Candidates step forward for Hampstead by-election

Four candidates have thrown their hats into the ring to contest the Hampstead Town by-election.

The poll on September 27 was triggered when Conservative Cllr Kirsty Roberts stepped down last week in preparation for a move to America.

Nominations close on Friday and other candidates could still step forward.

Dr Jeffrey Fine, from Gayton Road in Hampstead, has lived in the village for more than 30 years and will be standing for the Liberal Democrats.

The 57-year-old, who works as a GP in a private practice and did some of his training at the Royal Free in Hampstead, said: “I’ve seen a lot change, but crucially the local area has retained its charm and special quality.

“Local shops have gone through a tough time over recent years, but hopefully things have turned the corner – but I think there is so much more that can be done and I’m willing to play my part.

“I see the improvements and transformation on Marylebone High Street and think why not South End Green and Hampstead? Help the local traders, protect what is special and make a real injection of vision and energy: that’s what Cllr Linda Chung and the traders have tried to do and I want to help.”

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Conservative candidate Simon Marcus, 40, of Platt’s Lane, has lived in Hampstead for most of his life and his family have been active in the community for three generations.

The Conservative candidate who captains the Hampstead Heathen’s Rugby Team said: “Whether keeping a full time police station, campaigning for a vibrant high street with local, independent shops or stopping developments that spoil our area, I will fight for what is best for Hampstead.

“My experience founding and running The Boxing Academy, being appointed by the Government to serve on the Independent Riots Communities and Victims Panel or campaigning locally has meant I understand how communities stay strong.”

Simon Marcus still advises the Boxing Academy and works as a consultant for education projects, think tanks, businesses, charities and government.

Green candidate, actor Sophie Dix, mother-of-two, has lived in Hampstead for 20 years. She is passionate about defending small shops and concerned about air pollution.

The Green Party candidate said: “I have been involved in Transition Hampstead since it began.

“Watching all of my favourite shops and cafes close and livelihoods crushed by the ever-accelerating rents, it would be fantastic to think there could be shops put aside for local produce and industry.

“It would likewise be great to address the issue of ever-increasing flight paths over Hampstead and ever-increasing numbers inhalers being given out to children in the area.”

Labour candidaye Maddy Raman, 31, of South Hill Park, has lived in Hampstead for seven years with his wife.

The Labour candidate, who works as a TV editor, said: “My wife and I live next door to, and use, the shops in South End Green. I want to do all I can to help them survive in these tough economic times.”

He is also “passionate” about the NHS. He said: “I’ve campaigned actively to protect the NHS and our local hospital as part of the Keep Our NHS public campaign.

“I would do all I can to protect our local services and amenities, whether it’s our vibrant high street or vital NHS.”

He father-to-be is the governor of a school in West Hampstead.