We’re excited to announce our full slate of Councillor Candidates standing in this year’s Local Elections.

Our team is committed to bringing about positive change in our community, and providing a fresh voice for residents in Guildhall.

Kingston Council desperately needs a recovery plan after years of decline under the Lib Dems and Tories. Labour’s team has a vision for how our borough can work in the interests of local people and the skill to put it into action.

Also check out our local manifesto.

Full details of our team below:


Lizzie Hensman

I have lived in Surbiton and specifically Alexandra ward all my life. I passionately believe in workers’ rights, the labour movement and community organising. I will work hard to show that Labour is a functional party, which improves the lives of all member of the community. I would endeavor to make Kingston a better place to live in for everyone by listening to residents and work to improve the things which matter most to them.

Alexander Lock

I have lived in Tolworth (and Alexandra ward) for 3 years and I’m keen to see a Labour voice in the Council. With a young family myself, my priorities are to ensure that services are maintained for children, families and young people and that our community assets are protected and enhanced for the benefit of all.


Johnnie Byrne

Born and bred in Surbiton, I have lived in Berrylands for the last 20 years and retain a strong loyalty to the local area. I was an active trades’ union volunteer and since retirement, have been involved with various local charities.  I have helped with maintaining  the Fishponds and was part of the Labour team which tried to persuade the Council to restore the stream running through the Park. I have watched with dismay as successive Lib Dem and Tory administrations, despite the dire housing need, squeeze public housing stock and allow public land to be sold off to developers for luxury housing and have failed to maintain leisure facilities. As a former student of history, I look forward to being part of a Labour team with strong and imaginative plans to enhance, not destroy Kingston’s cultural heritage, and make the Borough a vibrant centre, serving the interests of local people.

Lawrence Green

I have lived in Surbiton for 40 years after coming to study for my degree in Applied Chemistry at the then Kingston Polytechnic. I work as a Product Manager for a chemical company now mainly from home in Surbiton. I enjoy walking and swimming and have completed several long distance walks including the South Downs Way. I believe passionately in a fair society with rights and decency for all people and believe Labour can revitalise Kingston.


Bilal Chohan 

Kingston has been home for my entire living memory and if it wasn’t for the NHS, I wouldn’t have been lucky enough to have grown up in the area. As proud as I am of this, I would like to see an increase in support for public services and for the most vulnerable – something which would be neglected without Labour representation – as well as a return to less toxic and divisive political discourse. I am active in sports, community and of course politics including through work, and hope my wide-range of interests and experience would benefit Kingston whilst representing young people who would benefit from once again having access to proper youth clubs and recreational activities which a generation has been deprived of.

Chris Priest

I’ve lived in this borough for over 40 years, and worked in the computer industry until I retired. I’ve served as a councillor for the Canbury area for four years, and as a governor of the Kings Oak primary school for 18 years. The Tories are out of step with the borough, and cannot provide effective opposition. The Liberal Democrats say they are the only alternative, but their record running the council is poor. As a councillor, I will focus on developing the borough sustainably, to meet local needs. And on improving services for those with the greatest needs.


Max Freedman

I grew up in New Malden and have lived in the Borough all my life. I am a trade unionist and political researcher and know that we can do better for our area. Both the local Conservatives and Lib Dems are complacent and have failed to make the most of our outstanding local resources to promote the borough either economically or as a great place to live. Residents deserve so much more, and restoring a Labour voice to the council would bring in new thinking, challenge existing cronyism and ensure a fresh commitment to support all who live here.

Clare Keogh 


Alex Nelson



Dave Cooper

As a keen rambler, I know our local rights of way are not being maintained properly following years of neglect by the Lib Dems. Fly tipping abounds but the council’s contractors are getting away with a sub-standard service. Kingston is on autopilot as the Lib Dems spend more time squabbling with each other than on running the Council. As a result, we are getting inappropriate developments, threats to Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land, and sell-offs of hard-won public assets. The Lib Dems blame everybody but themselves: it’s time for a change!

Tony Murray

I have always thought that, locally as well as nationally, the Labour Party offers the best chance of building a fair and prosperous society.  My first job was with the research team at Labour Party headquarters. I have been involved in campaigning and policy work ever since, while working on in international development studies and analysis of markets.  I lived in Coombe since the 1980s, and want the Council to make sure that developments preserve and enhance amenities enjoyed by the entire population.  With Tories in central government still to make up for their attacks since 2010 on local authority finances, councillors have to concentrate on cutting waste, giving the highest priority to meeting social needs and mitigating the effects of lockdown on the wider educational needs of children in the borough.


Liz Meerabeau

I’ve called New Malden home for over thirty years, having come to London originally to train as a nurse at St George’s. I then worked as a health visitor, so I am passionate about giving young children the best start in life. For many years I worked in universities preparing the next generation of health and care workers and I now chair a charity overseeing the quality of our local services. As a volunteer, I chair a residents’ association working hard to improve the environment in New Malden, and as a councillor I will ensure that the voice of Coombe Vale is heard in our borough.

Ian Parker 

Coombe Vale has been home to myself and my partner for over 20 years, and our son attends a state primary school in the ward. For the majority of this time, I have worked in and around Parliament, with the past decade spent advising senior members of the Labour Party. Before that, I spent five years heading up communications for a local government campaign group. Kingston needs Labour councillors and our country needs a Labour government.

Gareth Thomas

My family and I have lived in Coombe Vale for over a decade.  We’ve seen Tory councillors here and a Tory controlled council, and now we’ve seen Lib Dem councillors here in Coombe Vale with a Lib Dem controlled council, and nothing has changed.  Our daughter goes to the local state school in Coombe Vale and we know first-hand the way the council has failed to give strong leadership to education in the borough.  It’s time for real change; both nationally and locally it’s only the Labour Party that can renew our country.


Gerry Jones

I am a long-time ward resident and local campaigner for Labour.  Following a career in the private sector, I have more recent experience of running a small business and working in the charity sector.  I feel that, particularly in New Malden, we are losing that sensible balance between the private sector and public services. We still don’t have a comprehensive plan for this area.  Having raised a family, I have watched with growing frustration how successive Lib Dem and Tory councils have let private developers run riot in New Malden. As a result today’s children will struggle to find affordable housing in ever more, oversized developments. During the pandemic as our local NHS staff worked so heroically for us, we have seen social inequalities steadily increase. Despite the financial restrictions placed on local authorities by Boris Johnson’s chaotic administration, our Royal Borough can and should do more. Vote Labour on May 5th and we will show you how.

Gary See

I was born in Fulham and lived in rented accommodation with my Mum, but with the help of a local councillor we got a flat on the Alton Estate in Roehampton. This provided secure housing for my Mum to raise a family. In the early 1980’s I worked at The Victoria and Albert Museum where I was active with the Civil and Public Services Association Union. From 1987-2005 I worked at the Post Office and was Assistant Secretary for our Union Branch. From 2005 I ran the family business, a residential moorings, in Hammersmith for ten years. During this time I volunteered for Beanstalk, a charity that helps children with reading difficulties. I also raised my son as a single parent. From my early personal experience social housing is key to building stronger, secure communities, so we must build more and take care of what we have.


Paul Mitchell

I am a family man, with a real passion for grassroots community action and local issues, in particular schools, education, sport and leisure activities. This area is the home I have chosen for my family and I have enjoyed living here for 7 years. My work has always been about helping people through the power of sport, including supporting young people through education and into employment, supporting good physical and mental health and developing programmes for the community. I love being physically active, have a passion for live music and am enjoying growing my own vegetable garden. Local issues are important to me, as I continue to raise my family and enjoy the local area. I also lead on climate change work through my employment, and feel this is an area that Kingston needs to be at the forefront of.

Clive Simmons

I have 32 years’ experience as a Local Authority Social Work practitioner and manager, culminating in 12 years as the Safeguarding Adults lead in two London boroughs. Since ‘retirement’ in 2017, I have continued working as a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at a University, with the fulfilment of supporting Social Workers at the start of their journey to make a difference in peoples’ lives, and as a Safeguarding Adults Trainer and Consultant. I received a commendation from the London Fire Brigade in 2017 for safeguarding adults work in a London borough. I have a longstanding commitment to social justice and, in particular, to advancing equality and inclusion in society.

Christine Thompson

I moved to Kingston 10 years ago from the borough of Lewisham to be near family.  My roots are in a Welsh mining village and Liverpool, so standing up to power is in my DNA. I have been a Labour supporter all my life though I was happily married for 49 years to a Liberal Democrat supporter. I spent much of my adult life living and working in Africa. I have worked as a teacher and in an International Development agency. I am active in faith, community and charity affairs. I believe that we urgently need a return to a more polite and rational political discourse after the divisive, ideological driven talk of the past few years. Amongst the many problems we face the overriding one is the Climate Emergency. In my spare time I play bridge and visit Kew Gardens.


Nick Draper

I have lived most of my life in South West London and recently moved to Kingston after 28 successful years as a Labour Councillor in the London Borough of Merton.  I am anxious to see Labour bringing its prudent yet fair and ambitious local government experience to Kingston: goodness knows the Borough needs it! I’m happily retired after years in retail management and working for the NHSBT blood service.  I look forward to representing the people of King George’s and the Sunray Estate.

Claire Johns-Perring

I am active in my community and local school, volunteering on the PTA, at a charity shop for a local hospice and, most recently, to provide medicines and essential items to refugees from Ukraine. I am passionate about building a fairer and greener community that supports children and families, disabled people, working people, local businesses and those in retirement. If elected, I would work for all and speak up for underrepresented groups. I work as a project manager, mostly in the rail and construction sector and have worked on a number of workplace safety initiatives. I am therefore passionate about making work a safe and fair environment. I am also a parent of a child with additional needs so I understand the daily issues faced by carers and the impact of overstretched services in the NHS and local children’s centres. I will always champion the needs of families and disabled people and their carers.


Ashley Borges 


James Leather

I have been a radio producer at regional and national levels for the last eight years. It has meant that I have lived in vastly different places across England, from Carlisle to Tunbridge Wells, Manchester to Wembley, I have seen much of what, as a country, we have to offer, both good and bad. I want to use this experience to the benefit of Kingston Gate and the borough as a whole. I have been holding politicians to account as a broadcast journalist for years and believe the best way to initiate change is to get involved. Kingston is best served by Labour councillors. Ideals of fairness, value for money and protecting the Borough’s character are cornerstones of my campaign. Rough sleepers in the Borough have increased by 440% since 2010. For Kingston in the 21st century, this is unacceptable. I will fight to tackle the lack of quality and affordable housing. Standards should and will be higher if you vote Labour on 5 May.

Sally Richardson

I have lived In Kingston for many years and was educated at Coombe Girls School and London University.  I am dismayed by the trashing of Kingston’s built environment by developers who have no interest in making Kingston a better place.  High rise luxury flats do nothing to alleviate the shortage of decent family housing for Kingston people.  I promise to oppose unsympathetic development and to fight for good quality new affordable housing with transport links and services including surgeries and schools.  Labour stands for better local services for children and vulnerable adults, a supportive environment to encourage and diversify local businesses, and a creative quarter that would make the most of our unique history and create jobs. Labour can win in Kingston.  All it takes is your votes.  The Lib Dems offer no real alternative to the Conservatives – just more cuts to services and more tower blocks.  Please vote Labour – the real alternative.


Charles Bamford

I have lived and worked in Kingston all my life. I have a young family and I am passionate about making sure that Kingston continues to be a great place to live, work and grow up in. I am the deputy CEO of a Kingston youth charity which has pioneered projects to tackle knife crime and support vulnerable young people. I also lead a community initiative deploying volunteers to protect and help people in Kingston town centre at night time. My years of experience in the voluntary sector have given me a good understanding of our community and how to be a voice for local residents. If elected, I will ensure that our democracy serves local needs and work within the community to rejuvenate our economy and ensure that our Council provides excellent services that enrich the life of our Borough.

Kezia Coleman

I moved to Kingston in 2008 to study at Kingston University. I loved the areas’ strong sense of community and music scene and chose to settle here. I now enjoy the green spaces and riverside with my daughter. I have worked in the voluntary sector for nearly 10 years. I have been a very active campaigner of equal rights for marginalised groups and more recently on the disproportionate impact Covid has had on women. If elected I will champion access and inclusion. Disabled people should not be excluded from accessing parts of our community, which happens far too often. I will fight for investment in good public services for everyone – they are vital to help people thrive and underpin a society that is caring and supportive. It is so sad to see our high streets struggling. I want to help breathe life back into them through innovative ways.

Martin Ellis

I’ve been in Kingston since 1963, attending Beverley Boys (now Coombe) and despite a difficult start with my Father dying of a drug overdose followed by my elder Brother from alcohol addiction, I’ve had a rewarding life. Whilst working as a mechanic on the Portsmouth Road, I studied for a degree in the evenings at Kingston University, which enabled me to join the Civil Service, winning an ‘Outstanding Achievement’ award for the 2012 London Games. I also won the Policy Award at the 2015 Civil Service Awards and served with the World Health Organisation. Over the years I’ve always tried to give back to the community that has been so kind to me in my hardest times, volunteering with Kingston Rugby Club & Rowing Club and currently as an England Boxing coach and Secretary of Surbiton Boxing Club. It would be an honour to now serve as your councillor.


Alice Campbell

I grew up in North West London and attended a mixed, multicultural comprehensive school and though I struggled with dyslexia, I still successfully managed to earn a place at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College where I obtained a degree in Performing Arts and Musical Theatre. One of my passions is singing, which I’ve been doing since I was a young girl and attended ‘Finchley Children’s Music Group’ and ‘Sylvia Young’ weekend school, where I trained in all performing arts. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I grew an interest in both care work and politics. I became a member of the Labour Party in 2015 and I hope to be the voice of those who have both physical and hidden disabilities. I also hope to make others aware of people who often slip through the net.

Armina Rasool



Sean Casey

I have lived close to the High Street in New Malden for 4 years and as well as being a Captain for a major UK airline I am a senior representative for the pilots’ union and have worked both nationally and internationally to make the aviation industry safer and greener. As a Labour councillor I will represent the views and needs of all New Malden residents – not just property developers and private landlords. Your Labour team are on your side, whether that’s in preserving the character of the High Street and making sure any new homes are truly affordable for residents, or ensuring the Malden Centre redevelopment doesn’t rob us of a vital community asset. Only Labour has a recovery plan for Kingston that protects and invests in our public infrastructure, rather than auctioning it off to the highest bidder.

Pat Dobson

I have lived in the borough of Kingston since 1974 and in New Malden for over 30 years. Since my retirement from primary school teaching in 2016 I have been active in the local community with Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness, the RHS and currently with a local children’s nursery. In 2018 I became one of the directors at Kingston Environment Centre, where I am the community gardening lead, membership secretary and collaborate on fundraising. I joined the Labour Party in 2015 and am currently one of the secretaries, so I am very much the public face of our local party as far as our members are concerned. I think New Malden is a great place to live with a huge amount of community involvement, but these efforts are being failed by the Lib Dems. I would be an effective, accessible Labour councillor who would hold regular surgeries for New Malden residents. 

Stephen Dunkling

I am a Chartered Accountant and I have lived for over 30 years in New Malden. I have two grown-up children who attended local State schools before going onto University. I first got into politics when at University where I was Chair of the Labour Club and have been a member for over 35 years. My belief in Labour values of social justice and equal opportunity remain as strong as ever. My main concern is with the overdevelopment of sites in and around New Malden, but also occurring throughout the Borough. Whilst we need new homes, the current Lib Dem administration seems to be building in the interests of developers, whilst there are far too many families either waiting for social housing or are in temporary accommodation. That is a disgrace as is the fact that around one quarter of children in the Borough live in poverty. This should not be happening in what is a relatively affluent area.


Marcela Benedetti

I am a former barrister and, currently a specialist in combating domestic abuse who wants to help make a real difference in our community. After growing up in Argentina I arrived in this country – somewhere I had wanted to live because of Britain’s proud values of diversity and tolerance – in 2004 with a young child. At that time, I was unable to speak English but persevered and was able to complete my studies. Since then, I have worked in the charity sector and managed several domestic abuse services, including in Kingston. I am a regular volunteer at Piper Hall on the Cambridge Estate, where I support the community kitchen. After living locally for 14 years I believe I know what motivates people in Norbiton and across Kingston, and I will do everything I can to improve their quality of life.

Alex Benn-Amir

Norbiton has a special place in my heart having spent the majority of my life living here. My experience in resolving issues means I can bring a cutting edge to holding the Lib Dems and Tories to account with my targeted and candid approach. The slack refuse collection, lack of schools and lack of follow through on the CRE regeneration are just some of the examples that the Lib Dem council has not addressed. I’m ready to hold them accountable and change things for the better. This drive, alongside my passion in helping others, is the reason I’ve put myself forward as a candidate. My goal is to create a richer and more diverse experience for our residents, focusing on schooling, housing and the CRE regeneration, ensuring that Norbiton is not just an after-thought. We can achieve this with your help by electing Labour councillors. 

Laurie South

I have lived in Kingston for thirty years and bring the experience of running two national charities and working as a senior officer in two local authorities. I have been a school governor of a Kingston primary and a secondary school and helped create a charity here to find employment for those with mental health illnesses. For years, Kingston has had a desperate need for more council homes, yet the Lib Dems and Tories have failed us. Norbiton has been the forgotten ward for nursery, primary and secondary schools – only now have they realised there are children in Norbiton! Where are the trees promised by the Lib Dems? The only growth seems to have been in the number of council officers paid over £100,000 per year. Without Labour councillors, Norbiton will remain an after-thought. Labour councillors will make sure the Lib Dems and Tories think Norbiton. 


Grace Bollins Bowers – I’m a young mother and student, born and raised in the borough. I first joined the labour party after having my son in 2018. I have since been a passionate campaigner and have held a variety of roles on the Kingston and Surbiton Labour Party Executive Committee. I’m the incumbent Women’s Officer and stood for the role on the platform that I believe in an equal and more just future for all women and people within the borough. Since having my son, I have felt the full effect of council cuts. I campaigned to protect our Sure Start centres, which even made the BBC News! As a labour councillor for Old Malden, I will strive to ensure our parks and spaces for children are safe and enjoyable; social housing is safe and secure; affordable childcare is more accessible and finally that women have access to domestic violence services.=

Emma Keeley Francis

I have lived in the Borough since 2014. I currently work for an insurance company in Human Resources and I am Chair of Governors at Hollyfield Secondary School in Surbiton. I have two children who both go to school in the Borough. I am passionate about supporting young people, and if elected I will work to reopen the youth clubs that the Lib Dems have closed, as well as working hard for all the residents of Old Malden.


Naomi Bamford-Hurrell

I’m local to Surbiton – growing up in Tolworth and now living here. I work as a project manager for a national charity and volunteer for different organisations within our community. I am passionate about helping the most vulnerable members of our community and will advocate for them. I have a young family and know the importance of Children’s Centres and will help make sure the needs of families are met by Kingston borough. I studied Environment, Science and Society at university and know we have important ecological heritage in Surbiton – particularly the Seething Wells Filter beds and will campaign to protect these. Most of all, I would listen to you if you elected me. I would actively seek out your needs and views on topics which are relevant to you.

Conor Bollins

I was born in Kingston and lived in Surbiton for most of my adult life. Many residents will be familiar with my mother and grandmother, who provided school dinners for children across the borough including St. Andrews & St. Marks. I teach history at two London universities and been Chair of Kingston & Surbiton Labour since 2019. Under my leadership, Labour has opposed the cuts to local services and rampant overdevelopment by Kingston Council’s Lib Dem administration. Local people may be familiar with my anti-racist campaigning, environmental activism, and opposition to the Lib Dems on issues such as their failure to adequately provide Free School Meals over lockdown. I have consistently stood up for residents and would be honoured to represent you. Labour is offering a vision of how Kingston Council can work in the interests of the whole community.

Charlie Deacon

Having lived in St Mark’s for 4 years I’m proud to call Surbiton my home. In this time, I’ve been disappointed in the way the Lib Dem administration has treated Kingston – we deserve better. I work in London for a solar energy developer, so climate and biodiversity issues are close to my heart. As your Labour councillor I will continue to fight to secure a community-focussed future for the Seething Wells Filter Beds, support measures to improve biodiversity and ensure that Kingston Council lives up to its commitments in its Climate Emergency declaration. Using my experience as a private renter and commuter, I will push for good homes, sustainable transport measures and effective public services – all of which are vital to enable our flourishing community in Kingston & Surbiton.


Simon Ayre

Originally from Teesside, I have lived and worked in London all my adult life, and in central Surbiton for more than twenty years. In a career working as a professional IT Project Manager for inner London councils I specialised in Parking, Finance and Housing, followed by a period working with Unison the Public Service union. I believe strongly that in order to make the most of the power of Local Government we must ensure it is well run, professional and honest in its dealings. It must focus on local issues and put residents at the heart of all decision making.

Greta Farian

I have lived in the Borough for 30 years and currently live in Surbiton Town Centre. I am semi-retired after a career that included spending 20 years working in Local Government for Westminster Council, providing welfare advice and support to vulnerable tenants. Until recently, I was a full time official for the public sector trade union, Unison, advising members working in London boroughs including Kingston. I currently serve on Kingston Council’s Standing Advisory Committee on Religious Education in Schools. I am passionate about tackling inequality through providing decent homes, safe streets and employment opportunities for all our residents.

Rebecca Way

I have lived in Surbiton for the last four years, and feel lucky to have found such a welcoming community in such a lovely area. I believe we can do better as a borough than the options currently provided by the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives and as a result am excited to be standing as a Labour candidate in this election. I am very proud of the manifesto we are running on, and as your councillor would particularly fight to see an increase in truly affordable homes in the borough. I feel lucky to be living here and more people should have the same opportunity.


Tony Banks

I’m a sports journalist and have lived in Surbiton for the past 30 years and the borough all my life. I went to Richard Challoner School in New Malden, whilst my two children also went to local primary and secondary schools. I have been active in local junior sport for many years and I’m passionate about facilities for young people in the borough. In particular, I have been concerned by the delays over the Kingfisher Leisure Centre project. But the decline and neglect of the facilities at King George’s Field in Tolworth is also something that needs to be addressed and has not been by the current Liberal Democrat Council. In general, sports and leisure facilities have been allowed to decline in the borough – and that is something that needs to be addressed. Labour have been successful before in Tolworth, where our councillors have worked hard and produced good results. With your help we can be again. 

Ben Kerkham

I was born and raised in Tolworth and now have my own family. I first joined the Labour party in 2020 after seeing the impact of Covid on our community. I have since been an avid campaigner in Kingston and have become the videographer. I’m passionate about our local area and making our community a kinder, more equal and safer place for us all. I believe we should work to protect our Green Spaces. It is vital for our youth to have safe, accessible spaces to grow up in and enjoy. I’m concerned about the current lack of affordable housing, especially for young families, and believe that a Labour council will strive to make housing a priority – not just a venture for profit. I also believe that we should protect our high streets and ensure that the excellent small businesses in the borough are able to thrive.

Praveen Kolluguri

I work as a Marketing Manager in telecommunications and an activist living in Tolworth. Originally from Hyderabad, a city in South India, I moved to the UK in 2008 for my MBA. My family is a proud NHS family as my wife, Kajal, is a Senior Paediatric Nurse. We also have a daughter, Lakshmi, aged 2, who goes to nursery in the local area. I am passionate about social justice and work on issues related to migrant rights, caste, race, gender and gender identity related issues. I strongly believe in Labour values of having a strong community and good social security for the vulnerable in our society. I am running as a councillor as a parent whose child will grow up in the community and believe that Tolworth deserves to be rejuvenated on Labour values rather than being stuck in the vicious cycle of Lib Dem and Tory austerity and mismanagement.


Mark Garland


Frank Wingate

I have been a resident of Kingston for the last twenty years, living in Park Road. I’m a part-time school teacher, with a track record in business communications and education. I first joined the Labour Party back in 1970. My main aim as a candidate is to break the inept and inert Tory/Lib Dem dominance in Kingston, which has for years neglected the urgent needs of the town. We desperately need more properly affordable homes. We urgently need a pro-active Green New Deal. It is shameful Kingston has one of the worst child poverty rates in London. We must re-energise our local economy post-Covid. This current cabal running the Council are doing nothing about these pressing problems. It’s time for real action. It’s time for a change. Vote Labour. Vote Frank Wingate.

Kingston Labour Candidates 2022
Kingston Labour Candidates 2022
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