MEET the candidates who are standing for the Meon Valley by-election for Hampshire County Council.

The by-election is taking place after former county councillor Hugh Lumby resigned after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

Candidates from the Conservative Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and the Labour Party are now standing for the election on May 2.

Winchester City Council will run the by-election in the division of Meon Valley.

READ MORE: 'My heart said to soldier on': County councillor steps down due to health issues

After being invited to send in a profile ahead of the election, here is what the candidates have said:

Vivian Achwal (Lib Dem)

Hampshire Chronicle: Cllr Vivian Achwel was Mayor of Winchester in 2022Cllr Vivian Achwel was Mayor of Winchester in 2022

I’ve been one of the City Councillors for Whiteley & Shedfield ward – the biggest part of the Meon Valley county division – since 2008 – campaigning for local people on the kind of rural and urban issues that we see across the whole area.

During that time, I’ve worked hard to protect our countryside – going to the county council as part of the successful campaign to stop the ‘Five Oaks Quarry’ in Shedfield and successfully getting enforcement against buildings being built in the countryside without permission.

I am also fighting the county council’s proposals to close Bishop’s Waltham and Alresford tips – with all the extra risk of fly-tipping in our beautiful countryside that this represents.

I’ve worked hard to help our area cope with the pressure of extra development – including getting Yew Tree Drive open for all traffic, taking on developers when they fall short of their promises, campaigning for safer streets and for the school and GP places we need for the new residents of our area.

There’s so much change needed at the County Council.  They’re way too slow in tackling climate change. They’re not moving fast enough to make our roads safer – especially for walkers and cyclists. And they can do more to protect our countryside and rivers.

Electing me is a chance to send an experienced hard-working councillor to the County Council and send a clear message that much-needed change is coming to Hampshire.

Neil Bolton (Conservative)

Following the retirement of the much-respected Cllr Hugh Lumby, it is my privilege to have been selected to stand for the Meon Valley Division in the upcoming by-election.

Hampshire Chronicle: Neil BoltonNeil Bolton (Image: LDR)

I live in Woodlands, with my wife and children, and after a 30-year career in business, I have, for the last two years, proudly represented the Upper Meon Valley Ward on Winchester City Council.

Many of the issues affecting my ward will be familiar across the wider Meon Valley. Speeding vehicles, flooding, potholes, the threat of bus route cancellation and local tip closures are all burning issues.

The average speed cameras on the A32 and the A272 have had an impact on the number of antisocial bikers in the areas, but speeding is still an issue, particularly in our villages. Residents want reductions in speed limits. I will continue to work with them to achieve this.

In West Meon, flooding has become a major issue and working with Parish Councillors and residents we are campaigning to improve drainage throughout the village. Local flooding across the Meon Valley needs to be properly addressed.

Inflation and adverse weather have played their part to make potholes a major problem. The £130m increase in funding over 10 years, from the Government, for potholes repairs, is having an impact but I want us to continue to invest more and ensure we are getting value for money.

I want to protect our already infrequent bus services and keep our local tips open as part of the County Services Review.

I know from Hugh, that contentious planning applications, such as waste, landfill and recycling applications in Shedfield, and the expansion of Silverlake, will need a strong voice to represent resident’s interests.

SEE ALSO: Letter: 'Hampshire County Council is so cash strapped'

There are still many challenges ahead across our county, but I feel passionate about where we live and work and want to commit myself to making it a better place for all of us. I hope you will support me to do this on May 2.

Oliver Stephen Hirsch (Labour Party)

Labour candidate for the County Council by-election is Oliver Hirsch, a criminal barrister practising in the Crown Court.

Hampshire Chronicle: Oliver HirschOliver Hirsch (Image: Winchester Labour)

Like all Labour candidates, he is standing months before the imminent general election when only Labour can replace the appalling chaos of the present Tory government. His agent Patrick Davies, a former Winchester city councillor and parliamentary candidate, points out that the new Labour Government will need to work in cooperation with local councils to repair the terrifying damage done to local services by 14 years of Tory (and Liberal Democrat) imposed austerity. Only a strong group of Labour councillors on every council will be a serious partner for that new Labour Government.

Labour will do things differently to usher in a decade of national renewal and get Britain’s future back both locally and in national government.

Its Green Prosperity Plan is a mission to grow the economy and deliver clean power by 2030. 

Funded by a windfall tax on oil and gas giants and borrowing to invest within fiscal rules, it will:

  • Deliver clean power by 2030, saving households hundreds of pounds on annual household bills and provide a cheaper, zero-carbon electricity 
  • Switch on Great British Energy, investing in clean homegrown power, creating jobs across the country and ending the energy insecurity Britain faces under the Conservatives.
  • Insulate Britain’s homes and cut energy bills for good.

Malcolm Wallace (Green Party)

Hampshire Chronicle: Malcolm WallaceMalcolm Wallace (Image: LDR)

As a current Winchester City councillor, I have worked hard to speak up for our area including successfully combatting over-development in our villages, protecting our local rivers and waterways and improving accessibility for our residents.

Through my career as an engineer and program manager, I have built up the skills and experience needed to get things done. I would be honoured to represent the Meon Valley at Hampshire County Council and dedicate my skills to working for our community, achieving even more for local residents.