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St. James by-election candidates announced

James Giles

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Following the death of Councillor Howard Jones, who sadly passed away on 29th October 2014, a by-election has been called in the Tory stronghold that is the St. James Ward. The by-election is to take place on Thursday 18th December 2014.

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Standing for the Conservative Party is Jack Cheetham, living in the St. James Ward, who narrowly missed out on being elected in the St. Marks Ward at the May 2014 Local Elections. The Kingston Conservatives describe Jack as:

“A real candidate looking to change real things. With his knowledge in technology and digital capabilities, he hopes to bring some modern day technology into Kingston, to both save money for local tax payers and improve public services. As a small business owner, Jack understands many of the challenges that local small business owners face and he wants to be their champion on Kingston Council- to ensure the Council always helps local businesses. “

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The Liberal Democrats have announced Annette Wookey (pictured above), of Bargate Close (New Malden),  as their candidate. Ms Wookey is campaigning to save weekly recycling collections. She says:

“You’ll need to store all your recycling materials for 2 weeks – with paper and card in a new wheelie bin, whilst glass, plastics and tins remain in the existing green boxes. An average family currently filling 2 green boxes with recycling per week will now need to find space for 2 wheelie bins, the food waste caddy and 4/5 green boxes!”

Standing for the Kingston Labour Party is Stephen Dunkling, of Connaught Road (New Malden). The Green Party have chosen Alex Nelson, of Union Street (Kingston) as their candidate in the St. James by-election. 

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Standing for the UK Independence Party (or UKIP) is their Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, Ben Roberts (pictured above), of Pear Tree Close (Chessington), who also stood for UKIP at the recent Tudor Ward by-election, where he came fourth. He said:

“For far too long the Council has been dominated by two large parties, each following their party line. As a UKIP candidate I am free to represent the people and their concerns. Able to stand up and question the Council’s decisions on behalf of you, as well as those vulnerable members of society, unable to voice their concerns. I will ensure that the council remains accountable to the people it represents as well as transparent in all activities and decision making processes.”

James Giles is the Editor of the Kingston Enquirer, covering local news and events in Kingston, New Malden, Surbiton, Tolworth and Chessington.

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INTERVIEW: Siobhan Benita announces second mayoral bid

Henry Riley

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KINGSTON borough resident, and former Independent candidate for Mayor of London in 2012, Siobhan Benita, has announced her intention to be the Liberal Democrat candidate in the upcoming 2020 elections.

She was arguable the shock result of the 2012 election, finishing above UKIP and within touching distance of the Liberal Democrats and their high-profile candidate, Brian Paddick.

She spoke to 107.8 Radio Jackie about why she has become a Liberal Democrat, whether she believes she has a realistic chance of becoming Mayor, and addresses Brian Paddick’s claims in 2012 surrounding her ‘flaky’ policies.

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