Here’s all you need to know about the three Southwick by-election candidates

Residents of Hillside ward, Southwick will soon elect a new councillor to represent them.

Monday, 8th November 2021, 11:48 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 2:48 pm
A by-election for the Adur District Council ward of Hillside is due to be held next month

The by-election will take place on December 2 and candidates for the seat have now been announced.

One Hillside seat on Adur District Council is currently vacant following the death of David Simmons.

He had represented the ward from 2014 up until his death in September.

Rebecca Allinson - Labour candidate

There are a total of three seats for the Hillside ward but only one will be up for election.

Find out more about the three candidates below:

Rebecca Allinson - Labour

Rebecca Allinson has lived in Adur for 16 years, and is active in the community.

Russell Whiting Green candidate

She was vice-chair of governors at St Nicolas and St Mary Primary School for several years, and is an active member of the congregation of St Mary de Haura church.

She is the daughter of a former councillor and said: “My late dad, Les Alden, was a veteran local politician who led the Labour group on Adur District Council for several years.

“Like him, I feel passionately about housing issues and the care system, particularly regarding elderly people.”

Rebecca works at the Brighton office of a small international company that provides advice and consultancy to governments and other policy makers.

Conservative candidate Leila Williams

Her husband is a freelance editor and she has a son at Shoreham Academy.

Since the onset of COVID-19 her workplace has been a shed at the bottom of the garden.

She says she is a keen walker and runner, often to be found enjoying the marvellous green spaces of the South Downs.

Rebecca said: “I think it’s equally important to protect the urban environment of Adur, ensuring that the local council guards against the worst effects of over-development and ever-increasing traffic while continuing all other efforts to combat climate change.”

Russell Whiting - Green Party

Russell Whiting will be standing for the Green Party in Hillside, aiming to join recently elected Green councillor Gabe Crisp on Adur District Council.

He said: “I am a Southwick resident of long standing and my children grew up here and attended local schools.

“I am a member of St. Julian’s Church and also of the Parish Church Council.

“My faith is an important part of my motivation to be involved in the local community.”

Russell is a senior lecturer and head of the Department of Social Work and Social Care at Sussex University.

“I have a good understanding of local social services and am committed to supporting local people,” he said.

“I will listen and I will try my best to help.”

Russell loves sport and runs for Worthing Harriers and is also captain of Southwick Men’s 2s Hockey Team.

He walks and cycles and, if elected, he says he would ‘work to see improvements in local amenities from playgrounds to sports fields to footpaths’.

“Local issues are as important as global ones and the two are closely related,” he said.

“I have been a Green Party member since I came to see Green issues as more important for our futures than anything else.

“Please vote Green to get this message across in this upcoming by-election.”

Leila Williams - Conservatives

Brighton born Southwick resident Leila Williams is a working mother of two who says she will aim to bring diversity and a wealth of public sector experience to Adur District Council if elected.

Leila has spent 12 years working for the NHS in Sussex since leaving university.

With a teenager at Shoreham Academy and a baby under one, she says she is passionate about getting local families the very best deal from their local council services, including waste collection and maintenance of parks and public spaces.

Leila says she is focusing on three main things for Hillside: reduce, regenerate and rewild.

Reduce – Leila is leading a campaign to get the speed limit on the Old Shoreham Road reduced from 40mph to 30mph on the stretch between Holmbush and Portslade and says she has been busy collecting local residents’ signatures for a petition to drive this forward.

Regenerate – Leila is also working closely with Hillside district and county councillor Angus Dunn around plans to further improve and regenerate Southwick Square.

Rewild – Leila is supportive of the roll out of the rewilding programme that has been trialled by ADC this year with the aim of protecting our local environment and restoring biodiversity to our ecosystems, but has heard from residents about the need for better communication and signage and so will be ensuring that this is implemented.

The Conservatives said: “A vote for Leila is one to protect pedestrians, protect local business and protect the environment.”