Six candidates are standing in a by-election in Kemptown for a seat on Brighton and Hove City Council on Thursday 2 May.

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 Josephine O’Carroll, 70, who is retired.

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

Yes, I have lived in the ward for 14 years, since 2010.


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I want to represent Kemptown as I see it being neglected, particularly by the Labour Party who take it for granted and treat it almost as a rotten borough.

From potholes, grass and graffiti to the Terraces, the neglect is obvious.

How were you selected to stand for election?

I was selected by a candidate selection committee appointed by the local Kemptown Conservative Association.

This is the third consecutive election in which I have been selected and campaigned for the ward.

Which I believe reflects my concern for the area.

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

Let us be clear, covering the seafront from the pier to the Marina, Kemptown presents the face of Brighton to the world as much as Hove Lawns and deserves the same level of care – and the level of graffiti and rubbish is a disgrace. I will campaign tirelessly for a zero-tolerance policy with increased surveillance and fines, as well as immediate removal.

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

I am in favour. The alternate methods explored are, in the current financial climate, unaffordable and it represents the only cost-effective solution.

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

I have supported those campaigning against VG3 since its inception. Unfortunately, due to the support offered to it by Labour, it is too late to stop it going forward.

The best hope I can offer is to fight to improve pedestrian safety across the now five lanes of traffic at the junction with St James’s Street and press increased use of the planned bus stops on the Steine to prevent having to cross main roads to get to those in Castle Square.

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.