Clive Gross for Central St Leonards Ward May 5 2016

Time for a New Way Forward for St Leonards on Sea

Generations of Labour and Conservative administrations at Hastings Borough Council have allowed what was once one of the most desirable destinations in the country to become one of the most deprived. While many coastal towns have struggled since the decline in domestic tourism in the 1970’s, many also had the vision to invest in their key assets and attractions or reinvent themselves as high-quality leisure, historical or cultural destinations.

St Leonards did not get this way by accident. It has achieved its undeserved recent reputation as a result of being lead for decades by people who have little appreciation of the value of our local natural and built environment and no vision or strategy for how to return it to being an outstanding 21st century destination to live, work and visit.

Borough Council Elections 2016 Campaign: The Seven Wonders of St Leonards

As an independent candidiate running a self-financed campign without the support of any local or national party 'machine', I decided to create a series of video blogs covering the main issues I wanted to raise during the election campaign. So, over the weeks leading up to the 2016 Hastings Borough Council Elections on 5th May, my 'The Seven Wonders of St Leonards' tour was filmed at seven key sites in or around the ward that to me sum up the falied strategy of successive Labour and Conservative councils here, and what we could do differently if we were lead by people with vision instead. You will find links below to the pieces from each of these locations and other local issues on my YouTube channel:

The Seven Wonders Tour:    
Hastings Borough Council Elections 2016 campaign launch Seven Wonders of St Leonards:
The Archery Ground
Seven Wonders of St Leonards:
The Bathing Pool
Seven Wonders of St Leonards:
Marina Colonnade
Seven Wonders of St Leonards:
Warrior Square Station
Seven Wonders of St Leonards:
Kings Road
Seven Wonders of St Leonards:
London Road
Seven Wonders of St Leonards:
Norman Road
Hastings Borough Council Elections 2016 campaign review

In just two years of running as an independent candidate in Central St Leonards, I have gone from 5th with 96 votes (7.4%) in 2014 to 2nd in 2016 with 278 votes (21.4%).

I am under no illusion as to how difficult it will still be to win a seat at the next full council elections in 2018, but I am sure...with your help and is possible! Aside from looking forward to making even more progress here in 2018, I really hope others might be inspired to challenge the political orthodoxy by standing as independents in their communities too. You can read more about why I am campaigning as an Independent in Central St Leonards Ward here.

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. Photography © Clive Gross.