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Four candidates to fight it out at New Forest District Council Hythe West & Langdown byelection

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FOUR candidates will fight it out in a byelection next week for the Hythe West and Langdown seat on New Forest District Council.

The candidates are Sean Cullen (Liberal Democrat), James Gallagher (Labour), Matthew Kitcher (Independent) and Terri Marwood (Conservative).

The winner of the poll on Thursday 3rd March will follow Cllr Rebecca Clark, a Liberal Democrat who resigned from the seat.

Sean Cullen
Sean Cullen

Sean Cullen (Liberal Democrat)

Mr Cullen is former secondary school teacher who has spent the past four years working with youngsters with special needs. He has lived in Hythe for 13 years, served on the parish council since 2019, is a trustee on the Dibden Allotments charity and a school governor.

He said he is "passionate about holistic solutions to problems" and wants to create more housing for young people, improve pavements and potholes, introduce a school crossing patrol on Upper Mullins Lane and tackle the Conservative NFDC administration over parking clock price increases.

James Gallagher
James Gallagher

James Gallagher (Labour)

Mr Gallagher (30) is a researcher at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton. He was prompted to stand for election for the first time as he said the council was currently "ineffective" in getting things done and needed "shaking up".

He wants improvements to pavements and local roads, councillors better engaged with local people and to run events to get the public back together and foster community spirit after the isolation of the pandemic.

Matthew Kitcher
Matthew Kitcher

Matthew Kitcher (Independent)

Mr Kitcher (23) is an independent who was formerly a Liberal Democrat member of Hythe and Dibden Parish Council. He works at a local charity that provides youth club sessions and is studying towards a learning support assistant qualification.

His aims are for affordable housing for younger people, improving the New Forest's recycling rates, and getting more accessible play equipment for children with disabilities and special needs. He also wants support for businesses coping with the aftermath of the pandemic and to "remind" the parish council of its duties around Hythe and Dibden.

Terri Marwood
Terri Marwood

Terri Marwood (Conservative)

Conservative candidate Mrs Marwood was born in Hythe and has lived and worked locally all her life. She was part of a parent-teacher association and a former governor at local schools.

She has backed the Solent Freeport, supports more affordable housing and sustainable development for younger people, and has pledged "look seriously" at the options regarding the reopening of the railway line – but not pursue it "if detrimental to our historic ferry service". She also wants an improved Hythe seawall.

For more information visit www.newforest.gov.uk/article/2931/Hythe-West-and-Langdown-District-Ward-by-election-March-2022

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