A youth worker, the city’s first Muslim sheriff, a DJ, a charity worker and a fish and chip shop owner are the people fighting for votes in Barton and Tredworth.
Four candidates have put their names into the hat in a bid to topple sitting Labour councillor Said Hansdot from his position at the May 22 local elections.
Mr Hansdot, who is Gloucester’s first Muslim sheriff, has attacked the ‘uncaring’ Conservative-led Gloucester City Council, which he is hoping to be re-elected to. He said: “This Tory council has not served the people of Barton and Tredworth well. I work constantly, with my fellow Labour councillors, to keep our streets clean and to support our community but I am worried about the effects of further cuts.
“In the ward, I work hard so we can live together in harmony but the coalition government and the council are uncaring about the devastating effect of the cuts and the cost of living on ordinary working people. I will speak up for people so we are not forgotten.”
VIDEO GUIDE TO BARTON & TREDWORTH
But tough words have also come from Conservative rival Hasan Patel, who will be hoping supporters of Barton and Tredworth’s only Conservative councillor Sajid Patel will support him too. Mr Patel, who runs Abu’s Fish and Chips in Tredworth High Street, said: “My priorities for the area are clear. I will ensure the streets are cleaned regularly and press for flytippers and people who don’t clear up after their dogs to be prosecuted. I want to see greater use of mobile CCTV to catch offenders.
“I am also pressing for more roads in the area to be resurfaced and lobbying for better street lighting.”
He added that his focus would be to tackle anti-social behaviour and organise a jobs fair for the ward.
Three other candidates are hoping to garner support. Paul Harries, from the Liberal Democrats, said: “Initiatives like the Neighbourhood Partnership and street care representatives need to involve even more residents to be truly Democratic. Only together can we tackle local problems like parking and traffic. I also want to see the Barton Street Fair reinstated. I intend to restore pride in our area.”
Part-time DJ and cleaner David Harber, for UKIP, says local people should have more say on planning decisions.
Catherine Bailey is standing for the Trade Unionists and Socialist Against Cuts party again after she pushed the Lib Dems into fourth place in 2012.
- Labour support shot up from 43% of the vote in 2010, when Said Hansdot was elected, to 59% in 2012. When Said was elected four years ago he enjoyed a majority of 598 votes.
- The Liberal Democrat have seen their vote plummet for a 23% share in 2010 to just 5% in the 2012 election, pushing them into fourth place.
MEET THE CANDIDATES
CATHERINE BAILEY, Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts
Barton and Tredworth has been Caty Bailey’s home and workplace for many years. Caty, a youth worker in a lottery-funded White City project, says: “It’s appalling that so many key services now depend on lottery or charity funding. If it hadn’t been for public opposition, Syria would have become another costly military intervention. Mainstream parties always find money for wars and privatisation schemes such as unwanted academy schools. Wages are falling, yet food, energy, housing and transport costs still soar. My daughter’s generation is the first in over a century to be poorer than their parents. The government wrote off Gloucester City Council’s housing debt but we will lose all council-owned housing. The council returned half the housing support allocated for hardship cases to Westminster. We know the money is there. Britain is the world’s sixth biggest economy.”
SAID HANSDOT, Labour
I have lived in Gloucester since the age of 5. I attended Widden School and started working in Birds Eye Walls from 1978 until retiring in 2012. I became a shop steward for TGWU (Unite) and a BAEM regional and national officer. I then developed an interest in local politics. I am married to Mamoona and we have four children. Since being elected for Barton and Tredworth ward in 2010 I have been an active councillor. I have served on the board of Gloucester City Homes. This year I have been Sheriff of Gloucester, the first Muslim to hold this position.
DAVID HARBER, UKIP
David has lived in Gloucester for most of his life, growing up in Longlevens and then attending Churchdown Secondary School. He left secondary school at the first opportunity preferring to work instead of furthering his education. David then held several very ordinary jobs, before deciding to join the Army in 2002. He joined up with our then Local Regiment RGBW serving in Northern Ireland, Kosovo and finally Afghanistan, where he spent 6 months in Kabul. He left the Army in 2006 to spend more time with family. In 2010 he married his wife Sam and they have four children. David says: “I currently work as a cleaner but in my spare time I am passionate about the Severn Bore and have surfed it on many occasions. Other times, I can be found on my turntables as a hobbie DJ. “
PAUL HARRIES, Liberal Democrat
Citizenship is about belonging, about taking part. It’s about service and supporting those around you. In these difficult times, it’s no longer good enough to say, ‘I pay my taxes’. Your community needs to know they can count on you in a crisis.
My name is Paul Harries and I’ve been serving my local communities for over 40 years, the last 17 in Barton Street. I’m currently on the local Neighbourhood Partnership and a trustee of a local charity. In the last few years I’ve resolved neighbourhood disputes and got some homes re-banded for lower council tax and even had people re-housed to better places.
HASAN PATEL, Conservatives
I live in Moor Street (just off the High Street) with my wife and children. I have two daughters and one son. I have lived in Barton and Tredworth for almost 30 years with my family and have many friends and family in this area too. I have got know a lot of people in the area from running my business in High Street for the last 12 years called Abu’s Fish & Chip shop. My business is relocating to new premises in High Street, with a major investment showing my long-term commitment to the area.