Six candidates are standing in a by-election in Kemptown for a seat on Brighton and Hove City Council on Thursday.

The seat became vacant when Bharti Gajjar resigned. She was elected for Labour last May but expelled from the party in December. She then sat as an independent but resigned in March.

The six candidates are Robert Brown (Liberal Democrat), Gary Farmer (Brighton and Hove Independent), Jamie Gillespie (Independent), Theresa Mackey (Labour), Josephine O’Carroll (Conservative) and Ricky Perrin (Green).

Each candidate received questions about local issues submitted by the public and was asked why they wanted to represent the ward.

Below are the responses from Robert Brown, 53, a children’s health information service team manager. He tweets as @INEya_veganfood and is on Facebook as Robert J Brown.

Do you live in the ward and why do you want to represent Kemptown?

Yes, I live in the heart of Kemptown ward just off St George’s Road. I would love to represent the residents and businesses in Kemptown ward to support them in any issues and challenges they have.

I have had enough of the decline of the area where I live and I feel ashamed when walking along the seafront. I put myself forward to be a strong voice for all.

How were you selected to stand for election?

Before any candidate is selected to stand for the Liberal Democrats, there is a two-tier process whereby candidates are first tested on their general suitability to be a candidate for the party and as a councillor for the local community.

Once approved, a candidate can be selected to stand in a particular ward by local party members. I was selected to fight Kemptown in last year’s council elections and so only an abbreviated process was needed for this by-election.

Kemptown ward is blighted by litter and graffiti. How will you support residents and tackle this?

Not just litter and graffiti – there’s a lot worse going on including people using doorsteps as toilets due to the lack of facilities across Kemptown ward.

I would work with those affected, Brighton and Hove City Council, the police and community groups to look at what effective measures can be put in place, including graffiti-proof paint. We need new bins. What we have are not fit for purpose.

What are your views on the return of glyphosate weedkiller? Will you volunteer to join the tidy up team?

I am against the return of glyphosate weedkiller. As a dog lover, with two rescued Jack Russells, our pets are at risk from the use of the weedkiller and Liberal Democrats have put forward credible alternatives that can be used instead.

The Labour administration has missed an opportunity here. I volunteer already for the beach clean – so joining a tidy up team would simply be a PR exercise.

If phase three of the Valley Gardens project increases congestion, what will you do on behalf of those affected including residents?

Phase three of the Valley Gardens project should not go ahead in the first place.

It is wrong for right now when the £6.8 million of funding from the council could be better spent elsewhere, ie, potholes and ensuring paths are suitable for those with mobility issues.

When the key transport groups, including bus groups, are against, why are they continuing with this!

We need a strong voice to speak on behalf of residents and businesses, not another Labour yes person.

Polling stations in Kemptown are due to open at 7am on Thursday 2 May and close at 10pm. Photo ID is required for those voting in person.