Council elections: meet two of St Albans and Harpenden's Green candidates

Simon Grover

Simon Grover - Credit: St Albans Green Party

We meet some of the Green candidates standing for election at county and district level on May 6.

Kyle Riley – Harpenden West candidate
Kyle Riley is Harpenden born and bred. He works hard for our community, all year round - from reporting blocked drains and gullies to knocking on doors to listen to residents and help with their questions.

His voluntary work includes Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust and the local Beekeepers Association. And he works  with Green councillor Simon Grover to campaign for improvements to the area.

Unlike others, Kyle doesn’t have party bosses telling him what to say or how to vote. He’s free to speak his mind, to speak up for residents, and to speak up for Harpenden. He’ll always put the interests of residents first.

Greens in St Albans district are known for their fresh approach, including new ideas that help the environment AND save Council Tax payers’ money. As we emerge from lockdown, we need this kind of thinking more than ever. But all the councillors in Harpenden are from just one party. With Kyle Riley, voters have the chance to elect a councillor who will make a difference.

A lot of people feel it’s not healthy to have Harpenden represented by councillors who are all from one party. And, as there are two council elections on 6th May, many people are supporting Kyle Riley for the district council while perhaps sticking with their usual party for the county council.

After talking to hundreds of local people during our election campaign, Kyle has found tremendous support for his campaign. Harpenden has always been Conservative, but so many people have said how pleased they are that Kyle is offering a serious alternative at this election – as a young person, born and bred in Harpenden, and full of enthusiasm and fresh ideas.

Kyle is looking forward to working with Green councillor Simon Grover on St Albans District Council. In ten years, Greens have won lots of improvements for the city and district. Harpenden has made progress environmentally, but it’s not enough. Kyle wants to hold our council to account on its promises following the declaration of a climate emergency. Then we will all benefit from a greener, more sustainable environment.

Kyle Riley

Kyle Riley - Credit: PHOTO SYNERGY

Simon Grover – Councillor for St Peter’s ward
Simon Grover has been a district councillor for St Peter’s ward since 2011, and is seeking re-election this year.

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He’s a hard-working councillor who responds quickly to requests for information and help, and is always happy for residents to talk to him either on the phone or in person. After 10 years, Simon has a good sense of how to get things done for residents, and how to help them get the most out of the council.

He has helped with planning problems, cleared fly-tipping, got blue badge parking bays installed, put in litter bins and bike racks, and got potholes filled.

As the leader of the Green and Independent group on the council, Simon recently negotiated a host of measures that the council accepted as part of its Budget and Plan, including insulation to make homes cheaper to heat, electric car charging plans to reduce air pollution, and solar power projects for cheap, clean electricity. He’s also won backing from the council for the district’s residential roads to have a 20mph default speed limit.

In the city and district more widely, Simon’s passion is for improving our environment and tackling the climate emergency. His many achievements on this theme include getting hundreds of solar panels onto our leisure centres – saving money and saving carbon too.

Simon is working to make sure the council prioritises this vital work, which benefits everyone in the district.

On controversial issues, from the Charter Market to the Local Plan, Simon is free to speak and vote as he pleases – the Green Party doesn’t tell their local councillors what to do but leaves them free to act independently. So Simon is free to speak his mind and speak up for residents. But he also works closely with other councillors, whatever party they stand for, because that’s the way to get things done.

As the only Green councillor so far in St Albans, Simon is appealing to the residents of St Peter’s ward to back his hard work for people and the city, by re-electing him on 6th May.