“I have lived in Stroud with my husband and three children for 13 years and feel proud to be part of this community. In July 2020 I became Stroud Town Councillor for Stroud’s Valley ward.”
Jess is passionate about environmental and social justice and has worked in the charity sector for almost 30 years. She has volunteered for, and supported, several local projects including the Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (GRASAC), the women’s refuge, the anti-incinerator campaign, the Stroud Fringe, the Sub Rooms, and the Stroud Lido/Outdoor Pool. She is also actively involved in various national campaigns including the Green New Deal UK.
“I firmly believe that local actions can make a huge difference to the quality of life for local people and am committed to working hard to make Stroud stronger, fairer, and more climate-friendly.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has fostered incredible levels of social solidarity but has also laid bare the historic and structural inequalities that exist between us. It has seriously impacted our local economy and will continue to do so.
As a Stroud District Councillor, Jess will work with local organisations and people to rebuild the local economy and balance the needs and interests of residents to improve the quality of life for all.
David has previously been a County Councillor and was Councillor for Farmhill and Paganhill between 2011 – 2015. He was for many years also a Town Councillor. David was born in Gloucestershire and has lived in the area for 40 years.
After a degree in economics at Nottingham and a PGCE at Birmingham, he worked as a teacher and as a senior lecturer in education at UWE until his election to Westminster in 1997. He was MP at that time for 13 years and was re-elected in 2017 to serve for the area for a further two and a half years until December 2019. A Labour Party member for over 50 years, David has also been a Co-operative Party representative during that time.
David believed strongly in devoting equal time to the constituency and parliamentary issues and was an assiduous case-worker dealing with thousands of constituents’ issues. He had an enviable record of speaking in parliamentary debates, on issues like anti-poverty, climate change, community land trusts, planning, debt licensing, and international development. He played a key role in the Sustainable Communities Bill as well as in the first Climate Change Act. He was long-time Chair of the APPG on Sudan – he visited several times and has acknowledged expertise. During the last Parliament, he was Labour’s Spokesperson on Farming and Rural Affairs. He has a Doctorate which examined Labour’s involvement in the countryside.
A key player in work to regenerate Stroud and Dursley, with a focus on rural issues, he opposed the Javelin Park incinerator and worked with parish councils and community groups to improve local services, retaining sub-post offices, enhancing education, police, and social services. He helped set up local organizations like the Credit Union and local food banks and worked with the community and voluntary organizations as well as local businesses.
David was for a time Chair of Forest Green Rovers and retains a strong interest in the Club and in particular its community activities. He is a Trustee of Marah, and an adviser to Allsorts and has helped many of Stroud’s charitable and voluntary sector organizations over decades. He was instrumental in the setting up of the Food Bank. He is an active Christian and has worked locally with many Church bodies.