Who's Who

Lewes Town Councillor Janet Baah

Dr Janet Baah

Bridge WardLib Dem
07709 968337
My family moved to beautiful Lewes in 2001 from Ghana. Although we were well received and welcomed, and soon became part of the community, little did I know or think at that time I would one day be elected to serve on the Town Council. I want to be a Councillor for a new era, creating a fresh environment for all the people of Lewes. I seek to be a representative for everyone, promoting partnership working, equality, and respect.

Lewes Town Councillor Matthew Bird

Matthew Bird

Priory WardGreen
07890 617247
I am a Chartered Environmentalist and have two Masters in climate change. I have lived in Lewes for over 12 years and worked at Lewes District Council for 16 years leading on sustainability, climate change and energy. Helped initiate many local projects such as Seedy Saturday, solar panels at Wallands and Ringmer, wind turbine at Beechwood Hall and energy efficiency support for low income families. More recently I led Climate South East and currently work in local government leading in the rollout of electric vehicle charging, cycle route planning and all things sustainability. I combined my passion for cycling and cooking in setting up a pop-up bike café, Bean Cycling, at the Nutty Wizard and am committed to a Lewes where cycling is the norm rather than the exception.

Lewes Town Councillor Richard Burrows

Richard Burrows

Bridge WardLib Dem
01273 480423
I taught for many years at Priory School, first English, then Classics. I am the secretary of Lewes Priory Cricket Club and consider it a privilege to live in the town and to serve on the Council.

Lewes Town Councillor Stephen Catlin

Stephen Catlin

Priory WardIndependent
07803 774858
Many Lewesians remember Stephen's eponymous confectionery and tobacco store on Lewes High Street with great affection. Its role on the High Street started in 1922, as The Central Tobacco Stores, and continued through F.E. Hall's days until it moved to the Needlemakers, closing in 2011. While running the store, Catlin's sometimes tart views on the Town appeared in the on-line Viva Lewes, appropriately in a column headed The Curmudgeon. Independent and forthright, he stood as an independent candidate for Lewes Town Council in Priory ward in May 2011, was elected and re-elected in 2015, when he stood also for the District Council and was elected to that too. His wide-ranging interests include gardening (evidenced by the three beds by the Premier Inn) music and the arts.  He serves on six town council panels and committees. Stephen managed Theatres in London’s West End, has worked for the British Film Institute and is a Corps donor to the Royal Ballet School. As from 14th May 2020, Cllr Catlin was elected Vice-Chair of Sussex Community Rail Partnership (Formerly known as Southern Community Rail Partnership.)  

Councillor Emily Clarke

Emily Clarke

Castle WardLabour
07598 087455
I was delighted to be elected to Lewes Town Councillor at the 2022 by-election to represent the residents of Castle Ward, as the first Labour Councillor since 1979! I am passionate about community and sustainability. I run a sustainable business in The Needlemakers in Lewes as well as two award winning community projects: Landport Community Café and Lewes School Uniform Bank. Both projects aim towards zero waste, have community support at their heart and offer practical solutions to local problems. I bring experience and qualifications from my previous job in supporting people with housing and benefits advice and look forward to advocating for residents in these areas. In my spare time, I enjoy long walks with my family and two rescue dogs, paddle boarding at Barcombe Mills or Cuckmere Haven and supporting Lewes FC at the Dripping Pan as one of 2000+ community owners.

Lewes Town Councillor Guy Earl

Guy Earl

Bridge WardLib Dem
07899 082856
I am a retired Banker and financial adviser. Interests in theatre (including via ‘Angel’ Investment) and opera (full member of Glyncdebourne Opera Festival Society). Memberships of Eunity Lewes (European Movement) and The National Trust.

Lewes Town Councillor Rob Handy

Rob Handy

Priory WardGreen
07719 693954
I moved to Sussex in 1995 to study Environmental Chemistry at Sussex University and have since campaigned for many environmental causes. I have been a secondary school science teacher for 20 years and I’m now a senior leader at Seaford Head School where I talk to young people every day who are passionate and want to contribute their ideas and actions towards a sustainable future. Living on the Nevill, I enjoy walking, running and cycling on the South Downs. I have also taken active roles in Wildflower Lewes, Plastic Free Lewes and more recently, Nevill Residents Association.

Lewes Town Councillor James Herbert

James Herbert

Castle WardGreen
07886 434112
Awaiting bio from James Herbert

John Lamb

John Lamb

Bridge WardLib Dem
07877 972375
Living in Malling I want to preserve the area’s green spaces, ensure more social housing is made available to residents and limit the impact of traffic on the town. I am an active member of local community groups. As a Liberal Democrat I am a strong supporter of remaining in the EU and of my party’s ideas for a fairer more equitable society. I am a member of Lewes Rowing Club and sing regularly at the Saturday Folk Club in the Elephant and Castle.

Lewes Town Councillor Imogen Makepeace

Imogen Makepeace

Priory WardGreen
07831 106777
Having been re-elected to the Town Council to serve the public for another 4 years, I am energised by their support for new ideas. I look forward to trying to improve provision for cycling and walking which will reduce our pollution and congestion and increase the engagement of our town by residents and visitors.

Lewes Town Councillor Wendy Maples

Dr Wendy Maples

Priory WardGreen
07769 838698
Dr Wendy Maples is a teaching and learning consultant dedicated to supporting lifelong learning. She is a 20+ year resident of Lewes, inspired by both the unique traditions of the town and its rebelliousness. She is committed to prioritising sustainability in the Town and to achieve sound environmental objectives. She is a coach and was a co-founder of the Beachcombers recreational adult softball team and enjoys the occasional game of stool ball.

Graham Mayhew

Dr Graham Mayhew

Priory WardIndependent
01273 472594
Graham is a former Mayor and Academic Historian.

merlin milner

Merlin Milner

Bridge WardLib Dem
07981 528960
Awaiting bio from Merlin Milner

Lewes Town Councillor Ruth OKeeffe

Ruth O’Keeffe

Priory WardIndependent
07941 151989

My politics  I have always been interested in empowering local people, so that they can make a difference and influence decisions themselves. I will campaign on environmental issues, especially the upkeep and maintenance of Lewes and the town’s services. I also examine specific issues such as traffic, parking, floods and housing More about me I was first elected as a Town Councillor for Priory Ward in 1999 and have lived in East Sussex since 1987. I am a teacher by profession, and have also worked as an administrator at a special school, raising money for equipment and resources for the children. I am currently working as a Councillor at two levels, District and Town, and also served as a County Councillor for many years until 2021. But how did I get here? In 1998, I was a parent governor at a local Lewes primary school. A colleague from the Town Council asked if I'd ever considered standing in the local elections, so that sparked my interest. I decided to stand as a councillor as I wanted to make a positive difference to the local community, by solving constituents' problems, and perhaps maintaining existing coherent policies and influencing new ones that could help them further.  My community  I am really interested in the people who live in my community. It is important to spend time finding out about what is happening in the local community by talking and listening to local residents. Keeping a detailed diry and a small notebook to write down everyone's requests and queries is vital. I enjoy being able to help people sort issues out by providing them with the information they require, making sure that their views are heard, and that the Council and relevant officers are fully aware of local feeling. Particular concerns include traffic, parking, access to services, flooding and approaching local government. Securing funding and encouraging different groups to work together on community projects has been particularly enjoyable.  My home life I have lived in Lewes since 1987 and have four children and two grandchildren. My spare time  I like reading, walking, gardening, knitting, sewing and take an interest in environmental issues.

Councillor Shirley-Anne Sains posing for her mayoral portrait

Shirley-Anne Sains (Mayor)

Castle WardLib Dem

I moved to Lewes over 50 years ago to start work in the old Borough Council, I worked in the Borough Treasurers Office in the Council Offices in Fisher Street. I also worked at the Lewes Boys Club when my youngest child started school, at the new Pells Infants School, now sadly no more. I finished my working career with 13 years at the University of Sussex as Co-ordinator and Administrator of the Security Department. I have spent many years surrounded by the problems young people have, I find that whatever the problem, small or large, there is much to be gained by talking and listening and I found I had an empathy with students, much to my surprise. This experience has helped me with being a councillor. My interests include genealogy, ancient Egypt, painting, reading, gardening and local history. I like to, when I can, play bowls, and I am learning the art of archery. I like to visit beautiful gardens and houses and I am a member of the National Trust. Committee member of Landport Residents Association and Trustee of the Landport Youth Centre. I have been a Town Councillor for three years and I enjoy the day to day experience of meeting and connecting with the residents of my ward. My hopes for Lewes include cleaner air, a better traffic system, more recreational facilities, care of our elderly, homes affordable for all and the protection of the unique heritage which we enjoy in this town. During the mayoral year in 2021 to 2022, I was not only the Deputy Mayor but, also Mayoress to Councillor Catlin and the experience has taught me much about the mayoralty. It has also given me great pleasure to serve with Stephen. It is with immense pride that I now hold the office of Mayor of Lewes and I shall strive to uphold the traditions of this amazing town and maybe I can give back a small part of what this town has given me.

Jonathan Vernon

Central WardGreen
07789 172707
Jonathan has diverse interests and experiences in television, video production, corporate communications, marketing and education. His professional focus is in e-learning; its practice, practice problems and potential applied to further and higher educations and organisations. He is a former Chairman of Wave Leisure Trust, the Digital Editor for The Western Front Association, a qualified swimming teacher and coach and sails regularly with Newhaven and Seaford Sailing Club. He came to Lewes in 2000, marches every November 5th and is married with two children and a dog.

Lewes Town Councillor Richard Waring

Richard Waring

Priory WardGreen
07971 442958
Richard Waring moved to Lewes in 1991 where he brought up his two wonderful daughters. As a teacher he taught science at Priory School and then at Bedes where he taught a vast range of subjects finishing up in the Drama department. He was senior lecturer at Bournemouth University in script writing for film and TV and is an award winning children’s book author. As an actor he recently played Picasso in Dora and Picasso by local poet Grace Nichols. He is also a Southdowns Ranger and an active member of plastic free Lewes. He is passionate about the environment and is determined to make Lewes a real Green town.

Lewes Town Councillor Kate Wood

Kate Wood

Castle WardLib Dem

I have lived in Lewes for 20 years, having previously lived in all over the country and abroad. I was brought up in Sheffield in Yorkshire, where I was educated at the same local comprehensive school as the British astronaut, Helen Sharman. After leaving school, my education took me to a wide variety of places including Dublin, (where I studied at Trinity College, Dublin), Paris (studying theatre at the University of Paris and the British Institute) and London (to SOAS where I studied Japanese). My publishing career has taken me from Cambridge, Norwich and London to Oxted, Chichester, Germany, the US and beyond. Like many before me, I learnt the publishing trade on the job, but I decided that professional qualification was useful and studied and qualified as a CIM marketer and learn the ropes of the business, marketing and promotion. I have worked in the government policy and publications, the media, publishing and the research information industry for most of my 25 year career. Education background: My background is both in science and the arts and have A levels in all the main sciences plus on in languages. I hold two primary degrees: a science degree in Genetics and an arts degree in European languages and Drama. I subsequently studied for a professional postgrad in business and hold the Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. This broad education in sciences, languages and literature and business has been invaluable in my career. Professional background: My professional background in in publishing and in the media. I have worked in all aspects of the industry starting in editorial and becoming a magazine editor, a journalist and a theatre reviewer, to work in publicity as a publicist and senior group PR director and in marketing as a marketing director and product and business development specialist. I’ve been part of some very well-known media organisations including Chrysalis, the music and media company that signed Blondie and Jethro Tull, ran Heart and LBC radio as well as a books division; John Wiley, one of the leading academic publishers where I ran teams across the world from New York to Germany; and for respected public sector organisations such as the University of Cambridge and in research in a policy evaluation branch in Civil Service. As publicist, I worked with and represented a large number of our leading politicians, celebrities, authors, journalists, actors and comedians. My publishing experience spans trade (fiction and non-fiction titles included illustrated titles) to academic publishing. Today, I work primarily across digital products (online books and journals, data, analytics and artificial intelligence tools) and increasingly in the application of artificial intelligence to published high-level research information. These days, I run as an independent media, communications and publishing consultancy and work as a Senior Associate and BP of Marketing and Market Research for Maverick Publishing Specialists. I share my expertise with those starting out in the profession and have lectured on publishing to students on the Publishing MA at Oxford Brookes University and to postgraduates at De Montfort University and taken part in panels and plenaries for the Publishers’ Association and at London International Book Fair. I am used to addressing large audiences, lecturing and public speaking. Voluntary work: I have taken an active role as a volunteer and a Trust. Locally, I have volunteered form the Prince’s Trust, for Working Knowledge (an employment charity), for Toastmasters, the US public speaking organisation, through Lewes Speakers Club and as the Toastmasters Area Director for East Sussex during 2018/2019. I am a Trustee of Baxter’s Field in Lewes and been a judge for the Youth Speaks public speaking competition run by the local Rotary Club at Priory School. Hobbies – my hobbies and interests are wide ranging. I am musical and both sing and play the flute to a reasonably high standard. I speak 5 languages with varying degrees of expertise and training from the more accessible such as Spanish, French and German to Japanese. As you would expect from a career publisher, I am widely travelled and love books, literature, debate, culture and ideas in all their forms. The arts and travel are very important to me and I frequently visit art exhibitions (I’m a Friend of the RA and other arts organisations), attend literary festivals (such as Charleston), the theatre and other spoken world events (like Lewes Speakers Festival where I have also volunteered). My two other main interests are gardening, wildlife, biodiversity and conservation and outdoor activities such as sailing, hill walking, cycling and outdoor/wild swimming (one of the reasons I love the Pells and being near the coast). In winter if I can, I skate and go cross country skiing.

Find Us

Lewes Town Council
Town Hall
East Sussex BN7 2QS
Tel: 01273 471469

Mon – Fri: 9am – 4pm