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Labour candidates May 2012

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Amberley and Woodchester

Born and brought up in Gloucestershire, Sarah has lived in Stroud with her family since 1991. Her youngest son Joe was born in Stroud Maternity and spent part of his teenage years playing for Woodchester Cricket Club. She worked previously for David Drew in his constituency office but now works for a recycling company in Woodchester. A former school governor and parish and district councillor, Sarah currently volunteers as the Secretary of Care and Repair Stroud, a home improvement agency which works to help adapt and maintain the homes of older and disabled people. Sarah has seen for herself the problems that the Government cuts are causing to some of the most vulnerable locally. Bus services are a concern – services through Amberley are reduced and there is no longer a through bus to Cirencester. Since the Tory County Council decided that bus passes are not usable till 9.30am, older people are more restricted in getting to Stroud or Nailsworth.

Berkeley and Sharpness - Liz Ashton

Liz is a Berkeley girl - her Dad worked on the docks - and has lived in the town for most of her life. Sharpness and Berkeley have been faced with huge issues recently. From the closure of our secondary school to the loss of our youth services & our library to the removal of our hospital to Dursley, we’ve been left picking up the pieces mostly left by our Tory County Council. A retired special needs teacher, Liz is no stranger to working for the community – from being a school governor to serving as a charity trustee and helping out at the pensioners’ lunch club. She’s recently been involved in setting up a Credit Union in Berkeley, so that people can save and borrow money safely without having to pay the high interest rates charged by so many companies.

Cainscross - Tom Williams (Labour and Co-operative)

I have lived and worked in the Stroud area since the 1970s and have been privileged to have served many of you as your councillor since 2006. As a retired local businessman, I understand the economic pressure that many shop owners and local families are under during these difficult times. I am determined to continue working with residents to ensure that the council is doing all it can to support local people. Throughout the past 6 years I have worked to hold the Tory council to account over the way they spend our money. I have also been a passionate advocate of the need for more affordable housing for our local families. Our persistent pressure has produced some movement on Tricorn House. We now need to insist that the owners either follow through with their plans to turn it into a care home or sell the building to someone who will use it. During my spare time, I keep bees and am a former Director of Forest Green Rovers Football Club. 

Coaley and Uley - Tricia Leonard

Tricia Leonard lives in Uley with her husband and two sons. She works at a GP’s surgery after being made redundant from the County Council. Tricia has recently been studying at Stroud College and she has worked as a volunteer at a local counselling service. In her spare time she enjoys horse riding and walking in the local countryside. She believes that keeping our local shops and services, from GPs & schools to pubs is essential in rural areas like Uley, Nympsfield and Coaley. We are lucky to have community minded people who are giving their time to maintain and protect some of these services for the benefit of all. Unfortunately, Dursley and all our community NHS services and staff are under threat of privatisation and care services for older people are being reduced, which is a concern. If you share our concerns, come out and vote for Labour and Tricia Leonard on 3 May.

Chalford - David Taylor

David Taylor has lived in Bussage for 27 years. He is retired, after 13 years with the Ambulance Service and then 20 years in the Fire Service. He still works part-time, running his own business. Having experience of the public sector and the private sector, David has the experience and knowledge to campaign for local residents as a Chalford Councillor. David believes local residents are suffering from Tory cuts - pensioners can’t use their bus pass for morning hospital appointments, we lose the mobile library and funding for youth services. Police cuts are starting to bite. Funding for school transport is cut or removed and fuel prices are up. As a Labour & Co-operative Party candidate, David believes we should be pushing for more co-operative enterprises, like community bus services, credit unions and housing co-operatives.

Dursley - Doina Cornell 

Doina Cornell has lived in the Cam and Dursley area for the past 12 years. She's always been keen to contribute to her local community and has been involved with local playgroup, scout and church activities for children and schools as well as being a school governor (currently on her second term) and Vice Chair of the Rednock School Association. She is secretary of the South of Stroud Youth Partnership which brings together parish and town councillors and young people from Dursley, Cam, Wotton and Berkeley as well as SDC youth workers, all working towards appointing a replacement for the local youth services cut last summer by the GCC. What is Stroud District Council doing to promote jobs and support local businesses in Dursley? Dursley has areas of deprivation and council housing; what is being done to renovate and upkeep these properties? The core strategy has large scale plans for Cam, including promises of employment, when earlier promises remain unfulfilled in Dursley. 

Eastington - Ken Stephens

Being a District Councillor for the last seventeen years has been something that I have considered a privilege that carries large responsibilities. I have always tried to be active, visible and approachable as a councillor in both Parishes. I have been involved within the community on a very broad range of issues with groups that range from toddlers to our senior citizens. The Ward is facing many challenges today. Both Parishes have the shadow of mass house building hanging over them. This is not new and has been around since before I was first elected. If re-elected I will continue to oppose this needless destruction of our rural Parishes; continue to support residents across a broad range of issues and initiatives such as the Eastington Youth Group, those suffering anti social behaviour, the way our senior citizens are treated both as council tenants and generally; opposing the building of the Javelin Park incinerator. I want to see the council returned to the electorate, not the dictatorial system we have now under this Conservative administration.

Hardwicke - Ian Butler

Ian Butler lives in Hardwicke with his wife, who is a nurse. They have three children who are at local schools. Ian has worked in the communications industry for the last 25 years. He’s been a Hardwicke parish councillor for 6 years and has been Chair of the Parish Council for the last 3 years, so knows the local issues. There is an alternative to the plans for yet another 750 homes in Hardwicke. Instead of a top-down approach which dumps thousands of homes on 3 or 4 places, let’s work with all our communities on plans to suit all areas so we get affordable homes for our young people, retirement options for older people & different house types in villages that need them. Tories, Lib Dems and the Greens have all supported dumping more houses on our community, voting for Labour and Ian is the only sure way to get a Councillor who opposes more houses.

Kingswood - Joan Moore

Joan grew up in the north of England and for most of my working life has been a teacher. She is a cooperative party member and believes that through cooperation any community can nurture its individuals, families and friendship groups.  Such cooperation includes work commitment and time but also friendship and fun.  The Labour vision of a fair and just society should be expressed in the provision of opportunities in both urban and rural communities, underpinned by affordable housing and public transport and local amenities. Her interests include allotment gardening and making music. Joan would be honoured to serve the area of Kingswood as a district councillor.

Minchinhampton - Chris Holtom

Chris Holtom lives in the heart of Minchinhampton. Unfortunately, we all know about the plight of our library. This month, Gloucestershire County Council reaffirmed its disgraceful plans to remove Minchinhampton Library from its Statutory Library Provision and hand it over to the local community in spite of the fact that we all already pay council tax for such services. The handover of services does not stop with our libraries. Our NHS is under threat from privatisation, both locally and nationally. Labour has been leading the ‘Drop the Bill’ campaign against the Tory/Lib Dem Health and Social Care Bill which will have a devastating impact upon our health service, effectively taking the National out of the National Health Service. If you share our concerns, come out and vote for Labour and Chris Holtom on 3 May.

Nailsworth: Jo Smith

I have lived in my present home for 31 years, just a 10 minute walk from Nailsworth Town Centre, and love the area. I retired from nursing a year ago, but continue to coordinate the monthly Alzheimer cafe in Nailsworth, as a volunteer. Having been trained and worked within the NHS most of my working life, it was heartbreaking to see the Tories and Lib Dems cheering through ‘the Health and Social Care Bill’ so enabling 49% of our NHS hospital beds to be privatised in the future. Locally, I pledge myself to being part of the continuing battle to keep Stroud Hospital and Gloucestershire’s community services within the NHS.  I will also work cooperatively to fight for fairness in funding for Nailsworth and Horsley and support for our Town Centre, and press the District Council to fulfil its responsibilities in maintaining and increasing its stock of affordable housing.

Painswick - Sheila McGrath

I am standing for election to the District Council as Labour Candidate for Painswick, Edge, Pitchcombe, Sheepscombe and Slad. I am sure you share many of my concerns – about the rising unemployment, about the way communities are having to step in and take over services like libraries and youth work, about the reductions in police numbers and cuts to local services. We could avoid many local cuts by merging seven Gloucestershire Councils into just two – reducing the number of Chief Executives and Councillors and saving £16million a year. Disappointingly local Tories continue to oppose this, though they control all but one of the Gloucestershire councils. Dog fouling continues to be an issue in our area, as well as some small anti-social behaviour issues – the District Council needs to address both of these issues. I hope you will consider supporting me on Thursday 3 May.

Rodborough - Stephen Moore

Nearly all of my working life has been in public service - education, social services and health.  I have been a borough councillor in Stafford and am now a parish councillor in Rodborough.  As chair of Rodborough’s Planning and Transport Committee, I have kept abreast of new planning regulations, because they bring both opportunities and threats.  Various aspects of transport - safety, condition of the roads and parking - are also of concern in Rodborough. I am keen to join with others in ensuring that the needs of all people in Rodborough and across the district are given due attention.  We have worked on getting an additional polling station for the people of Dudbridge and are looking at the provision of play space across the parish. I am a member the board of Stroud Valleys Credit Union.  I have an allotment and would like to start community composting in Rodborough.

Severn - John Greenwood

John and his wife Claire have lived in the district for 24 years. After working as a civil servant for over 20 years, John ran his own business as a Management and Training consultant until he retires. In the past he was involved with the Slimbridge Variety Showgroup and he’s still a member of the Slimbridge St Georges Twinning Society. Labour does not support a proposal from the Tory County Council for an incinerator in Haresfield, only a few miles from the villages along the A38. It’s likely to affect the whole district with hundreds of lorryloads of waste a day from across the county clogging up our road systems, polluting our air and ruining the view of the vale. All this at a cost to the tax payers of £500m. If you share our concerns, vote Labour for John Greenwood on 3 May.

Stonehouse - Mattie Ross (Labour and Co-operative)

Mattie Ross moved to live in Stonehouse in the early 70’s and can think of no better place to live because it's a great community with a lot going for it. Sadly this is currently under threat, with the closure of the police station and cuts to the library hours as well as the loss of services for the town’s young people. This, together with the prospect of a huge development on the perimeter of the town and an enormous incinerator at Haresfield, means the community could be at risk.  Mattie has a proven track record and long term involvement in various local initiatives both as an elected member and in the voluntary sector, and has always maintained a keen interest in social housing. Mattie wants to send a resounding message to the Tories in Ebley Mill, that she will defend Stonehouse against their attacks on the Town. 

The Stanleys - Steve Lydon

Steve has lived in Leonard Stanley since 2003, having been born and bred in the South West. Steve played first class rugby and is a qualified coach and referee and now an avid fan of Gloucester. He is a member of Leonard Stanley Parish Council, a scout leader at Selsley Scouts, and Press and Publicity Officer for Gloucester and District Trades Union Council. Steve is passionate about defending and enhancing local services particularly those for young people and the elderly i.e. the NHS, affordable housing, youth centres and public transport. Steve has worked for many years in economic development and regeneration and is keen for the council and other public bodies to buy local and use their purchasing power to support work based learning for our young people. In relation to creating more jobs Steve is keen that development land for example that at Javelin industrial park adjacent to the M5 at Junction 12 supports new and existing businesses in growth sectors such environmental and new technologies not wasted to build an incinerator to burn rubbish. Steve believes we should focus increasing our recycling including fresh food waste as was done in the successful Stanley’s pilot stopped by the Tory led District Council.

Upton St Leonards 

Thomas has lived in the Stroud district for nine years. He attended Marling School in Stroud. He joined the Labour Party aged 16 and has been actively involved ever since. For two years, Thomas was Chair of the Stroud District Youth Council, the official voice for the 12,500 11-18 year olds in the area. During this time he sat on many bodies, including the Stroud District Climate Change and the Local Strategic Partnership alongside business leaders in and around Stroud. Under his chairmanship of the Youth Council, recycling bins were installed throughout the district to encourage young people to be more aware of climate change. He passionately believes that our young people need local services provided by professionals, something which has been almost completely cut by our Tory councils – leaving parish councils and community groups to pick up the pieces. He considers Nye Bevan his hero and wants to do everything in his power to stop the Tory destruction of our country, county and district.

Wotton - Charlie Burling

Charlie Burling lives in Wotton and is retired so he has the time available to serve as your District Councillor. Charlie has a wealth of local government experience to offer Wotton residents. He was a Labour councillor in Croydon, with expertise in housing, finance and environmental health before moving to Gloucestershire. He was also a Councillor on Stroud district for two years. He has a wealth of knowledge on housing and worked with homeless young people. Charlie has always stood up for the people he represents and worked to improve their lives. Tory County Council cuts meant the loss of Wotton’s youth worker last year, leaving the Town Council to pick up the tab and work to replace the services. Our library has also been shut by the Tories at the County and the District Tories stopped funding our swimming pool. Lib Dems are working with Tories nationally and locally – Labour are the only party who will support you and fight the cuts.
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