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Barnhill ward by-election: The candidates
THE RESIGNATION of a local councillor will see a by-election take place at the beginning of May.
The Barnhill ward requires a new council representative after Labour councillor Judith Beckman resigned.
Four local people are hoping to be elected into the role in the poll to be held on Thursday May 3, the same day as the elections for the London Mayor and the Greater London Assembly.
The residents up for election are, Martin Francis of the Green Party, Michael Pavey of the Labour Party, Kanta Pindoria from the Conservative Party and independent candidate Venilal Vaghela.
There is no candidate to represent the Liberal Democrat party. A Liberal Democrat spokesperson said: "The Liberal Democrats are focussing efforts this May on our excellent London Assembly and Mayoral candidates."
Martin Francis: Green Party
Mr Francis lives in the Barnhill ward.
He is chair of governors at Chalkhill Primary School where he also volunteers two days a week to help children read and runs the school's Eco Club.
Martin says he will "champion facilities for children and young people" including the early completion of Chalkhill Park, refurbishment of the BMX track and installation of a skateboarding area in St David's Close on the Chalkhill Estate.
He also promises to press for action by the council to improve insulation of local housing and promote energy saving measures to reduce carbon emissions and energy bills, as well as campaigning for libraries and supporting small businesses among other things.
Michael Pavey: Labour Party
Michael is the chair of governors at Wembley Primary School and says he "knows the difficulties that young families in Barnhill face", adding that he is determined to do all in his power to help.
Michael has been talking to parents concerned about primary school places for their children and says he has supported Brent Council in securing an extra £25 million to provide extra places.
He has 10 years' experience helping people into work and hopes to guide the council's new back-to-work scheme to help ease the strain on households.
Barry Gardiner, Labour MP for Brent North, said: "These are tough times for residents across Brent, what Barnhill needs is a local champion who understands the challenges households face."
Michael's pledges include fighting cuts, helping local people into work, supporting families and campaigning for lower transport fares.
Kanta Pindoria: Conservative
Mrs Pindoria was born in Gujarat and has lived and worked in Wembley for more than 24 years. She is married, and has two children who attended Fryent School. Kanta is "proud to have strong links in the Barnhill community on a personal, professional and community setting".
Mrs Pindoria runs her own training and consulting business in Brent; providing skills for the unemployed especially in education and the construction sector. Kanta is active in the local Asian community and is a governor for two schools in Brent.
She said: "I would like to be the voice to hold Brent Council to account. I shall work on behalf of all communities on the many local issues concerning residents. I shall fight to re-instate our Preston Library. I shall insist that one hour free parking is brought back for Bridge and Preston Roads.
"I will fight to make sure funding is used towards activities that allow full value for the local people of Barnhill."
Mr Vaghela has lived in the Barnhill ward for 43 years, and was awarded the Brent Citizenship Award in 2003 and 2005 for 20 years of community work and 23 years as a school governor.
He is involved in a number of groups including being the chairman of the Brent Holocaust Memorial Day Committee and chair of the Brent Independent Advisory Group to the MET Police.
He is also a member of the Brent Multi Faith Forum and the fair trade network among other groups.
He said: "I am 67-years-old and although I am retired and a pensioner I contribute more hours now to volunteer groups."
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