yourself known as an active member of our community?

I have already met many door-to-door people, both in the residential areas and on the Sussex campus, where I have attended protests to support the students, who would be my constituents if I won.

I held regular meetings and traveled around my ward regularly to ask people what they wanted to see changed. I believe in being democratically accountable every day to the people who elected you to serve them.

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This notice was published: 2021-05-05 16:20:52