Local Elections – Baiter

Dear Resident,

Four years ago, just prior to local elections, our association felt it would be helpful to ask

pertinent questions of all candidates. As a result, we received very favourable feedback from

residents and candidates. We believe it will be useful to repeat the exercise and hope the

answers below will assist you when casting your vote on Thursday 02 May 2019. Please

excuse presentation –just want to get the newsletter to you asap!

Best wishes Mike Randall (Chair PBA)

Question 1: How will you ensure the interests of residents (particularly at

Whitecliff and Baiter Park) are fully represented at the new council and not just

steam-rollered by the Bournemouth majority?

Question 2: How will you respond if interests of your residents are at odds with

decisions or recommendations made by your party at BCP level?

Question 3: ‘Travellers’ is one of the most sensitive issues faced by residents with

regular incursions at Whitecliff and Baiter Park. How can you address concerns of

the residents?


1. Living within Poole Town ward, I am extremely keen to represent my neighbours and

residents to the best of my abilities. The current opposition groups made up of Poole People

and Liberal Democrats have failed to stand up to the current leaders of Poole Council, and I

feel that they will fail again now the council has combined. Labour has made commitments in

our manifesto to speak to our residents on a regular basis, holding surgeries so we can

listen to their concerns and then act on them in the council. As a Labour group, we can

ensure that your voice is heard.

2. Having been a councillor previously for several years, I think that being part of a group is a

really positive thing in council. With a large group of Labour councillors together, supporting

each other and working together, we can collaborate on issues and end up voting together

as a Labour group – unlike the independents who are often left as a lone voice. A party whip

in local government is not like what you hear about in national politics. We would be elected

to represent our ward and, if there are issues affecting our ward, this is taken into account,

Labour councillors can vote against their whip for issues affecting their own ward.

3. Once elected, Labour will seek to hold talks with both the residents and the Traveller

community. It is important that we seek a resolution which works for both parties and

ensures that our parks and public spaces are not left open to be used in the wrong way. We

would work towards ensuring that there is a permanent traveller site for use during their

visits which would cut down on any disputes between those and local residents. Right now,

the council is offering no solution.


1. I believe that Poole needs a strong, co-ordinated team to stand up for Poole residents

within the new super council. We know that the decision to merge the councils was not

something that everyone in Poole would have made, but now it has happened we need to

have a strong voice on that council by electing councillors who will attend all meetings, work

as a disciplined team without ego or in-fighting. Poole Labour Party has an extremely

smooth working relationship with both Bournemouth and Christchurch Labour Parties, the

more Labour councillors elected to this council, the stronger your voice through us will be.

2. As a Labour councillor, foremost our duty is to the residents living within the ward we

represent. If elected, although I will be part of a Labour Group, this is much more positive

than people realise. A strong team of Labour councillors can work together to tackle issues

that no lone independent council could. For issues within my ward, I would be work together

with the Labour Group, explain local concerns and get them voting alongside me. Within a

Labour Group, you are allowed dispensation also for voting on issues that affect your ward.

3. I believe that a solution can be found if both parties talk to each other, rather than the

current council having to chase the traveller community from public land every few weeks

throughout the summer. Apart from this action, the council is not seeking a solution. Labour

will begin talks to stop the conflict between them and local residents.

XENA DION (Conservative)

1. This is one of the main reasons I wish to continue as a Ward Councillor. I am passionate

about Poole and everything we are proud of. I am not afraid to speak out strongly for what is

right and good for Poole and feel the same concerns as other residents about being

‘steamrollered’ by the Bournemouth majority. Having Christchurch in the new authority

brings a helpful balance.

2. I have, over important issues, voted against my Group e.g. closing the toilets at Baiter and

in my fight to win European Maritime Day for Poole. Group discussions are the best place to

raise the issues from residents and to ensure their views are heard but all councillors have

an obligation to work towards what is the best for the whole of our Town. My concerns are

that this ‘overall good’ now includes Bournemouth and Christchurch and having councillors

not afraid to strongly voice and support the views of Poole’s residents is essential.

3. I fully understand the frustrations we all have with these unlawful and unwanted

incursions. I argued against the Council protecting a number of sites as I believed it would

just concentrate incursions into a very small number of places and this is exactly what has

happened and Baiter is suffering.

One advantage in the new authority is more effective working together to find a permanent

temporary site which means the police can move travellers who are unlawfully camped on to

those sites within 24 hours. We endeavoured to find a permanent temporary site in Poole 3

or 4 years ago and there was absolutely no place suitable, so I am optimistic we may find a

solution. The government did a consultation to better manage Gypsies and Travellers and I

am still waiting to see the outcome and report.

L-J EVANS (Poole People Party)

1. I have lived in Poole for nearly 15 years and walk my dog at least once a day on Baiter. If

elected as a Poole Town Councillor I will be persistent and vocal in representing my

Residents and work with Councillors of all parties to ensure that Poole’s voice is heard.

2. Although elected under the banner of Poole People Party I will be an Independent

Councillor and free to make up my own mind on all decisions. I intend to use social media

and other avenues to listen to people’s concerns so that they can be represented fairly.

3. As a regular user of Baiter Park I am fully aware of this issue and the measures taken by

the Council in the past to remedy it. I hope that in future we can work with the Travelling

Community to come up with a compromise over (temporary) use of the site, rather than

building more and more defences

ANDY-GARNER WATTS (Conservative)

1. As a BCP Councillor and a firm believer in democracy I would support any majority

decision made by the new council

2. I would hope to fully explain my reasons to residents if given an opportunity to do so

3. As BCP has a much bigger area we will be looking as soon as possible to establish a

temporary traveller site. This would allow police to move travellers to that site with immediate

effect. I believe this will be a really effective deterrent

ANDY HADLEY (Poole People Party)

1. I think we will have to work hard to ensure that the interests of Poole (and Baiter/

Whitecliff) residents are not overpowered. I have already been working with other

independent-minded parties across the conurbation to try and help ensure that we have a

reasonable group in the new Council who are prepared to fight for respect and responses to

local priorities. We were successful in getting Baiter toilets reopened –closed by Tories

2. Poole People does not force Members to vote in a particular way, I hope that anyone who

has been to council meetings will know that the existing Poole People Councillors are often

the first to raise concerns with proposals, and we actively represent issues that have been

raised by our residents, including successfully getting the toilets at Baiter Park re-opened

3. I have campaigned alongside Mark Howell (Poole People Party) to get the Baiter car park

entrance narrowed, and also get constraints on the swimming pool car park, Copse Close

and Sterte Green. We have raised repeatedly that Tories have shirked responsibility to have

a transit site that police can move travellers onto, and with the formation of BCP, we must

work across the conurbation and lobby national government to address the issue properly

MARK HOWELL (Poole People Party)

1. I have lived and worked in Poole town centre for 15 years and have a strong connection to

my local community so I understand the issues that concern residents. If elected, I will seek

to work with Poole People colleagues and other independently-minded minded councillors to

counter the negative effects of the whip imposed by the national parties and give more say

to residents.

2. Poole People councillors are free to vote with their consciences so I would vote in the

interests of residents of Poole Town ward every time.

3. In my time as a councillor, I have pushed the Council to improve the defences of Baiter

and Whitecliff, which resulted in the narrowing of Harbourside 2’s entrance, higher

earthworks and stronger gates. Harbourside 1 is more difficult to address because the public

need access for their motor homes and boats. My focus would be on preventing access to

grassed areas and campaigning for a transit site, which would enable the police to move

travellers on more easily.


1. If I am elected to the council for Poole I will fight for the residents of Poole as their

councillor and make sure we do not lose out

2. I will respond in any way I can to make sure the interests of all Poole residents are

represented on the new council and not only are Bournemouth and Christchurch residents’

interests are heard

3. I will go back to the old days when councillors used to walk around their ward and if I see

any travellers at Baiter or Whitecliff I will make sure the council has them removed twentyfour

hours after they arrive

SIMON LANE (Independent)

1. I will try my best to get Poole treated fairly

2 I will act for the people of Poole and do what is right for Poole

3. I will do regular patrols and if I see travellers coming I will get them removed in 24 hours


1. As a local resident myself, living on Stanley Road, I care deeply about the area I

am standing to represent. Labour, as a group, will be a force for good and if we are in

opposition will hold the Conservatives to account, whether they are from Bournemouth,

Christchurch or Poole. I know that the decision to merge councils has worried many

residents, but I do not believe the poor way in which our current council has been run is due

to where the councillors have come from. It’s been because of their policies. Labour

councillors will hold monthly ward surgeries and be easily available to listen to the concerns

and thoughts of residents so that we can try and be your voice in the council chambers.

2. There is a lot of misunderstanding over what a “Party Whip” does within local government.

Councillors are elected to represent all residents within their ward, and this goes for Labour

Councillors too. Issues affecting individual wards are taken into account when discussed

within the Labour Group of councillors and dispensation to vote against the Party Whip is

granted on these occasions. But it should also be recognised that being part of a group is a

positive thing. For example, if there is a large political group and individual ward councillors

can convince them to support their point of view, then the whole group might end up voting

the same way and getting things done. Ultimately, a group of independents don’t have any


3. If I am elected, I will meet with both the resident and traveller communities and seek to

find a solution to the issue. This may include looking at providing at permanent site

elsewhere in the conurbation or some other way of settling the issue. However, what we

must avoid is this situation from occurring every year without any solution.

Although contacted at least twice we have not received responses from


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