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Meet Neil Cleaver, Lib Dem candidate for Hailsham New Town

April 27, 2021 12:16 PM

Halisham Councillor Neil CleaverThe countdown to the local elections is on, with less than one week left until polling day next Thursday May 6th, so it's a good time to profile some of our candidates. Neil Cleaver is the Wealden District Councillor for Hailsham North West, having beaten the Tory incumbent to win the seat in May 2019. Since being elected, Neil has worked tirelessly to address residents' concerns, as outlined in this recent post on Neil's facebook page.

In addition to advocating for constituents in his own ward, Neil has successfully done battle on behalf of those in neighbouring wards too, working together with other councillors from all parties and none. For example, last year he spent months speaking up for residents of a new development in Hellingly, who were living with the nightmarish situation of raw sewage contamination in an open pond right on their doorsteps. Neil has therefore quickly gained cross-party respect, and a well-earned reputation for being unafraid to speak truth to power, and for getting things done. "I am always driven by the exact same thing that made me stand for election in the first place - doing the right thing by the people of Hailsham," says Neil. "After all, unlike most of the Conservative councillors in this area, I'm also one of them!"

LibDem Wealden District Councillor Neil Cleaver at the polluted pond, Cuckoo Meadow, Hailsham, July 3, 2020 - photo by Katrina Best

With the flood of unpopular new planning applications continuing unabated - a direct result of the failure last year of the Wealden Conservatives' Local Plan - Neil is determined to keep challenging developers (and their supporters) in the Hailsham area. Despite being one of only four Liberal Democrat District Councillors, the efforts of Neil and his handful of opposition colleagues are yielding positive results, such as the recent defeat of a recurring development application to build in the small rural village of East Hoathly that local residents are completely opposed to. Neil says his main focus is on trying to stop any more approvals for unsuitable developments, whether because the site is a known flood zone, or because essential infrastructure - from GP clinics to sewage systems - is not yet in place. "It's an outrage that so many unsuitable new developments in this area have been approved so fast, ignoring not only the protests of local residents, but the obvious lack of basic essential services," he says. "This is one of the reasons I decided to stand for election to East Sussex County Council - I will continue to do everything I can as a District Councillor, but the infrastructure decisions are taken at County level."

Neil can be contacted by email at: neil@wealdenlibdems.org.uk or by phone at: 07811-689186

CLICK HERE FOR NEIL'S CANDIDATE PAGE

Please note: Anne Blake-Coggins is the Liberal Democrat candidate in the Hailsham South District Council by-election

For information on all our candidates please CLICK HERE