Candidates from three political parties are vying for votes in the Little Sandhurst by-election for Sandhurst Town Council.

The Town Council has 24 members, with six members representing Little Sandhurst. It is currently made up of 21 Conservatives, Liberal Democrat Councillor Mark Vandersluis and Independent Cllr Nicole York. The vacancy has been created after Cllr Dylan Perera (Conservative) was disqualified, which has triggered this by-election.

You can vote by post, proxy or in person at Sandhurst Methodist Church Hall in Scotland Hill, Sandhurst GU47 8JR.

The vote is being held on Thursday, May 6. If you do intend to vote in person, the polling station will be open from 7am to 10pm.

You can see the candidates for the current election in surname alphabetical order below.

Christopher Ives (Liberal Democrat)

Bracknell News:
Chris Ives, Liberal Democrat Candidate For Little Sandhurst, Sandhurst Town Council by election

Mr Ives said: “I have lived in Little Sandhurst since 2004.

“I am retired from working as a scientist and manager with Thames Water, ensuring the quality of water, and more recently in the private sector in safety testing of food.

“My interests include walking and boating. I am a former RYA sailing instructor. I also enjoy singing, and I am currently secretary of Crowthorne Choral Society.

“If elected I will push for high environmental standards and value for money. I will seek to keep residents in the loop on local issues. I want to inform people about what’s going on locally and have my finger on the pulse of the issues.

“I think we have got to listen to local people at the local level. I will listen to local people and I will keep them as to what decisions are being made. Social media has to be a big part of it.

“Residents can also look to people like myself and local papers where to find what out what’s going on.

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"One of the things with the borough council is effectively one party rule. I don’t think people want a political monoculture, I think it’s a good idea to have other parties so there is diverse thinking at play.

“One one of the big things from my career has been an environmental concern.  As a councillor, I would like to make sure the whole business of the council will be very much monitored to make sure decisions are being made which comply to national and international environmental targets.

“I think we’ve got to think global and act local. It’s one of those huge projects that effects everyone in the world. Reducing waste and certainly having more efficiency will help, thinking about what goods and services we provide and how we procure them, which will have an effect far outside Little Sandhurst. That’s why I would look into the council’s procurement policy to make sure things like waste disposal is environmentally friendly – exporting waste really is not moving forward. I want to preserve what makes a nice and pretty place to live.”

Michael Karim (Labour)

Michael Karim, Labour Candidate For Little Sandhurst, Sandhurst Town Council by election

Michael Karim, Labour Candidate For Little Sandhurst, Sandhurst Town Council by election

Mr Karim said: "I have lived with my family in Sandhurst for over twenty years and am passionate about the area. I studied at a nearby state school, went on study Medical Sciences and became interested in healthcare innovation. I have worked for over 30 years running medical businesses, bringing innovative technology to the NHS. Five years ago, I set up a medical research company, which is currently working to prevent brain haemorrhage. I am passionate about improving people’s lives and over the years, helped successfully make the case with government for stroke services as part of a regional and national campaigns working alongside charities.

"As a trained instructor & mentor I have supported young people, building their confidence to overcome bullying, and go on to start businesses. I understand the need to gain consensus, balance resources, prioritise needs and create positive change.

"I am married with two daughters who both have attended the wonderful local schools. We have brought them up to give back to the community; one is now a trained Covid-19 vaccinator and hospital volunteer, the other provides free legal advice to those with limited resources."

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"Locally, I see the challenges that the Covid-19 situation has brought, including the effects on the elderly and young people’s mental health, the demands on teachers, pupils and their parents as well as frontline workers and businesses struggling to survive. We need to ensure the local council is listening to residents’ needs. I will advocate for grants for people to access community support projects addressing mental well-being to help people get back on their feet.

"Residents in Little Sandhurst have fed back to me the issues with litter, overflowing bins and fly tipping that need urgent attention. We need to come up with workable local solutions of better recycling provision and more regular park and street waste collection. Local amenities such as the memorial park should be maintained to a high standard as a community resource to be proud of.

"A safe environment is also a fundamental right for residents to feel secure. I intend to find ways to support local ‘in-the-community’ supportive policing as a deterrent to prevent crime.

"There is little opposition on the local council; it needs to listen more and have fresh voice to positively challenge the status quo so we can better support local people."

Paul Widdowson (Conservative)

Paul Widdowson, Conservative candidate for Little Sandhurst ward, Sandhurst Town Council

Paul Widdowson, Conservative candidate for Little Sandhurst ward, Sandhurst Town Council

Mr Widdowson said: “I have lived in Sandhurst over 30 years so I know it is a great place to live. I have operated an events, entertainment, balloon and theming business locally for 26 years and have been involved in many local events and  celebrations particularly at the Memorial Park. I get a real buzz out of seeing people having fun.

“I believe in supporting the community and have already had the privilege of being a town councillor between 2011 and 2015. I have also served as a Governor at College Town Junior School (2011-17) latterly as Co–Chairman.

“If elected I am keen to ensure we focus on:

  •  Keeping the local council tax down.
  • Maintaining our wonderful parks, paths and open spaces and keeping them clean.
  • Helping to reduce our carbon footprint.
  • Putting Covid behind us whilst learning from and   harnessing the positives that have emerged.
  • Supporting local charities and good causes.

“I have been single for many years and when not working I enjoy travel, reading, history and charitable activities.”