Four candidates hoping to win Forest by-election at Horsham District Council
The four candidates hoping to be elected to Horsham District Council at a by-election next week have been announced.
One of the three seats for the Forest ward has become vacant following Godfrey Newman’s decision to step down due to ongoing health issues.
A by-election will be held on Thursday October 21.
The candidates are Jon Campbell (Greens), Ross Dye (Conservatives), David Hide (Labour) and Jon Olson (Liberal Democrats).
All four parties were asked to supply information about their candidate.
Jon Campbell - Green Party
Jon first moved to Horsham with his family in 1974 and after a six year absence living in the USA, he returned to the district with his wife Claire in 2021 following the birth of their daughter Maddie.
He works in London as an employee benefits consultant.
He said he became more aware of social and climate change issues while living in the US and the ‘disregard and apathy shown by sections of the population’ prompted him to join the Green Party.
If elected he promised to provide a ‘strong independent voice’ speaking up for the people living in the Forest ward.
He said he understands the key role local government plays in balancing the needs of residents and protecting the county’s beautiful environment and is committed to ensuring whilst Horsham changes it does so in a sustainable way with an emphasis on maintaining our green areas and a focus on affordable energy efficient housing.
Ross Dye - Conservatives
Ross moved to Horsham 24 years ago and lives here with his partner, son, father, and dog Tigger. He recently retired from a career in IT including six years working locally for Royal & SunAlliance. He has more than eight years’ experience as a councillor for Southwater and believes if elected he can hit the ground running.
He describes Horsham as unique and a special market town and raises Conservative achievements at HDC such as the county’s best recycling rates, a £1.6m grant to Saxon Weald to enable the building of 84 new homes, many in the Forest ward, and the lowest council tax in West Sussex.
But he says there is ‘always more to do’ and mentioned the ongoing food waste collection trial, securing the future of much-loved local landmarks such as Drill Hall and green spaces for future generations and supporting local businesses recover from the pandemic through events such as the jobs and skills fair.
David Hide - Labour
David has lived in Clarence Road in the Forest ward for more than ten years and has been actively involved with projects that support the community. He has chaired the Horsham Green Forum, an active member of the Friends of Horsham Park, chair of the Shelley Memorial Project, volunteer coordinator for the maintenance of North Street Ribbon Borders and also runs a foodbank collection station from his home, which has delivered tonnes of food to Horsham Matters.
He is a technical manager on a plant nursery and as an environmentalist wants to protect valuable open spaces. With the Friends of Horsham Park he helped to deliver improvements contributing to the park gaining an In Bloom award and also set up Horsham Labour Party’s #CivicPride campaign.
If elected promises to put the environment first, oppose larger scale development, stand up for the community, campaign for safer streets and stand up for better local services.
Jon Olson - Liberal Democrats
Jon has been a Forest neighbourhood councillor since 2019 and as a district councillor says he would continue campaigning to ‘save our green spaces’ and strive for a greener town.
If elected he says he would push for a local plan which stipulates the highest eco-standards in any new developments, higher affordable hosing targets and more investment in infrastructure.
He would also work with Lib Dem county councillors to ensure new as well as old streets across Horsham are safer for all users.
Jon lives in Horsham with his wife and two children, the elder of whom attends Kingslea Primary School, where Jon also volunteers. Jon was outspoken about his opposition to WSCC plans to close children and family centres, drafting the neighbourhood council’s response.
He says he wants to join the Lib Dem team at HDC ‘fighting to ensure Horsham remains a great place to call home and to promote a greener and even better Horsham for future generations’.