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.
I 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.
I 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!
Ensuring Frome's values are upheld in Mendip is something I believe in and this has driven me to stand as a Councillor. I am supporting a review which would look to empower our town while the potential changes to the District take place. Since moving to Frome with my wife Gina, we have got involved already in groups and events such as the Return the Plastic, Friends of the River Frome and the Trinity Resident Association litter picks. For me, being a Councillor means ensuring residents' views are heard and being on-call should they need support. If they need help when bins aren’t collected, a planning application they want to be reviewed or to ensure their pavement is well maintained. Supporting Shane’s Return the Plastic events has inspired me, and I will continue to champion the idea of getting our supermarkets to move away from single-use plastics.
As a member of the Friends of the River Frome, I have seen some of their superb ideas for making our town’s river a better place to bring friends and families. To relax beside, and enjoy. I would be keen on supporting their project and making our river something that other places are inspired by and aspire to have.
But, truly, if elected I would hope to continue the excellent work Des and Stina have done for the residents of Frome Market.