KCC election Canterbury Coastal Conservative
Alan Marsh - Herne and Sturry
Alan, of Wraik Hill, Whitstable, was elected to Kent County Council in May 2005 as the member for Herne and Sturry, having been a pilot and aviation consultant for many years.
The last seven years before joining KCC were spent on the flight testing of aircraft to reduce noise levels and pollution working with both the USA and the European Commission for transport and energy.
Work at County Hall attending meetings is a small part of what county councillors do. Most of the time is spent out and about meeting people in their community and Alan works with six parish councils and other elected bodies including both adult and young people centres using his Members Funds to assist in promoting and paying for local projects as well as small highways changes and support.
When decisions are taken by the council, the job is to be there and emphasise the views and aspirations of their constituents. Alan has attended eight out of eight meetings of the full council as well as sitting on many committees with specific responsibility, including overseeing healthcare and the initial transition of the NHS into the new system led by GPs while Cabinet Member for Public Health.
Jeremy Bellamy - Canterbury City South West
Jeremy, of Beacon Hill, Herne Bay, is one of the youngest candidates standing in the county elections.
He said: “At age 22 I’m a recent university graduate who studied in Canterbury, and in my day job I work as a Parish Clerk in Sturry in addition to being City Councillor for Barton since 2011.
“I’m standing in these elections because I believe that young blood and fresh ideas can have a real impact in Local Government and I believe I can make a positive contribution to our district and the lives of ordinary people.”
John Simmonds - Canterbury West
John was elected to the county council in June 2001 as conservative member for Canterbury North. He now represents Canterbury West following boundary changes.
He is a retired bank area director and has wide experience of business particularly in the development and funding of small businesses. He also has experience of public relations.
Mr Simmonds who is married to Barbara, with three children and six grandchildren, lists his interests as travel, cricket, bridge, jazz, cinema and the theatre.
He has previously served as chairman of governors at the Whitstable Community College and as a governor at the then Joy Lane Infants School. As a former KCC cabinet member for education, he retains a keen interest in educational issues.
Mr Simmonds is currently KCC cabinet member for finance and procurement, responsible for the county’s budget.
Graham Gibbens - Canterbury City North East
Graham has been the county councillor for Northgate and St Stephens in Canterbury since 2001.
Graham has always supported local residents. He has been concerned about the impact that the Westgate Towers traffic scheme has had on so many residents and is pleased that the county council has decided that the scheme will end.
Over the next few months there will be a review of congestion throughout Northgate and St Stephens and Graham thinks we must encourage through traffic away from the area.
Graham supports the Village Green applications by residents in respect of Chaucer Field and Kingsmead Field. He wants open space retained for people’s enjoyment and protected for future generations.
At the county council, Graham is the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health. He is pleased that over the last four years he has been able to support the most vulnerable people as well as opening up new opportunities for those with dementia and learning disabilities.
Graham is an active member of St Peter’s Methodist Church in Canterbury.
Michael Northey - Canterbury South East
Michael went to grammar school in Richmond, Yorkshire, then sixth form in Stockton-on-Tees, Oxford. He graduated in classics, and was awarded Chancellor's English Essay Prize. He also has a Master’s degree in English from the Open University.
The retired secondary school teacher taught at Chepstow Comprehensive school from 1975 until 1988, which was the neighbouring school to the comprehensive where J.K. Rowling was educated.
He said: “I knew some of her teachers but of course did not know or teach her as it was a different school. It turns out I passed her cottage every day on the drive to work.”
He moved to Canterbury where he worked as resident housemaster and teacher at Kent College Canterbury from 1996 to 2001. He then worked mostly in Kent grammar schools.
He said: “About two thirds of my career was in state schools, one third in independent section - children are much the same in each, with the same need for good education.”
Michael has lived in Barton Road since 1996, and was twice elected to the city council in separate by-elections over four years, ending in 2007.
He was first elected as Kent County Councillor in 2005, and re-elected with an increased percentage in the poll in 2009.
Hobbies and activities include travel, music, church, garden, media, reading and football.
He has been married to Margaret since 1976 and has three adult children - one lives and works in Kent as a teacher, and the other two live in London.
Mark Dance - Whitstable
Mark was elected to Kent County Council in May 1997 and in recent times held two major roles.
He was the cabinet member for education from 2007 to 2009 and currently holds the position of cabinet member for regeneration and economic development.
For over fifty years, Mark has been involved with his family in Whitstable.
Currently, Mark is 55 years old and his first job was a trainee Hydrographic Surveyor for a company based in the harbour. He then went into sales training and marketing and now runs a small construction business.
His sporting interests are golf, clay pigeon shooting, sailing and go-karting and he is a member of Whitstable 41 Club.
Mike Harrison - Whitstable
Mike said: “Most of my time this past 12 months has been spent working locally for the residents of Whitstable which covers from Chestfield across the CT5 area to Seasalter.
“Much of that time has been spent on highway matters. The CT5 area has had more than our share of work and funding from KHS.
“My duties at County Hall, apart from being on and attending numerous meetings, is as Chairman of the Regulation Committee dealing mainly with many appeals and applications about Public Rights of Way or Village Green enquiries.
“A very time consuming job but it is one which I enjoy immensely. I am also the chairman of the numerous appeal panels for Home to School Transport for children with special needs, both physical and financial. So far this year, over 100!
“As for my ambition for 2012/13, that is very simple. I would very much like to continue to be ‘Your Man at County Hall’.”
Jean Law - Herne Bay
Jean was elected at a by-election in 2008 after the death of her husband John.
She said: “I have worked alongside groups and associations in the town, including Herne Bay in Bloom, Picnic in the Park and The Pier Trust. The volunteers are the bedrock of a successful town and it has been a privilege to work with them.
“The NEETs project has seen the best outcomes countywide in the Herne Bay division, with an 85% success rate of getting them back into education, employment or training.”
A member of the Herne Bay regeneration group, Jean was also a sponsor for the Bay Card, which is used by over 130 business and 20,000 people.
David Hirst - Herne Bay
David said: “Being a Conservative County Councillor is more than just representing your party, it is about standing up for the people who elect you.
“I have been your County Councillor for many years and have always kept to this philosophy. I have also been very proud to serve on Canterbury City Council for part of Herne Bay, Greenhill and Eddington.
“I am not currently part of the CCC administration as I have spoken out strongly on behalf of the residents in seeking better traffic solutions to keep Canterbury moving and the local economy thriving.
“Residents of Herne Bay must be able to get to work or access services in Canterbury such as the hospital. I don’t regret my decisions as my first duty as a councillor is to listen to you and respond accordingly. I hope you will continue to support me as I fight for this community.”