Barnet Post

Edgware by-election candidates make their pitch for your vote

Four candidates are standing to win vacant council seat in Edgware

Hero for Edgware by-election candidates make their pitch for your vote
Pictured clockwise from top left are Labour candidate Andrea Bilbow, Green candidate Sam Murray, Lib Dem candidate Roger Tichborne and Conservative candidate Nick Mearing-Smith
By Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter  

Voters will go to the polls in Edgware next month to elect a new ward councillor.

The Tories won a large majority in the ward in 2018, but candidates from Labour, the Lib Dems and Green Party are hoping to overturn it. The seat became vacant following the death of long-serving councillor Brian Gordon.

We take a look at who is standing in Edgware ahead of the election on Thursday 6th May.

Nick Mearing-Smith – Conservative Party

Nick Mearing-Smith, who lives in Edgware, previously served as a city councillor in Bristol before moving to London for career reasons.

Nick said: “I am honoured to have been selected by Hendon Conservatives to stand as the Conservative candidate for Edgware in the forthcoming by-election.

“I have now been a resident of Edgware for several years and hope to be able to use this previous experience as a councillor, together with my local knowledge, to serve the people of Edgware”.

Andrea Bilbow – Labour Party

Andrea has lived in Edgware for 35 years, and her two children attended schools in Barnet. She was made an OBE in 2013 for her work with people with special needs.

Andrea said: “I am an active advocate for children with special educational needs, and I founded and run the national charity for people with ADHD.

“I know that being a councillor is about putting your community first, listening to and understanding problems and helping to find creative ways of solving them. It’s very much aligned with the work I have been doing over the last 25 years.

“I believe that understanding, compassion, resilience and being a good, active listener are vital skills and attributes that I have nurtured over many years with my charity work, and I feel they are true strengths.

“I want to ensure the council is held to account for its policies, especially concerning children and families, and issues that have an impact on Barnet residents’ quality of life and the environment.”

Roger Tichborne – Liberal Democrats

Roger is a musician and small business owner with roots in Edgware. As a teenager, he lived in Warwick Avenue, Broadfields, and attended Orange Hill School.

“I bought my first guitar and amplifier from Don Mackrill’s music shop in Edgware,” he said. “That gave me a deep love of the shopping area and an appreciation of the need for vibrant, independent businesses.”

Roger’s top campaign priority is to save the Railway Hotel, a Grade 2-listed property in the heart of Edgware that he claims the council has “left to neglect and ruin”.

He also plans to protect green spaces, strengthen social housing in Edgware, make the Edgware local plan more resident-friendly and invest in active and sustainable travel.

“The last year has been a very challenging one for everyone in our community,” Roger added. “Whatever happens in the local elections in May, I make a personal commitment to be supportive of our community through these times.”

Sam Murray – Green Party

Sam Murray is a music lecturer at Middlesex University who lives on the Broadfields estate in Edgware.

Sam said he wants to support business and freelancers by looking at how the council can extend business rates holidays and exemptions and fight for further support for freelancers who have often been forgotten throughout the pandemic.

In response to the climate crisis, he said he would “work to improve the air quality in our ward, protect and restore the nature in our ward and ensure access to green space for all by gold-plating the green belt, and help Edgware play its role in tackling the climate emergency by placing it at the heart of decision-making”.

Housing is another key campaign issue for the Green candidate. Sam added: “If elected, I will work to ensure residents’ voices are heard on housing and seek action from the council leadership to ensure residents can have their say over developments.”

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