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NEWPORT: Victoria ward by-election candidates

NEWPORT: Victoria ward by-election candidates

Muhammad Tariq

On Thursday, December 2, residents of the Victoria ward in Newport will be able to vote for a new councillor to represent them alongside Labour’s Farzina Hussain.

The by-election follows Abdul-Majid Rahman’s resignation. Mr Rahman had represented the ward since 2012, but resigned due to “personal reasons”.

To vote, residents must register by the end of the day (Tuesday, November 16). It is possible to register for a postal vote by November 17 and proxy vote by November 24.

Polls will be open between 7am and 10pm on Thursday, December 2.

There are three candidates standing in the by-election, but who are they?

Gavin John Horton – Welsh Labour

Gavin Horton, owner of Horton’s Coffee, is standing for Welsh Labour.

Mr Horton has been running his café for five years. He said : “The main reason I am standing is because the community has been supportive of me and the business, this is my opportunity to give back.”

Anti-social behaviour is one of the issues Mr Horton wants to tackle. He said work needs to be done to educate young people.

Mr Horton said a police community support officer frequently attends his café to talk to people in the community about their concerns.

Mr Horton, whose café is located on Imperial Way, said: “It was very important for the business to be a hub for the community.”

He grew up in Alway and attended Hartridge High School, now known as Llanwern High School.

Mr Horton said: “I have a connection to the people and the ward, it is where I spend most of my waking hours.

“I want to support local businesses and local people. As a business owner I can understand the issues and concerns they have.”

Before running the café, Mr Horton worked in Newport’s steel works for 20 years.

John Edmunds Miller – Welsh Liberal Democrats

John Miller said he hopes to bring “change” as he stands for the Welsh Liberal Democrats in the upcoming by-election.

Mr Miller has lived in the Victoria ward for ten years and spent most of his career in steel sales at GKN.

Mr Miller said he believes the Labour Party takes the Victoria ward votes for granted.

He said: “Having had two councillors go this year, the Labour Party have totally neglected Victoria and Maindee.”

If elected, Mr Miller intends to tackle fly-tipping and “rife” antisocial behaviour.

Additionally, Mr Miller said parking issues were of particular concern when out knocking doors.

Mr Miller said: “As the only candidate who lives in the ward, I have seen first hand the problems as they develop.”

In his spare time, Mr Miller plays tennis and follows the Wales football team home and away.

Muhammad Tariq – Conservative and Unionist Party

Muhammad Tariq, who was born in Pakistan and now lives in Newport, will be representing the Conservative and Unionist party.

Mr Tariq’s agent, Huw Davies, said that Mr Tariq and the Conservative party have “high hopes” for the by-election.

Mr Davies said: “Mr Tariq wants to show what a Conservative councillor can do for the Victoria ward.”

Mr Tariq, who is an NHS Administrator at the University Hospital of Wales, wants to support the community by promoting litter picking projects and pressing the council to support these types of schemes.

Mr Davies said: “We as a party in Newport are advocating for free parking in the city centre’s car parks over the Christmas period.”

Mr Davies added: “Boris Johnson is bringing in a large new block of voters, therefore we have good prospects but we remain realistic.”

Words: Rhiannon James, Local Democracy Reporter

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