The Green Party has announced that its candidate for the Wealden constituency at the General Election in May is Dr Mark J Smith.
Mark, 52 years old, lives in Heathfield and has been resident in Wealden for over 20 years. An environmental activist, political analyst, and Senior University Lecturer in Politics and International Studies, he has worked in many developed and developing countries. His two children were brought up in the local area and have close connections in Wealden.
Mark is opposed to fracking in the Weald, reductions in services at Eastbourne District General Hospital, cuts in adult social care, and stood up for communities defending livelihoods and local environments throughout his life.
When asked “what can you do for Wealden?” Mark replied:
I grew up in a constituency very similar to Wealden, one poorly served by Conservatives for decades until they encountered a candidate who treated everyone the same and equally well.
Wealden needs an MP with local knowledge based on experience and who cares about the communities rather than a career in Westminster and Whitehall. As a Green, I’m more prudent than Conservatives, especially when it comes to things like fracking, more committed than Liberal Democrats to environmental responsibilities and educational opportunity for people from all backgrounds, and have more experience than Labour (personally, locally, nationally and abroad) on questions of social justice. So, we will fight tooth and nail for the interests of all citizens of Wealden, especially its businesses, communities and environment.
An early promoter of ecological citizenship, Mark has written many books and articles, plus provided news comments on elections, citizen participation and environmental issues. He advises NGOs nationally and internationally, is a consultant on TV/Radio on issues as diverse as disability, Euro-crime, environmental justice and citizen action.
At the 2010 election the Greens received 1,383 votes and came in fifth position with 2.5% share. Of all the main political parties, the Liberal Democrats are the only one still not to have announced who will be their Prospective Parliamentary Candidate in May. Chris Bowers, who stood in 2010, will this time fight Green MP Caroline Lucas for the Brighton Pavillion seat.
In March 2013, incumbent Charles Hendry announced he would stand down as MP at the 2015 election. Nus Ghani was selected as Prospected Parliamentary Candidate for the Conservative Party at an Open Primary in December last year. Peter Griffiths is the UKIP Candidate and eighteen year old Soloman Curtis is representing Labour.
The Secretary of the Party reported that:
Dr Smith was the winner of a postal ballot of all the members of Wealden Green Party. Our membership has increased dramatically recently and we had two excellent candidates to choose between and both received enthusiastic backing from our membership. We are gratified that so many residents of Wealden support our opposition to fracking and seek significant change in how our country is governed. National Green Party policies are decided democratically by Party members and people respect us for that.