Labour candidates in the elections to Stroud District Council on 5 May
You can see Labour's manifesto for the 2016 election here
Amberley and Woodchester - Jo Smith
Jo is the Labour and Co-operative Party candidate for Amberley and Woodchester. She is a former nurse and has lived in Pinfarthings, Amberley with her family for 36 years. ‘Our villages are set in the most beautiful landscape which I would always strive to protect’ says Jo. ‘However I would like to see more young people and families on moderate incomes able to afford to live here’.
‘I feel angry and saddened at the widening inequalities under this government and that safety nets for the most vulnerable are disappearing. The need for such things as ‘Food Banks’, are a shame on our society’.
Berkeley Vale - Liz Ashton
Liz Ashton was born and bred in Berkeley, educated at Sharpness Primary and Dursley Grammar Schools before becoming a chemist. After ten years in Africa with her husband and three children, she returned to Berkeley, retraining as a special needs teacher, working at Gloscat and The Shrubberies School. Liz has been a District Councillor for Berkeley ward for four years, working on the Planning and Environment Committees. She’s an active campaigner for her local communities setting up the Berkeley Credit Union and Dursley and District U3A. In any spare time, Liz loves to spend time with her three little grandsons.
Berkeley Vale - George Knight
George has lived in the Berkeley and Sharpness area since he was four. He was educated locally at Sharpness Primary School and has worked nearby at Cattle Country Adventure Park since leaving school. In his spare time he is studying for an Open University degree and enjoys playing skittles, badminton and snooker. He has always taken a keen interest in politics both local and national and has been a member of the Labour Party for a number of years. He would also put our local communities and local residents above party politics – we need to improve our roads, protect our NHS and provide good quality transport.
Berkeley Vale - Billy Hunt
I have lived in the Berkeley area all my life, having lived in Sharpness and attending Sharpness Primary School and now living in Berkeley – I work in the area as a Postman. Parking, potholes and transport are in need of a major review. Housing is of course a major issue and we need a balance of building new homes and protecting the beautiful area we live in. If elected I would work hard for all the community, it’s an exciting time for our area and I would strive to make sure the benefits are felt by the many and not just the few.
Bisley - Richard House
Originally hailing from Somerset and now living in Stroud, Richard is an Oxford graduate with a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences; a Chartered Psychologist; and a retired university senior lecturer and counsellor. He is a nationally known campaigner on early childhood and mental-health issues, and has written and edited many books in these fields. His overriding commitment is to supporting and championing those citizens who, for whatever reason, are least able to look after themselves. Richard is particularly interested in local public transport, social housing, children’s centres, and environmental issues. He is against fracking in principle, and is opposed to the Javelin Park Incinerator.
Cainscross - Jenny Miles
Jenny Miles has lived in Cashes Green most of her life. She was previously a district councillor and is a member of the Parish Council, currently as Vice Chair. Before she retired she was the manager of a care home in Ebley for people with people with learning difficulties. A keen gardener, her allotment is in Ebley.
Cainscross - Rachel Curley
Rachel Curley moved to Stroud five years ago and is the Chair of the local Cainscross Labour branch. Her children go to St Matthew’s School in Cainscross where she is Chair of Governors. Rachel works for one of the teaching unions, ATL, as the senior official in the South West region. You will often find her in her spare time in her allotment in Cainscross or running by the canal.
Cainscross - Tom Williams
Tom has been the Labour Councillor for Cainscross for many years, taking up many issues to help and support local residents and the local community. Tom has lived in the District for nearly 40 years, is a keen bee-keeper and Forest Green Rovers supporter. He is a member of the FGR Supporters Trust.
Cam East - Miranda Clifton
I’ve lived in and worked for Cam for 20+ years. As parish councillor I worked to replace youth services after they were cut and helped get the improvements to the Jubilee Playing Field. I’ve helped individuals with issues like housing, footpaths, litter and planning. As Stroud District councillor I’m proud we’re building council houses again, and that we will improve sheltered housing. With more house-building, we must make developers keep their promises - and we also need more jobs. We want Cam still to be an attractive place to both live and work. As part of a Labour-led council I’ll fight to protect our services and to work for all Cam residents.
Cam East - James Prewett
Born and bred in Cam, I have a strong affinity with the village and know first hand what a friendly, vibrant community it is. I'm a member of the committee at Slimbridge AFC and a guitar tutor locally. I know how much people benefit from getting behind a cause they are passionate about. It's vital we support the interests of young people. The parish and district council have done a lot for young residents despite funding cuts. If elected I’d continue this good work. I'd be honoured to serve our community and if elected I pledge to work hard for local residents and the well-being of Cam.
Cam West - Paul Denney
I’ve lived in Cam & Dursley almost 20 years and work locally as head of research for Snow Business. As vice chair of the environment committee I’m proud SDC is the first council in Europe to become carbon neutral, to keep its council houses and build new ones, the first Council in Gloucestershire with a Local Plan - with council tax kept low. If elected, my main challenge will be ensuring that as Cam expands, things are done properly and developers are held to account. In any spare time I’m often found tinkering with my Land Rover, tending my allotment or cooking for my family.
Cam West - Julie Douglass
I’ve lived in Cam and Dursley for 20 years, running my own business in the museums/heritage sector and working at a local primary school. A qualified, experienced teacher, I currently work as a teaching assistant at a comprehensive school, so understand the stresses faced by local schools. A committed environmental activist, I’m on the Council’s Environment Committee, with a particular interest in the environmental impact of our waste collection systems and the proposed Milfields housing development in Cam. I’ll work hard to ensure any development in Cam is appropriate to the existing residents’ needs. I’m always keen to listen to issues of concern to local residents.
Chalford - Helen Beioley
Helen has lived in France Lynch for four years, returning to the area where she lived as a child and following decades living in London. She is married, has one daughter and a beagle.
Helen recently retired from a career in the public sector which primarily focussed on marketing and fundraising. She worked in local government, at the National Maritime Museum, and a number of other cultural institutions.
Helen is a Board Member of Arts in Rural Gloucestershire, a charity which supports villages throughout the county to present high quality shows. She has recently transformed the telephone box in France Lynch to a thriving, if compact, library.
Chalford - David Taylor
David has lived in Gloucestershire for most of his life, and moved to Bussage/Chalford in 1984. His working life was spent originally in the Health Service, and then 33 years in the Ambulance Service and Fire Brigade. Following retirement from the Fire Brigade, David became self employed. David enjoys walking his dog, cooking, and gardening. He loves living in Chalford and has found the area very interesting, with really beautiful countryside. He is committed to protecting the environment and local services. He is on the Parish Council, and has found it to be a really interesting experience. David looks forward to representing Chalford in the District Council elections.
Coaley & Uley - Brendan Skelton
I live in Dursley with my partner, Kathie. I’ve grown to know the area through my love of walking, sketching and talking with local people. My background is in building, teaching and local government, now retired. I’m keen to improve transport connections and infrastructure so local people find it easier getting to work and leisure activities. Defending our NHS services from further privatisation is important to me. I’d like see more jobs here (full time, with decent wages). I would work with parish councils and communities to keep shops, schools, pubs and village halls open - seeking new ways to deliver services rural areas depend upon.
Dursley - Doina Cornell
I’ve lived and worked in Dursley for 16 years, raising my kids here, running a business with my parents. As your councillor, I’ve helped bring investment, jobs and new council housing via the Littlecombe regeneration and Dursley pool extension. I worked with residents and the town council against unwanted housing and I played a part in bringing back youth services to Dursley. If re-elected I’ll continue to work on issues that affect local people, from parking to playgrounds. I will continue to work to find solutions for issues that most affect local people – this is my number one priority.
Dursley - Colin Fryer
Colin has lived in Dursley all his life, working at Listers as a maintenance fitter for 38 years, and senior shop steward for most of that time, helping many employees, especially over the difficult times more recently. He also served as JP for 8 years. He believes we need to focus on getting jobs coming into the area or see the town dwindle into a dormitory town. We’re also threatened with large, inappropriate housing development. As District Councillor, Colin has been part of a Labour-led Council, creating create local jobs and apprenticeships, building new council houses, helping people affected by the cost of living crisis.
Dursley - Alison Hayward
I have lived in Cam for more than a decade with my partner and 2 children. I have worked in IT for various local companies and for the last 2 years I have been working for the NHS. My 2 children are currently attending local schools. When my children were younger I was a committee member for both a local play group and out of school club. I play and coach for Dursley rugby club. I have a long standing interest in national and local politics, and if elected would look forward to representing the interests of local people.
Hardwicke - Steve Price
Steve is a serving firefighter and has worked for the Fire Service for more than 25 years, earning his long service & good conduct medal in 2015. When he left school he obtained an apprenticeship and qualified as a fabricator welder. He has lived in Stroud all his life and lives with his wife Vanessa, who is a town councillor and candidate for the Slade ward. In his spare time he likes to work with unwanted and disused metal to create useful objects and art.
Minchinhampton - Mark Huband
Author, businessman and award-winning former foreign correspondent, Mark will bring to his role as Councillor all he has gained from years of listening, learning and understanding the issues which really matter. Mark will champion better housing, transport, healthcare and education. Mark says: 'Preserving and strengthening our community means ensuring that all residents have a say in how we meet the needs of all the people who live here. This is why the Minchinhampton Neighbourhood Development Plan is so important – not only does it give everybody a voice, it is the best safeguard against speculative development which can damage our community without meeting the needs of residents.
Nailsworth - Steve Robinson
Steve, who was born and bred in Nailsworth is up for re-election to SDC. He is married with 3 daughters and 5 grandchildren. Steve prides himself in following up residents’ concerns and getting back to them at the earliest opportunity. He is a founder member of the Community Land Trust in Nailsworth and was pleased to help arrange the acquisition of land to build the first houses later this year. Steve was instrumental in keeping free car parking in the town and would fight to retain it. Regarding the re-organisation of sheltered housing in the area, Steve says that it is essential to keep the status quo or increase the number of sheltered homes in Nailsworth enabling tenants to downsize and free up family homes.
Nailsworth - Sue Reed
I have lived in Nailsworth, worked in Horsley Valley and Stroud District for 32 years. During this time I have come to appreciate how residents and visitors love our landscape, their feelings of belonging, how they work, their struggles, and joys of daily life. As a Town Councillor it has been a privilege to work with residents and campaign for local issues through festival, education, walking, cycling, accessibility, social care. I am standing for District Council for the first time because I feel in this time of considerable change, anxiety and fragmentation of our communities, we need to connect our land, social and civic threads, collaborate, share resources, listen, and learn from each other.
Painswick & Upton - Sarah Madley
Sarah worked for Labour MP David Drew in his constituency office in Stroud in 2010 and then for a recycling company in Stonehouse. She now works in Gloucester for a national charity. She is particularly concerned about the shortage of good quality affordable homes in the district. Living in a rural area, she is aware of the problems facing village shops and small schools and is concerned about the impact of the lack of public transport. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys walking, reading and going to watch rugby.
Randwick, Whiteshill and Ruscombe - John Bloxsom
John Bloxsom has lived in the Stroud Valleys for six years. He serves as a parish councillor. John supports opposition to the incinerator and promotes recycling and renewable energy. John supports community projects, provision of affordable housing and cultural events. He is keen on walking, cycling and singing. He has local government and board experience and holds business management qualifications. His council interests are in environment, housing and planning. He has supported local communities working on neighbourhood plans and community land trusts. As a district councillor John wants to promote the quality of life and the environment of the area.
Rodborough - Nigel Prenter
Nigel Prenter grew up on nuclear RAF bases, studied at the London School of Economics for five years, lived in Hawaii, and for the last twenty-five years has written songs, recorded and performed with the Stroud-based band The Hawds. He has taught Government and Politics at Stroud High School for even longer and has taken students all over Asia and Africa as well as to Washington DC and the UK, Scottish and European Parliaments. Nigel is Head of Year 13, is responsible for all university applications, and has been a Labour Councillor on SDC for the last five years.
Rodborough - Karen McKeown
Karen McKeown has lived in Rodborough for more than thirty years. As a former chair of the parish council and editor of the Commoner newsletter, she knows the importance of listening to residents and finding solutions to local problems. She is committed to making sure that the needs of Rodborough are heard at Ebley Mill. Karen’s career has been in the probation service and local government where she worked with vulnerable families and young people. Away from work, Karen is the chair of the local Amnesty International group and enjoys walking her dogs on the Common and keeping chickens.
Severn - Thomas Lydon
Thomas has lived locally since the age of 11 and went to Marling School, now working in policy and strategy including at a national level. He’s a huge Gloucester Rugby fan and enjoys spending time with his new niece. His number one priority for Eastington, Frampton, Whitminster and Arlingham is to improve the atrocious state of our roads – he’d hold the County Council and its contractor to account over their complete failure to deal with potholes. He’d also work to ensure that the “West of Stonehouse” developers deliver on their commitments for building affordable housing, a school and GP surgery.
Stonehouse - Mattie Ross
Mattie moved to Stonehouse in the 70’s, her children went to school and grew up here: she loves living here. She’s a woman who's always worked for her community: setting up a playgroup, school governor, WRVS meals on wheels, running the Lunch Club. She’s worked with many organisations (Stonehouse in Bloom, the Town Partnership, the Horticultural Show etc) and for countless individuals, working hard for the town as Councillor and Mayor. She’s got improvements to council housing, including renewable energy, and now the first new council houses for a generation.
Stonehouse - Chris Brine
Chris has lived here for 30 years, proud to be a Stonehouse resident. Married, with 3 children & 4 grand-children, he runs his own business as a training professional. Chris has a commitment and passion for the town - he’s served as town & district councillor and as Mayor, as a voice for Stonehouse. Over twenty years he’s worked with local organisations, schools and young people (influential in getting the new Youth Club). A founder member of the Town Partnership, he's helped many individuals, especially with planning. He’s just got a defibrillator installed in the High Street with the Rotary and Co-op.
Stonehouse - Gary Powell
Gary has lived all his life in Stonehouse and has served his community as Town and District Councillor. He’s married to Lin, with a grown-up family and grandchildren. Gary is a co-founder of the Stonehouse Horticultural show and plays a key role in the life of Stonehouse, from keeping our High Street flower displays planted and watered to getting improvements for young people at Oldends Lane. Gary has a long record of working with the scouts and youth football teams. He wants to make sure we get decent housing for all, to keep attracting jobs and employers and to support our High Street shops.
Stroud Central - Skeena Rathor
Mother of three and an active local community member, Skeena lives in Stroud. She has a degree in Public Sector Management. Skeena teaches in the health sector and is a key organiser of Stroud Positive Living Group and other local charity initiatives. Skeena runs a popup ‘Politics Kitchen’ at Stroud Market – where she is listening to the views of local people who’d like to have a conversation about the heart of local and national politics. She would like to serve as your councillor because she believes that with our local Labour Party, we can help Stroud Central to thrive. We can protect and enliven our local public services, housing and environment.
Stroud Farmhill & Paganhill - Paul Mapplebeck
Paul has lived in Paganhill for over six years and has served on Stroud Town Council. Paul is retired from his employment in several Local Authorities, so can now devote more of his time to work for his local community. Should he be elected, his experience of working with children and families will help ensure that services and facilities vital to their welfare continue to be provided. He believes it is essential to continue to build on the achievements made by the Labour led Council and contribute to the momentum in carrying this forward. In his spare time, Paul enjoys watching Forest Green Rovers, walking and spending time with his four grandchildren.
Stroud Slade - Vanessa Price
Vanessa was born and grew up in Stroud and she has worked in the Town for more than 26 yrs.Vanessa has been a School Governor and Parish Councillor for many years and is now serving on Stroud Town Council. Vanessa is an active campaigner against the Government’s austerity cuts and opposing the incinerator, also a campaigner for Animal welfare, campaigning against Badger culling in the County with strong green credentials including being a trustee for a farm in Nympsfield that is the site of one of the Country's first wind turbine.
Stroud Trinity - Roy Derbyshire
Most of Roy’s working life was spent in engineering, with five and a half years in the Royal Navy. He has lived in Rodborough with his wife for the last 22 years. Roy served on the Parish Council where he was involved in Road Safety work and also lectured at GLOSCAT. Roy enjoys gardening and creating interactive animations on the computer. He is committed to continuing the excellent work of our Labour-led and trusted Council.
Stroud Uplands - Chas Townley
Chas was born in Stroud and has lived here for most of his life. He's been the District Councillor for Uplands for the last year, dealing with problems and issues brought to him by local residents. He has worked within housing associations and councils, mainly on housing and support for vulnerable people. He believes that privatisation is a political not an economic choice. He is keen to secure directly provided local services, whilst recognising the role of the voluntary and community sector. Chas is a supporter of co-operative organisations and has recently joined the board of Stroud’s Credit Union.
Stroud Valley - Joe Ambridge
Joe was born and bred in Stroud where he is employed as a postal worker. He supported David Drew in his election campaign and his interests include cooking, self advancement, following political events, music and the cinema. What drives Joe is a dedication to public service and he is committed to continuing the excellent work of our Labour-led and trusted Council.
Thrupp - Rod Beer
Rod Beer has lived in Brimscombe for six years. His background is in teaching and he still works part-time as an English teacher. Rod is married with two adult daughters. He is a keen supporter of local football, in particular Brimscombe and Thrupp and Forest Green Rovers. Locally he is committed, among other issues, to improving safety on the A419 and ensuring local people's housing needs are met. Rod Beer is committed to working for a fairer society and to continuing the excellent work of our Labour-led and trusted Council.
The Stanleys - Steve Lydon
Steve lives in Leonard Stanley and is a Parish Councillor and local Scout Leader. He’s always looked to put local people before party politics and wants to continue this work if he’s re-elected. Over the last four years Steve’s dealt with hundreds of issues and problems raised by residents, from potholes to pavements, as well as providing strong opposition to unsustainable housing developments such as Mankley Field and Woodside Lane. He’s also proud that the first council houses built in a generation are here in the Stanleys. Amongst other things, Steve secured funding to alleviate flooding in Gipsy Lane and to make Ryeford Bridge safer for both drivers and pedestrians.
The Stanleys - Debbie Hicks
I work as a teacher at Stroud & South Glos College and live locally with my husband, son and two cats. I have over twenty years experience of working in local government on crucial local policy issues, working both for Citizens Advice Bureau as an advisor helping local residents and setting up a fundraising strategy for food banks. Passionate about protecting our environment, wildlife and villages from predatory developers, I also recognise the need for affordable, decent housing. I am currently working with Steve on how we can hold developers like Lioncourt to account on sites including Woodside Lane – the concerns of local residents must come first.