Lincoln Bracebridge by-election: Meet the candidates

The 5,801 people eligible to vote in the Bracebridge ward in south Lincoln are called to go to the polls on Thursday, August 22, in a by-election for a new city councillor.

The by-election was called by the City of Lincoln Council after former council leader Councillor Darren Grice didn’t attend any council meetings this year.

He was removed from the post in July. Since, five parties have put forward their candidates for the 33rd city councillor.

The City of Lincoln Council is controlled by Labour with a majority of 24 councillors, and Conservatives have eight seats, meaning that whichever candidate wins, the balance of power at the council will not be affected.

Ward residents will be able to choose from Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem, UKIP and TUSC candidates at the polling stations, which have been confirmed at St Columba’s Church Centre, St Christopher’s School and Manor Leas Junior Academy.

Polls open at 7am until 10pm.

The candidates are: David Denman – Conservative, Katie Vause – Labour, Ross Pepper – Liberal Democrats, Karen Williams — Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), and Elaine Warde — UK Independence Party. We asked each candidate a series of questions. Read the Q&As below:


David Denman – Conservative

David Denman

David Denman

Full name: David Denman
Age: 52
Occupation: Senior Ecologist
Marital status: Engaged
Children: None
Birth town: Ormskirk, West Lancashire

Tell us something about you that not many people know:

In my spare time I follow cricket and try to play the drums.

What are the most important issues that need to be addressed in your ward and what actions would you take to tackle some of the issues affecting people in your ward?

Working with Lincolnshire County Council and contractors to ensure roadworks on Newark Road and Brant Road are completed as smoothly as possible with minimum disruption. I want to work with local schools and residents to find lasting solutions to parking issues, particularly on Hykeham Road. Additionally, monitor planning applications for Bracebridge to ensure that they are in the best interests of residents and local businesses. I’ll work with all community leaders to improve Bracebridge with better facilities and services for local people, including protecting and enhancing local bus services for our community.

Basically, do whatever I can to help all those hardworking people and families in Bracebridge who simply want to get on in life.

Are there any party policies to which you have a different view?

I am a committed Conservative. We are not like the Labour Party with a weak leader and divided party.

Why and how did you get into politics?

Both parents were active in local politics, and my dad was Chairman of Aintree Town Council for many years. After university, I became involved in Conservative politics in Peterborough.


Katie Vause – Labour

Katie Vause

Katie Vause

Full name: Mrs Katie Vause
Age: 31
Occupation: Head of Geography at Lincoln Castle Academy
Marital status: Married
Children: Three girls aged 13, 7 and 4
Birth town: Lincoln

Tell us something about you that not many people know:

I have quite a rare phobia – I am petrified of balloons!

What are the most important issues that need to be addressed in your ward and what actions would you take to tackle some of the issues affecting people in your ward?

There are many issues in Bracebridge which need to be addressed. First includes action to prevent the closures of nearby libraries which will affect the lives and service provision for residents of all ages. Second, I’m keen to call for an evening bus service for Brant Road residents and thirdly, there is a need to develop youth provision across the ward. There are currently little opportunities for young people living in Bracebridge and this needs to be addressed in order to reduce crime, anti-social behaviour and to improve the quality of life for all.

The most important factor for me from being a local resident of the ward myself is that a councillor must be someone who is willing to listen and action casework even if this is on an individual basis — and this is exactly what I intend to do. Whether residents are concerned with dog fouling, on street parking or cuts to services, my priority is ensuring I’m approachable and in proving that I am committed to dealing with each and every issue in an effective and positive way.

Are there any party policies to which you have a different view?

In terms of national policy I would like to see more of an opposition to Michael Gove (Secretary of State for Education). He’s had at least one vote of no confidence from headteachers and his current handling of the education system is very damaging to young people. Labour need to question Gove much more on his policies but also need to set out clearly their own strategy for when they return to government.

Why and how did you get into politics?

I have been a teacher for over seven years and through that time I have been involved with a number of projects where politics has been a major factor. I have worked with several local politicians who have inspired me with their passion and commitment to the role — something which I aim to emulate. Central Government changes in education have been frustrating over the last three years and has fuelled my interest in politics.

Added to this is the fact that I’m incredibly proud of my hometown and my ward. This has all spurred me on to become a councillor in order to be a local voice for local residents of the Bracebridge ward.


Ross Pepper – Liberal Democrats

Ross Pepper

Ross Pepper

Full name: Ross David Pepper
Age: 27
Occupation: Optical Assistant
Marital status: Single
Children: None
Birth town: Lincoln

Tell us something about you that not many people know:

I used to be a chorister at St Peter at Gowts Church when I was younger. We performed at many Christmas light switch ons in the city centre, and being 10 at the time was the best bit.

What are the most important issues that need to be addressed in your ward and what actions would you take to tackle some of the issues affecting people in your ward?

Currently the roadworks around the Newark Road junction with Brant Road are causing residents several problems. Many residents are faced with increased fuel costs to avoid the delays and tailbacks caused by the works. I would pressure the council to improve the situation at the Newark Road junction improvements. With many weeks still to go, efforts to make the situation better for residents needs to happen.

We have also had several residents come to us concerned with speeding motorists, especially on more residential streets like Calder Road and Larne Road. I would like to work alongside local residents to find a solution to the speeding issue. There are many methods which could be effective, but there need to be consultation with local residents to which they think is best for their area.

There is also the need for a pedestrian crossing near the doctors surgery on Brant Road, and across the ward there are pockets of anti-social behaviour that need tackling.

Are there any party policies to which you have a different view?

I broadly support most of my own party’s policies as they are working for a stronger economy in a fairer society enabling every person to get on in life. I do differ on some of the coalition policies however.

Why and how did you get into politics?

I got into politics during my sixth form days at St Peter and St Paul’s. It was during the Iraq War and I found myself opposing the vast majority of staff and students by saying the invasion was illegal. I backed the Lib Dems position and it led me to look further into what they stood for. I went on to join the party at university.


Karen Williams — Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC)

Karen Williams

Karen Williams

Full name: Karen Elizabeth Williams
Age: Wouldn’t say
Occupation: Mental Health Worker, just returning to work after three surgeries this year
Marital status: Single
Children: A 23-year-old son
Birth town: Devizes, Wiltshire, but moved to Lincoln at one year old

Tell us something about you that not many people know:

I run an open access Community Percussion Orchestra.

What are the most important issues that need to be addressed in you ward?

Issues of public services being lost, jobs being lost. All the cuts imposed by central government handed down to local government which are hacking away at our communities and neighbourhoods. The Library Service is currently under threat of closure. I have joined local community groups fighting for them to be unconditionally kept open, sustained as they are by professionals.

Bracebridge Library is actually just across the electoral boundary, but my earliest childhood memories are of going to the Bracebridge Library as a special weekly treat. Then as an older child being able to make my own way there after school [Bracebridge Junior School, now the Community Centre]. For so many people from all walks of life and all ages it is an essential service and a safe social hub like no other. It is great to see everyone coming together to fight for libraries.

What actions would you take to tackle some of the issues affecting people in your ward?

I continue to campaign for accessible and affordable public transport. The mumber 13/14 has been decimated like so many across the city. The current road congestion at Brant Road corner has not been thought through as part of integrated public transport service.

The grievous ‘bedroom tax’ is hitting everyone across the city, and individuals in Bracebridge have been badly affected. Build plenty of eco-efficient council houses to meet everyone’s need. There’s no need for fear of eviction and artificial competitition.

Are there any party policies to which you have a different view?

I support everything Trade Unionists And Socialists Against Cuts campaigns for: A society and services run for everyone’s needs not furthering private greed at every turn. Enabling people to have a living without struggling to find and keep work and without justifying why they cannot work for whatever long or short-term reason; ensuring everyone has good and timely access to health and social care (we must fight to defend our NHS! ).Everyone of all cultures and nationalities can live productive and mutually supportive lives side-by-side in each neighbourhood.

Why and how did you get into politics?

I was brought up to believe in the greater good and have always been a socialist. Got into local and environmental politics five years ago.


Elaine Warde — UK Independence Party

Elaine Warde

Elaine Warde

Full name: Elaine Elizabeth Warde
Age: 62
Occupation: Retired, does volunteer work
Marital status: Married
Children: Two grown up daughters
Birth town: Manchester

Tell us something about you that not many people know:

I worked within a Young Offenders Institure in Lincolnshire, and was previously a counsellor for drug and alcohol abuse victims.

What are the most important issues that need to be addressed in your ward and what actions would you take to tackle some of the issues affecting people in your ward?

There are many issues that need to be addressed, however I believe the most important issue at present is the proposal to close libraries.

I’ll support the people of the Bracebridge Ward in lobbying the County Council to rethink their actions.

Are there any party policies to which you have a different view?

In the UK Independence Party, councillors elected do not have a party whip. If there are any party policies I feel did not best affect the Bracebreidge Ward, I can, and would, take a different view.

Why and how did you get into politics?

I was annoyed at how people’s concerns seemed to be ignored. I feel very strongly that people, young and old, need a voice on the council and I would like to be that voice. I feel that UKIP strongly believes in supporting the voice of the people.


The Lincolnite will bring you live coverage of the by-elections results on August 22.