Hospice nurse Antonia Berelson has been selected by the Labour Party to fight the Darwell by-election for a seat on Rother Council.
The 40-year-old mother of three plans to campaign strongly against “the creeping privatisation” of the NHS as well as issues close to the hearts of the electorate in the villages of Netherfield, Burwash, Dallington, Mountfield and Brightling.
Antonia, who works at St Michael’s Hospice, in St Leonards, and lives in Battle, said: “I am extremely worried about the future of the NHS.
“Everything is slowly being privatised. Patients can see what is happening and staff are slowly being stretched more and more and being put under extra strain.
“The NHS is being deliberately under resourced by this Government and I feel it is my duty to protest about what is going on.”
Antonia joined the Labour Party after the General Election in 2015 when she said she felt “so depressed at the result that I just had to do something”.
She says residents in the Darwell ward have already contacted her with their concerns which include poor public transport, a lack of local amenities, the high cost of rented accommodation and little council house provision.
“We need to start building more homes, particularly decent quality council houses where people are not at the mercy of private landlords and extortionate rents.
“People are also very concerned about the lack of social mobility and we need better schools and more opportunities for young people.
“I also believe that mental health should be put on a par with physical well-being and funded on a equal basis as it is such a crucial issue.”
Roger McCarthy, secretary of the Bexhill and Battle Labour Party, said: “Our party has had an injection of enthusiastic supporters who are passionate about providing a fairer society – and Antonia epitomises that spirit.
“It is terrific that the residents of the Darwell ward have such a top rate Labour candidate to vote for when they go to the polls.”
The Darwell by-election is being held on October 27 for the seat on Rother District Council.
You can email Antonia at firstname.lastname@example.org