Mark Coates standing for Hayling East
Mark Coates standing for Hayling East

Mark Coates – Labour candidate:

Like his parents and grandparents, Mark is a proud Hayling Islander who works hard for his community. He stood for election as a Labour Party candidate in 2023 and became the first Labour Councillor in Hayling’s history on Thursday 4th May 2024, winning by a landslide with two thirds of the vote.

Mark Coates standing for Hayling East
Mark Coates standing for Hayling East

Mark’s community work:

Mark believes actions speak louder than words. Since he first stood in 2016, Mark has:

  • Led the successful campaign to save the Hayling Ferry
  • Co-founded Hi-5: a joint fundraising initiative for schools on Hayling
  • Founded the Duke of Edinburgh Award Centre at The Hayling College
  • Founded the award-winning Heart of Hayling Boxing Academy which offers free coaching and healthy food to young people on Hayling, across Havant and now Portsmouth and Chichester
  • Led the delivery of almost 20,000 prescriptions to islanders during the pandemic
  • Led the Fighting Chance summer schools at the community centre to help young people get fit and catch up on missed learning
  • Raised thousands of pounds for local charities such as HoH, Hayling Helpers, Hi-5 and the Hayling Lions
  • Extended Portsmouth FC’s Audio-Descriptive Commentary service to QA Hospital Radio as well as partially-sighted supporters at Fratton Park
  • Helped drive the 2016 campaign against the closure of our local Tip and is leading the campaign to save it again in 2025
Mark Coates standing for Hayling East
Mark Coates standing for Hayling East

Mark’s background:

Born on Hayling in the 1970s to mum Wendy (a civil servant) and dad Richard (a fireman on Hayling and then in Pompey) Mark’s earliest memories are of playing in the air raid shelter in his grandparents’ (Bert and Lotty Best) bungalow on St. Margaret’s Road; after moving around the country as dad got promoted through to Chief Fire Officer (Wales, Scotland, East England and London) and mum advised cabinet members from within the War Pensions department, Mark attended Aberdeen, Cambridge and Warwick universities (where he received two Masters degrees and two postgraduate certificates in Philosophy, International Relations, English Literature and Education), joined the UOTC (Army) and then the RNR (Royal Navy) part-time whilst working with young offenders in prisons before becoming a national award-winning teacher in state schools. Mark published his first children’s book in 2021, the same year the charity he founded received an award from the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire for outstanding service to the community. In 2023 Mark received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service at Buckingham Palace as a founding member of The Heart of Hayling Boxing Academy along with his friend and shipmate Knox White.

Mark lives in Hayling East with his partner Lisa on Hayling, and their two children attend The Hayling College where Mark is a lead practitioner.

If elected, Mark will:

  • Continue to campaign for action on the sewage in Langstone Harbour and on our beaches. We need year-round testing and accountability, not reluctant and sporadic reactions to campaigners and opposition councillors that offer limited scope
  • Continue to campaign with other progressive parties to challenge the Havant Thicket recycled wastewater experiment, if need be through a CCJ on Portsmouth Water’s initial planning application at which point, the Conservatives assure us, nothing was known about Southern Water’s recycled wastewater intervention…
  • Bring energy and vision to our seafront that supports local businesses, many of whom will suffer from the headlines in the paper this month labelling Hayling Island as “one of England’s top five worst sewage hotspots.” (Daily Mail, 4th April 2023) Why can’t we grab headlines for introducing a junior coastal parkrun, disabled access to the sea or an extension of the Voi scooter scheme across our seafront instead?
  • Scrutinise the management of our car parks, parks and open spaces and force a u-turn on their slow decline. Why is it that Rowland’s Castle in East Hampshire can enjoy a beautifully maintained, first class park, but residents in Mengham have to suffer a poorly protected, degenerating park? Strategically, NORSE need to be directed to fulfill their contract or HBC should end that contract, a course of action Portsmouth City Council are
    presently considering with Veolia…
  • Continue to work with the local constabulary to identify and support those involved in anti-social behaviour whilst holding them to account
  • Ensure future housing and development plans are sensible and limited: HBC must take into account our unique island; scrap ALL plans to build thousands of homes on large green field sites on Hayling with natural and/or agricultural value. As central government targets have been scrapped, there is no longer pressure on HBC to meet any former targets. Ergo, update the new Local Plan and stop unnecessary greenfield development
  • Work hard to help Havant realise its potential through establishing a collective identity
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