Local elections

Our next local elections will be for Mendip District Council in May 2019. All wards in Mendip will be up for election, and we intend to stand a full slate of candidates in the wards which we cover.  We have selected candidates for our key wards of Frome Market and Frome Keyford. They will join our incumbent councillor Shane Collins (Frome Keyford) in standing up for the people of Frome. Our other two incumbent councillors, Des Harris and Stina Falle, who currently represent Frome Market, will be retiring at the next election. 

Find out more about our candidates below. 

Frome Keyford ward

Cllr Shane Collins

Cllr Shane CollinsI am a long time Green activist involved in campaigns against road building, the Criminal Justice Act 1994, cannabis legalisation and more recently SWITCH EDF OFF, a campaign paying people to leave nuclear in favour of renewable energy and 'Return the Plastic' to supermarkets. I am currently a core participant in the Public Inquiry into undercover policing and one of the directors of the Green Gathering festival, awarded the 'Greenest festival in the UK' in 2017.

 

Watch Shane's video:

Helen Kay

Helen KayI studied ecology as part of my Geography degree, and have a broad understanding of sustainability and environmental issues and I care enough to want to act on this. Many of my jobs and volunteer work have been related to this passion. For example, I was a Director of Sustainable Frome in a voluntary role for over 2 years, and ran the monthly meetings, including networking with other groups in town and the Town Council. I’m currently involved in organising the ‘Return the Plastic’ to supermarkets campaign.

I’ve lived in Frome since late 2005 and was in the middle of Keyford ward for 11 years, so I know the area and feel a sense of responsibility and affection for it. In 2012 Des Harris and I built the Childrens Garden at the Key centre with year 3 from Christchurch school and I went on to teach Year 1 children vegetable gardening there for 5 years. I also have an allotment off Birchill Lane and am interested in the Selwood Garden proposal. Obviously I’d push for the most sustainable outcome possible.

I started out as a Geography teacher, then moved into other education roles, e.g. at an (Urban) Field Studies Centre close to Grenfell Tower where I got more interested in housing and planning issues. I believe good consultation with residents is important and people should be encouraged to participate in decisions that affect them.

I’ve worked for 2 local authorities - in both cases starting in Environmental Services and moving across to Community consultation/planning & Regeneration. For example at Wiltshire County Council I was in Waste Management and moved across to Community Planning when it was changing to a Unitary authority. So I think I know what is expected of being a Councillor, how to get things done, and some likely pitfalls along the way!

 

Watch Helen's video:

 

Frome Berkley Down ward

Matt Mellen

Matt MellenI am a nature lover, environmentalist and social entrepreneur. I moved from London four years ago because I wanted to have a garden, vegetable
patch and be friends with my neighbours. I feel that getting involved in politics is important if we are going to help to bring about the world that
we want to live in and that we want our children to grow up in. I am very concerned about services being cut and money and resources being
sucked up by big polluting corporations. I would like to see more energy, food and art being created locally.

Professionally, I am an environmental campaigner. I have worked on initiatives led by Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai and HRH Prince
Charles. I founded and edit a popular online magazine, EcoHustler. I am currently the Fish Welfare Campaign Manager at Compassion in World
Farming.

I want to help improve the lives of people locally by listening to local concerns and responding. I want to be more a part of the local community
and look for opportunities to make a difference. I think Frome is one of the best small towns in the UK and, working together, we have a great opportunity to make it even better.

 

Frome Market ward

Cllr. John Clarke

John ClarkeI am currently a Somerset county councillor for Frome West and believe that if I am elected as a district councillor I will be able to make good use of my experience in a district councillor rôle.

It is very important to me to represent my community and to listen to people's concerns, such as Saxonvale, the lack of social housing, or the difficulties some have with accessing benefits.

The Green Party is very focussed on building stronger and more resilient communities, and on helping people wherever we can.

Please vote for me on 2nd May in Frome Market ward.

Watch John's video:

 

 

Michael Dunk

Mick DunkI have lived in Frome for about 35 Years and seen many positive changes and, now I’m semi-retired, would like to stand as a Councillor to help
contribute to this wonderful town. I have two daughters who went to school and college in Frome while I ran a business here making models
for museums and heritage organisations throughout the UK, locally gaining a Civic Award for scenic works at Radstock Museum.

I volunteer for the Centre for Sustainable Energy as an energy advisor and have been involved with local projects that target people who struggle to pay their fuel bills by making home visits and running advice sessions. I shall be helping out on the latest Energy Advice sessions being run at the Council Offices and at the Frome Medical Practice.

I am passionate about reducing waste so also help out at the Share Shop on the Bridge and the regular repair sessions they organise. Keeping
stuff going is more important than ever.

I have a keen eye for detail and would be quick to report things in my area that needed fixing or putting right. Frome is a great place to live, but there are always ways of making it better. If I were elected I would fight very hard to make that happen.

 

Watch Michael's video:

 

Ammerdown

Alison Barkshire

Alison BarkshireMy working life was spent in the NHS. Starting as a nurse, my final years were in senior management. In that role I worked with the Local Authority on various projects, so I have some experience of how councils function.  One of the projects I was involved with was developing the successful business case (after previous failures), that enabled the replacement of Frome Hospital with the new building.

I have lived in Mells for 25 years where I now volunteer in the community shop.

I’ve been a member of the Green Party for several years, and believe that their approach to developing local communities and the environment are more important than ever. We all need to work together to create a more sustainable life and Council decisions on public transport, developing safe cycle routes, managing waste etc can help us do this.

 Watch Alison's video:

 

Beckington and Selwood

Julian Thomas

Julian ThomasI have lived in Lullington for the past five years in an old stone barn which we slowly made habitable. I run a series of online art galleries specialising in in marine and illustration art, working from home.

As a founder member of the Return The Plastic initiative in Frome last year. I strongly believe that we must fight to reduce plastic pollution in our own countryside as well as worldwide, and I continue to lobby the supermarkets to provide mixed-plastic recycling in their car parks.

I believe that all new developments should be carbon-neutral or carbon-negative as a condition of planning, and that all petrol stations should have fast charging for electric vehicles.

I have first-hand knowledge of the absolute need for proper fast broadband for all. If elected I will advocate for better public transport, better funding for public services, reduction of local pollution and CO2 emissions, and do my best to raise issues of local concern with the District Council.

 

Cranmore, Doulting and Nunney

Francis Hayden

Francis HaydenI’m a retired science teacher living in Nunney with my wife and two step-daughters. I joined the Green Party in the 1980s while I was living in Keynsham and stood for parliament a couple of times in the B&NES constituency. I moved to Frome over 15 years ago and then to Nunney. I’ve been a Parish Councillor there for about 12 years and a school governor, a member of the Community Association and chair of Nunney Players. I’m a singer-songwriter and alongside my wife I front a band called Sloe Jam. With one of my daughters we also organise the monthly Nunney Acoustic Café. We’re also thinking of reviving the Nunney Rocks outdoor festival this year.

If I am elected it would be a pleasure and an honour to represent Nunney and the other villages in this ward, and to bring my energy and ideas to Mendip District.

Watch Francis' video:

 

 

Postlebury

Michael Gay

Michael GayI have lived in the Postlebury district over thirty years, pursuing a career in negotiation and management. An active parish councillor for more than a decade, I have concentrated on improving rural services and facilities. Too often MDC’s agenda is all about towns: as District Councillor I would ensure the villages are not forgotten, pursuing the issues I know are important out of town: Broadband, mobile connectivity, lack of public transport which affects young and old, failure to provide adequate recycling, escalating fly-tipping and rural thefts, speeding through villages,  poor road maintenance, and few facilities for younger people.

MDC's Local Plan must create housing for our young families so they don’t have to move away, and for local businesses so that parents don’t have to travel an hour to work. We all know people who put a lot into our communities; they need support and encouragement.

Not all of this is under MDC’s direct control, but you have to ask what effort they have made to work with others to cure problems or alongside local people to solve these issues. I believe Green policy simply amounts to practical solutions and plain common sense. It's great living in Postlebury, yet there is a lot that can still improve.

Watch Michael's video:

 

 

Rode & Norton St. Philip

Barbi Lund

Barbi LundI was born and spent my formative years in South Africa but left in my early twenties because I no longer wished to live under the apartheid system. I travelled widely in my twenties finally settling in Devon where both my children were born.

I have been lucky enough to have two careers, firstly as a psychology lecturer and then, after completing a law degree in my mid-forties, as a contract manager within the NHS. I also trained as a yoga teacher in the noughties and now balance my rather sedentary work life by teaching three yoga classes in Norton St Philip where I have lived since 2010.

I have had a keen interest in environmental issues for many years, finally putting my money where my mouth is and joining the Green Party in 2015. I am an active member - I chair the Events Group and organise the monthly stall in Frome. I am also a founder member of Sustainable Norton St Philip a group set up in 2017 whose aim is to promote awareness and actions to counter threats to the environment from climate change in the local community. I have been a local Parish Councillor for two years.

Watch Barbi's video: