Liberal Democrats and Labour announce candidates for Cambridge City Council by-election in Petersfield
PUBLISHED: 14:39 10 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:13 11 August 2018
Election follows resignation of Ann Sinnott following transgender toilet row
The first candidates in the race to be Cambridge’s newest city councillor have been announced following the resignation of Petersfield’s Ann Sinnott.
Kelley Green, a former landscape architect and town planner, who has previously stood as a candidate in Chesterton, will stand for Labour while former Petersfield councillor Sarah Brown will try to regain the seat for the Liberal Democrats at the election on September 13.
Among the issues coming to the fore are traffic and congestion in the city centre, as well as rough sleeping, new housing, and fears for pollution in “smog canyons” in the city.
Petersfield is a large area of the city which includes the main railway station, Anglia Ruskin University, and a large portion of the popular bohemian hang-out, Mill Road. The city’s Crown Court is also on patch, as is the Beehive shopping centre.
Ann Sinnott resigned over the city council policy that that allow transgender women to use ladies’ toilets, which she claimed could put women and girls in danger. She has since resigned from the Labour party too.
Petersfield’s remaining councillors are Cllr Kevin Blencowe and Cllr Richard Robertson (both Labour).
So, who are the first candidates to be announced?
Sarah Brown – Liberal Democrat
Sarah said she would be campaigning locally on issues like fighting the charges brought in for the ShopMobility service, and helping rough sleepers, as well as taking on large developers, which she said were turning parts of the city into “smog canyons”.
“It is about time the city stopped sitting on its laurels,” she said. “The people of Cambridge deserve better.”
Sarah previously represented Petersfield from 2010 to 2014, and served as executive councillor for community wellbeing.
She was instrumental in getting free swimming lessons for underprivileged children, and played a part in introducing the city’s 20mph limit on residents streets.
Sarah also said a Lib Dem vote would “send a message locally and nationally” about Brexit.
Asked what difference a local by-election could make, she said it would be a wake-up call for Cambridge’s Labour-led city council which, she said, was “ignoring” Brexit and its potential impact on the city.
Sarah, who was for several years the only openly transgender elected politician in the UK, also promised to stand up for the rights of transgender people, which she worried may have come under fire.
She said: “Cambridge has led by example on diversity, tolerance and liberal values, and we must defend that leadership from those who seek to divide us.”
Kelley Green – Labour
Kelley Green has been chosen as Labour’s candidate. She has 20 years’ experience working in local government as a landscape architect and town planner. As well as this, she was the project manager for Jubilee Gardens in Ely.
In Cambridge she has campaigned for better community facilities, bus services and NHS facilities.
Her partner is a scientist working at Addenbrooke’s and they both grew up in the city. She runs a small business in Cambridge called Cambridge Farmers Outlet.
Kelley said: “I’m so happy to be part of the fantastic Labour team that represents residents across the city. I would be proud to have the opportunity to represent the residents of Petersfield.
“My small business is just opposite the Catholic Church on Hills Road, which brings me in contact with Petersfield residents on a daily basis and keeps me in touch with grassroots issues.”
Kelley said new housing developments, like the one at the Mill Road depot, would be “exciting” for the city. She said she wants to make sure they “work for the people of Petersfield”. She also said tackling inequality would be a focus if she were elected.
She said: “There are some really exciting developments happening in the ward such as new council housing at Mill Road Depot site, and the Chisholm Trail. With my local planning experience, I want to make sure that these developments work for the residents of Petersfield, and for the city.
“Cambridge is increasingly a divided city with poverty and affluence existing side by side and I am passionate on making this city fairer for all. If elected, I will build on the hard work that Cambridge Labour has done over the past few years to address this issue.”
Are you registered to vote?
Petersfield residents who are not yet registered to vote are being urged to do so by August 28. People can register online at www.register-to-vote.gov.uk or by phoning 01223 457048 for a paper application form.
People who are registered but will be away on 13 September can apply for a postal or proxy vote by downloading a form from www.yourvotematters.co.uk. The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on 29 August and for a proxy vote by 5pm on 5 September.
The city council say poll cards will be issued to electors in Petersfield this week.
Antoinette Jackson, returning officer for the by-election, said: “This by-election is a chance for Petersfield residents to have a say on how the city council’s services are run.
“I would encourage people to register to vote, even if they are not yet sure they want to vote.”
Do you wish to stand for election?
Anyone wishing to stand for election in Petersfield must live or work in in Cambridge, and have their nomination approved by at least 10 electors.
Nominations must be received by the city council no later than 4pm on August 16.
At the time of writing, no other candidates had been announced.