Local issues will decide poll result, say hopefuls
Candidates standing in a city by-election next month believe it will be dominated by local issues rather than the plummeting reputations of politicians at Westminster.
They say that on the doorsteps, crime, anti-social behaviour, parking, litter, wheelie-bins being left out and dog-fouling are the problems that residents of Leicester's Castle Ward want resolved.
Political parties have selected their candidates for the by-election on Thursday, September 10, prompted by the resignation of the Green Party's leader Matt Follett.
Two other councillors, Green Phil Gordon and Labour councillor Patrick Kitterick, represent the area, which includes Clarendon Park, much of the city centre and parts of Highfields.
In the battle to join them, the Liberal Democrats have put up former city councillor Joan Garrity, while Labour candidate Lynn Senior and Conservative candidate Jake Wilkinson will also fight for the vacant seat.
Dave Dixey hopes to re-claim the seat for the Green Party, while Zoey Lucas will represent the UK Independence Party and Gareth Henry the Liberal party.
Lynn Senior said: "Issues like graffiti, crime and anti-social behaviour have come up, but the key thing is that people want someone who knows and lives in the area, someone they will see lots of, and someone who understands their issues. That's what I offer. I have lived in the ward for seven years and in the city for 30 years.
"People have said that they are pleased with the traffic calming on Clarendon Park Road, and others in the Walnut Street area are pleased that the council has managed to get bins off streets. That's something I would like to replicate."
The Conservative candidate, 21-year-old Jake Wilkinson, said: "My age is an asset, it should not be a concern for people. Having a young councillor can bring different views and more energy to the role.
"We have done a survey of the area, and people say they do not feel well represented by the current councillors and are not getting the basic services despite paying high council tax.
"Parking in Clarendon Park continues to be a problem. The people do not want a permit scheme, but that does not mean that the problem should be ignored."
Liberal Democrat candidate Joan Garrity said there was a perception that the council should do more in the area, especially relating to dog-fouling and litter.
She said: "I was a councillor for the Clarendon Park area from 1999 to 2007, until boundaries changed. I am an experienced councillor and campaigner. I can hit the ground running.
"Litter and dog-fouling is a major problem. The council has the powers and wardens to tackle it and should be doing more."