Five candidates are standing in a by-election in Queen’s Park for a seat on Brighton and Hove City Council on Thursday 2 May.

The seat became vacant when Chandni Mistry 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 five candidates are Sunny Choudhury (Conservative), Milla Gauge (Labour), Dominique Hall (Liberal Democrat), Adrian Hart (Brighton and Hove Independent) and Luke Walker (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 Adrian Hart, 63, a writer and video editor who tweets as @AdrianHartQuPk.

Do you live in the ward and why do you want to represent Queen’s Park?

Yes, 21 years. Sadly, less than half of Brighton and Hove councillors live in their ward. Too many prioritise their party’s interests over ours.

I want to champion the issues important to residents and speak the truth on matters (on schools, housing, transport) Labour evidently want to conceal.

How were you selected to stand for election?

Brighton and Hove Independents have become a lightning rod for residents rooted in their neighbourhoods and committed to forging an independent alternative for voters.

My son went to Orchard Day Nursery, Queen’s Park Primary and played endlessly in our amazing park.

I walk the same pavements as voters. I look at the same tagging, the same overflowing bins.

My life has become woven in to the fabric of the life of this area. In this sense, Brighton and Hove Independent candidates are self-selecting.

What are your views on St Luke’s school appealing against the council’s decision to reduce admissions by a whole class of 30 four-year-olds?

St Luke’s made a powerful case against this cut. Using data and evidence to challenge a decision that was not in Labour’s manifesto last year, their objections to the PAN (published admission number) cuts were principled and well argued.

Has this administration listened? A reduced PAN will mean significantly reduced funding for the school.

It’s tough for any council confronting falling pupil admissions (every decision must be balanced to benefit children citywide).

As with St Bartholomew’s proposed closure, the council seem tin-eared and cold-blooded.

Freshfield Road constantly has cars speeding along it. What will you do to bring speed cameras and crossing places?

Yes, the excessive speed of vehicles, especially downhill, is terrifying (May 2021 saw a serious injury car/motorbike accident that could easily have resulted in death). I think this needs a petition.

I have experience organising these and bringing them to the attention of the council.

Prior to the petition, all the data collected on speeding needs to be collated along with accident history records.

I have no doubt it will prove that at least 20 per cent of drivers exceed the speed limit.

How would you tackle the weeds on the streets without reintroducing glyphosate spraying?

Weeds cracking pavements cause injury to residents and add to a £60 million repair backlog.

Using glyphosate to control weeds in the city is between five and 20 times cheaper than any other available method (hot foam, burning, mechanical, manual).

Hand-held low volume / gravity-controlled droplet applicators allow targeted spot elimination of weeds, quantities of glyphosate and oil consumed are minimised and drift better controlled.

The flexibility of manual application will achieve the highest degree of control and minimise environmental impact.

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