2019 Local Election Candidates

We have a fantastic line up of candidates for this year's local elections. 

Our team is truly representative of the communities in which we all live. 20 of our 42 Mendip and Sedgemoor Council candidates are female, 6 are under the age of 32, and reflect diverse backgrounds and lifestyles. 

Former MP Tessa Munt says "Both Mendip and Sedgemoor Councils have been run by the Conservatives for years. They've run out of steam ... and ideas."

"When the new Councils meet next month, there will be a need for new energy and fresh approaches."

"The Lib Dems are up for making a real difference."

"We demand better for Mendip and Sedgemoor, it's time you did too."

"Vote Lib Dem on 2nd May." 





Rosie Hasler - rosie4[email protected]


Before her retirement Rosie was an NHS midwife. She is an active participant in village events, such as the Street Fair and Wedmore by Lamplight. She is a member of the Twinning Association and sings in the Church choir.

The issues …

The lack of truly affordable housing comes up again and again. Recycling is also a concern as we know that if it is not made convenient and easy then the result is fly tipping and litter in our streets and hedgerows.

Why I’m standing ...

"The most important decisions at Sedgemoor Council are made behind closed doors by a clique of 8 ‘cabinet’ members, all Conservative Councillors."

"This cannot be healthy and it certainly isn’t democratic. If elected, I will push to make the Council more open, inclusive and receptive to everyone's concerns."

"I can offer my time and will use my understanding of the problems faced by ordinary families in this part of rural Somerset to provide real representation at Sedgemoor."


AnnMary Wardman - [email protected]

AnnMary has had a long term business career from being a highly successful village pub landlady, to running her own cleaning business with 450 staff, providing local employment.

She enjoys village life and her two children attended Kings of Wessex School in Cheddar. 

Why I’m standing…

"Sedgemoor really needs a shake up, particularly planning, enforcement and getting the infrastructure right."

"Important decisions that affect us all are being made by a small group of Councillors behind closed doors. I want decision making to happen in the open and for everyone to have a say in these matters."


Richard Baum - [email protected]Richard_Baum.jpg

Richard has worked for 12 years in NHS Hospitals, having previously worked for a housing association and on a Local Authority improvement programme. He is a Governor of Berrow Primary School.

Richard has been a Councillor before, leading successful community campaigns, setting up an annual festival raising tens of thousands each year for charity, improving local roads, saving libraries. He chaired Committees, spoke on Finance matters, sat on the Licensing Committee and worked with the region’s Passenger Transport Authority. His voluntary career includes many years of hospital broadcasting, presenting and producing shows, talking to patients and serving on the station’s management committee.

The issues …

Sedgemoor’s planning service is not working for local people - it rides rough-shod over local opinions.

We pay for it - it should work better for us. It should better protect green spaces and keep its focus on our amazing environment.

We host countless thousands of visitors and guests, but the roads through our villages are shocking . 

The Conservatives have promised changes for years, but delivered little.  Walkers - particularly children and young people, runners and cyclists should be safe.

There is a serious lack of truly affordable eco-homes. We need these less expensive-to-run homes if our villages are to attract young residents and thrive as communities.   

Why I’m standing …

"I have the skills, knowledge and experience to be a strong voice for Berrow and Brean at Sedgemoor.  I don’t want a career in politics, but I do care - and I know I’ll be an approachable, accessible and effective Councillor."

Burnham Central

Alasdair Elrick - [email protected]

Alasdair_Elrick.jpgAlasdair grew up in a seaside town and after leaving school joined the Civil Service and was posted to London. This led to a long and interesting career negotiating contracts around the world.

Alasdair lives with wife Paola, a teacher. The family discovered Burnham when their twins joined the Rugby Club and they soon realised this was where they wanted to live and raise their family.

The issues …

"As a child, I was brought up to recognise the importance of a community, the need to support those who require help and the benefit of giving each child a fair chance to reach his or her potential through education."

"I recognise this has to be funded and, beyond everyone’s obligations to society, the freedom and rights of the individual need protection.  My views on this have not changed."

Why I’m standing ...

"Following my retirement last year, I want to support and promote our community in a practical way on local issues, working with others who share these values."

"Sedgemoor, as a Council, is responsible for delivering essential services.  As your Councillor, I’d ensure Sedgemoor delivers those services effectively and efficiently."

Ganesh Gudka - [email protected]Ganesh_Gudka.jpg

Ganesh lives in Burnham, and his wife’s family came from Brent Knoll. A Chartered Accountant by profession, he is currently Financial Director for a group of care homes in the South West.  

The issues ...

"Somerset is a popular destination for tourists. Burnham is one of Somerset’s ‘Jewels in the Crown’ and I’d like to help to support local businesses so our town goes from strength to strength."

"Of course, if we don’t care for our environment all our hard work will be in vain. It is essential that we protect and enhance our landscape. This must be at the forefront of Sedgemoor Council's agenda."  

"We need a supply of genuinely affordable housing, both for the next generation and for those who wish to ‘downsize’ but stay living locally.  However, we need surgeries, schools and the transport links to match any development."

Why I’m standing ...

"I’m committed to public service - I’ve served as a local School Governor and have been an active member of the Rotary Club."

"In my professional career and my community work, I specialise in bringing financial clarity to organisations. I will use that experience to do the same if elected to Sedgemoor."

"My hope is that we can create an open, tolerant society where everyone has a fair start in life."

Phil Harvey - [email protected]

Phil_Harvey.jpgPhil was raised in Burnham, as was his wife, and he returned to the area after retiring.  He was was the Deputy Headteacher of a Secondary School. Phil is a keen gardener and a three-time ‘eat:Burnham’ Food Festival award-winning baker.

A Councillor on Burnham & Highbridge Town Council since 2011, he has in the past been a District Councillor and Council Leader.

The issues …

Sedgemoor Council has stagnated and a lack of energy, ideas and enthusiasm means our lovely seaside town has been neglected.

Why I’m standing ...

"I want to see Burnham given its due regard by Sedgemoor - and that means we need local District Councillors with the experience, tenacity and drive to revitalise our seaside town."

"I want to put Burnham centre stage at Sedgemoor Council as it should be, building a brighter, better future for our town."

Burnham North

Helen Groves - Helen_Groves.jpg[email protected]

Helen is an active community campaigner and a former Sedgemoor and Highbridge & Burnham Town Councillor.

The issues …

Burnham is an amazing place to live, and great for local families and businesses to grow. We are extremely lucky, but our local Government suffers from terrible complacency, inertia and for too long, our area has suffered from a chronic lack of investment.

Real change and economic development can only be achieved if Sedgemoor works in partnership with local communities and businesses, whose opinions should not be brushed aside.

At this time there is too little interaction and public oversight of decisions being made, all of which have a profound impact upon our daily lives. This must change.

Why I’m standing …

"I want any Council Tax increase to be directed towards services which are so desperately needed, rather than increasing senior Councillors’ allowances."

"I want those who must live and work with the consequences of decisions made by Sedgemoor to be given a greater say in the decision-making process."

"When you cast your vote, ask yourself which candidate will actually do this?"

Bev Milner Simonds - [email protected]

Beverley_Milner_Simonds.jpgBev lives in North Burnham and loves it here. She is best known as co-founder and organiser of the hugely popular and multi-award winning Burnham Food Festival (eat:Burnham) which continues to go from strength to strength.

Bev is not one for moaning from the sidelines; she is used to rolling up her sleeves and getting stuck in to make things better.

She had a long career in Human Resources, and has held senior positions with EDF Energy and Transport for London.

The issues ...

There is a real sense of local community in Burnham. This is especially visible on high days - music events in Manor Gardens, the Folk Fest and Burnham Carnival. The streets are full, people are smiling and money being spent locally.

But business is struggling. Commuting out of town has increased due to limited local employment opportunities; this hurts people’s pockets as money goes on fuel and fares. It also hurts local retailers as money is spent out of town and the car has become ‘king’.

Residents are concerned about things like potholes, the treacherous Coast Road and a lack of cycle paths. These problems must all be fixed to the satisfaction of residents.

Why I’m standing...

"I am passionate about Burnham-on-Sea and want to see the improvements every resident deserves. I’m a fighter, but a fair one."

"From my professional life, I know to pick my causes carefully – listen to people, hear from colleagues, make a plan, then make it happen."

"I want to be a voice for North Burnham at Sedgemoor. I believe that Burnham residents know what will improve their lives, and I want to help them achieve that."

Mike Murphy - [email protected]Mike_Murphy.jpg

Long-term local resident Mike is a former Mayor of the town. He runs his own business and is the Chair of a local Chamber of Trade.

He is well-known for his free community music events in Manor Gardens in Burnham, which he has been running for over 25 years.

The issues ...

Mike is concerned at the way Sedgemoor is run by a small cabal of senior Councillors who seem to have no interest in Burnham on Sea and have used taxpayers’ money to give themselves a whacking 36% payrise this year.

Another example of the lack of interest in Burnham is the poor quality materials used in projects such as the Berrow Road pedestrian crossing at its junction with Rectory Road.

Why I’m standing …

"As your Sedgemoor Councillor, I’d like more action on rogue parking, to sort out public transport in and around our town and to extend the vital Neighbourhood Watch scheme to protect our older citizens. I’d also support hosting a new multi-use games area at Crosses Penn, with picnic areas and more parking."

"I’d like to push the Council to be proactive in promoting our High Street, increase the number of pedestrians and encourage visitors all year round."

"This would require a radical ‘brightening up’ of the area, could possibly include incentives and support for new independent shops and a targeted marketing programme to showcase our area to potential and existing visitors."

Cheddar and Shipham

Lisa Methley - [email protected]

Born and raised in Canada, Lisa came to the UK to study in 1989. She is now a British citizen, married and a mother to two teenage boys and she lives in central Cheddar.

After gaining her PhD in Immunology from the University of Bristol, Lisa has worked in academia, member-led associations, small companies and is now a manager in a large media company. Her team of 11 people deliver customer-focused experiences at high tech conferences.

The issues ... 

Lisa is keen to work with the local police to address the flagrant drug dealing around Cheddar.

Why I'm standing ... 

"As a Councillor, I will listen to residents and business owners in Cheddar first, and will use my analytical skills to assess workable and sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our growing and beautiful community."

Charlie Riches -  [email protected]Charlie_Riches.jpg

Charlie raised his family in Shipham and has been an active Parish Councillor for 16 years. He spent 35 years working in Agricultural Development with projects in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America. He has been employed directly by the Department for International Development the Natural Resources Institute at the London University of Greenwich.

Charlie will be well equipped to help get a grip on the Council’s finances, having managed multi-million pound research grant programmes in Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania with responsibility for allocating US $1.5 million per year.

The issues..

"Maintaining the landscape and biodiversity of the Mendips is a top priority for me, not least given the importance of tourism to the local economy."

"I'd like better management of traffic through the Cheddar Valley villages, and housing development linked to adequate transport. I am particularly keen on holistic planning so that roads, public transport, schools and health services keep pace as more homes are built."

Why I’m standing...

"Our Parish is increasingly overlooked. We need effective and capable people to hold Sedgemoor to account."

Tim Shaban - [email protected]

Tim lives near Cheddar with his two sons, who are in their twenties. With a background in science, he has also worked as a software engineer and is currently involved in property development and management, as well as music performance, management and production.

He is a member of several local groups including Cheddar Tennis Club, Mendip Players and the Strawberry Line Association.

The issues ...

It is vitally important that climate change, loss of biodiversity, mass extinctions and human population growth are addressed immediately and urgently in order to try to provide a decent world for our children and grandchildren.

Why I’m standing..

"I am already involved in many campaigns including Friends of the Earth led initiatives and local projects like the Strawberry Line, the multi-user path which aims to link Cheddar to Wells and beyond - the Somerset Circle."

"I’ve decided to stand as your Councillor as fundamental change is required at all levels of society - global, national and local."

Highbridge and Burnham Marine

Nick Bayliss - [email protected]Nick_Bayliss.jpg

Nick grew up in Mark, attended local schools and trained as a motor mechanic at Bridgwater College.  Now in his 20s, he lives in Highbridge and earns his living selling craft beers for a local micro-brewery.

Nick is determined to make a positive change locally.  He is keen to get more young people to engage and become involved in politics. He’s setting an example by standing for election to Sedgemoor - so that the next Council reflects a range of ages, interests and opinions.

Growing up in and around the area he is standing for means he knows the area and our community well.

The issues …

"The current Councillors at Sedgemoor are almost invisible - so if I’m elected, I’ll run monthly surgeries so you can find me easily."  

"At school and college, we were taught to work hard for our future.  The fact is that my generation might not even have a future if there isn’t immediate action on climate change, let alone our children and grandchildren."

Why I’m standing …

"We need action - not just words - and it is really important that we have Councillors who represent a cross section of the community.  When people ask me if I’m too young to be a Councillor, I tell them “No! I’m too young not to be a Councillor”."

"I want to make a positive change in the local community and change the face of local politics."

"I am an outgoing person and incredibly approachable.  If I am elected on the 2nd May, I want you to feel you can stop me for a chat and ask me for help or to discuss an idea that you think Sedgemoor could support."

Dawn Carey - [email protected]

Dawn_Carey.jpgDawn lives with her partner and two teenage children who attend King Alfred’s School.

Dawn has a degree in midwifery, and has worked in caring for others since leaving school.

She is now the Operations Manager of In Charley’s Memory, the local young people’s mental health charity set up in 2014.

The issues ... 

"I have fond memories of growing up in Highbridge, doing the weekly shop with my mother and Summers spent at the Apex."

"For too long, our town has been in decline.  This must change. Highbridge needs a fresh vision, a positive outlook and a burst of energy, enthusiasm and passion."

"I want to make Highbridge the enjoyable, well-represented community it once was. We need to invest in Highbridge and make it a destination, not just somewhere people drive through on their way to Burnham or the M5!"

Why I’m standing ...

"I feel very strongly that Councillors should be visible, approachable and hard working."

"I grew up in Highbridge and I’m proud of my roots. I’m standing because I care and I want to make a difference."

"We must support families and their children - but so many vital services are being cut, so many green areas are in the sights of property developers who give nothing back, and we risk leaving a poor legacy for our children."

Victoria Weavell - [email protected]Victoria_Weavell.jpg

Victoria Weavell is a Highbridge Town Councillor and has worked in education, social and cultural services, with disabled people and those with mental health issues.

Her wide variety of experience, including running her own business, means she has an extremely good grasp of the range of needs of people of all different ages.

The issues …

"Our green spaces are under threat and services are being cut, so there is no shortage of work for me if I’m elected to Sedgemoor."

"The planning applications at Apex, Walrow and the new Brue Farm development are completely inappropriate and I’ve already worked with local residents on these."  

"With services being cut, people don’t know where to turn in a crisis and Sedgemoor could do much more to help."

Why I’m standing…

"I will use my seat on Sedgemoor to push for the re-development of Highbridge town centre and improvements to public transport."

"I want to see more healthy, vibrant opposition on Sedgemoor which would improve decision-making and enable exciting projects to come to life."

"I will continue to encourage people to voice their opinions, approach me for help with their issues or ideas, gauge local interests and make Sedgemoor more interesting, accessible and accountable!"


Tony Gore - [email protected]

Tony_Gore.jpgTony lives in Brent Knoll from where he runs his own business.

Tony is a skiing enthusiast and earlier this month was the first Brit to complete the world’s longest cross country ski trek, covering over 1,000 miles. He is also an active member of the local gig rowing club and the sailing club.

Tony is standing for Sedgemoor as he wants to give people a choice - more of the same, or the chance for change.

The issues …

Sedgemoor’s planning service is not fit for purpose and needs a wholesale re-think, so development is carried out in a way which is acceptable to local people.

The roads through our villages are very hazardous. If we can slow traffic down and make it safer, then walking, running, cycling and horse riding will be more attractive and realistic for everyone. This also helps everyone’s physical and mental well being.

There is a severe lack of green, truly affordable homes. We need these if our villages are to thrive as communities.   

Why I’m standing …

"I want to look at how, by working together, we can identify good ideas and use new collaborative approaches to find better solutions and services."

"I will work hard for local people and improve our community."

Mae Pleydell-Pearce - [email protected]Mae_Pleydell_Pearce.jpg

Mae lives in Rooksbridge with her family, having moved from Brean. Her teenage son attends a local school.

Her professional and voluntary life and work has been dedicated to public service in the community. She spent 14 years caring for her disabled son.

Mae is a senior committee member for the NHS campaign ICON which safeguards new babies and supports parents.  She has held a wide variety of roles, including being an active Councillor in another area and she has served as a School Governor.

Mae has worked at a Special Needs School, spent 5 years supporting families at Barnardos and she volunteers at Weston Hospice offering emotional support to patients and carers.

The issues …

"I’ve watched as Sedgemoor has ridden rough-shod over community views and comments and I’m appalled at the disdain with which local residents’ opinions are treated."  

"Our rural communities need Councillors who will listen, and will seek out those who often go unseen and unheard, but need support."  

Why I’m standing ...

"I felt privileged to be the bridge between the Council and the people in my ward when I was a Councillor in Leicester. I’m ready to take that role on again."

"With my experience of helping people, I feel I have the empathy and understanding to make the most of the role of local Councillor.  I have the time, energy and interest to make things happen."

Wedmore and Mark

Jo Keen - [email protected]

Jo_Keen.jpgJo lives in Cocklake with her family. She knows the area well, having joined Young Farmers in 1988, then becoming a resident, and now a parent of 3 children. 

For 30 years, Jo has worked in IT and cyber security, both in the education and defence sectors. She has served on Wedmore First School and Kings of Wessex PTAs, and been a driver and committee member for Wedmore’s Community Bus for the last 11 years. Jo is a keen fundraiser, supporting the Scouts, Guides, local churches, charities and the 3Cs Harvest Home.

The issues ...

"Our villages are friendly, supportive and vibrant and I’ll help preserve this by supporting local businesses, residents and workers." 

"I want to build on our strengths and heritage whilst being flexible about the future and ensuring our communities contribute to a greener, cleaner planet."

Why I’m standing ...

"To me, being a Councillor is to ensure people’s voices are heard, to help if there’s a problem and facilitate changes they want to see and make. To help as a channel for understanding “red tape” and “process” and to bring clarity."

"My core values are centred on integrity, helpfulness and a desire to see and do the best for those around me. Coupled with my desire to proactively get things done in the right way, I feel these values will be key to my success as your Councillor."

Claire Prior - [email protected]Claire_Prior.jpg
Claire used to live in Wedmore, and now lives in Mark.  She has 2 adult daughters and ran her own thriving business in Wedmore before returning to study at university as a mature student. She now works for the marketing arm of a Somerset-based hospitality group.

The issues …

Having owned and run her own business locally, Claire knows how vital it is that support and advice is readily available. Many local people would like to work from home (reducing our villages’ carbon footprint), and Claire is keen that Sedgemoor plays a greater role in making this possible.

Changes nationally could affect things we take for granted locally, like our farming community and the great quality food we rely on them to produce. There’s much to be done to promote local food and prioritise Somerset’s suppliers in our own county and beyond.

Claire wants to make our villages ‘greener’ - turning off street lights after midnight, supporting planning for affordable eco-homes and increasing recycling - particularly for businesses.

Why I’m standing …

"I had no ambition to work in politics, but I believe passionately in standing up for what I believe in!"

"I want to listen, and debate with respect for the ‘other points of view’ - vital for taking ideas forward, making progress and achieving change."  

"As your Sedgemoor Councillor, I’ll do exactly this and work for your benefit, not my own."



Ashwick, Chilcompton and Stratton

Josh Burr - [email protected]

Josh_Burr.jpgJosh teaches Maths and is a local school Governor for those with special educational needs. His family have lived in Oakhill and Gurney Slade for many years

Why I’m standing …

"Standing for Council is another way I can give back to the community I love. Despite the shambles in Parliament, people still care about local matters and want Mendip to listen. Poor planning, a lack of enforcement and the scourge of fly tipping - which has increased after cuts to recycling centres - are hot topics on the doorstep."

"I’m determined to deliver positive solutions on these issues and more."

Sam Phripp - [email protected]Sam_Phripp.jpg

Sam grew up in the Mendip area and wouldn't choose to live anywhere else.

He works in a local Building Society.

Why I'm standing ... 

"Everyday I see local people putting hard earned money aside, yet it’s still impossible for them to get onto the property ladder, with house prices in our villages climbing and very little truly affordable housing being approved and built."

"If elected to Mendip, I want to work with and on behalf of local people to help solve the problems we all experience. From heavy traffic rumbling through our villages, to the fly-tipping which seems to get worse every year - it's clear that only when we work together are we going to make a real difference."

"My only pledge, is that if I'm elected, I'll work hard to listen and meet with local people to ensure their voices are heard at Mendip."

Chewton Mendip and Ston Easton

Christina Baron - [email protected]

Christina used to teach British History and about modern Britain to international students at Bath University.

She sits on disciplinary tribunals for the General Medical Council and on interview panels appointing judges. She is a former Chair of Somerset Partnership NHS Trust, an active member of St. Thomas’s Church, Wells, which is linked with the churches in Chewton Mendip, Litton and Ston Easton and is an elected member of the General Synod of the Church of England.

Christina is a former Mayor of Wells and helped to set up the local Citizens’ Advice Bureau and to establish twinning, which is highly successful, with French, Italian and German towns.

Why I’m standing ...

"If elected, I will campaign for more social rented homes so people who can’t afford to buy so-called “affordable” homes can have secure tenancies at reasonable rents."

Croscombe and Pilton

Ross Kessell - [email protected]DSCF6426.jpg

Ross has lived locally for over 20 years and attended Whitstone School. He now lives in Pilton with his wife and young children. Having trained as an apprentice garage technician, he then spent 8 years in primary and secondary schools supporting a young person with disabilities 1:1. After spending 3 years with Somerset's Disabled Children's Team, he has worked for the last year with Somerset's Leaving Care Team.

Ross is committed to putting the environment at the forefront of Mendip’s decision-making.

Why I’m standing ...

"With national politics paralysed, it’s time to build on our villages’ strengths and get things done."

"Mendip needs a shake up and I’ll bring fresh ideas and work with anyone who has the interests of our rural way of life at heart."

Glastonbury St Benedict's

Maggie Dear - [email protected]

Maggie was a social worker and manager in children’s services for 33 years before setting up her own small business earlier this year. She established a charity - Martha Care - in memory of her young daughter. The charity supports the families of children in hospital.

Why I’m standing ...

"I’m a ‘doer’: I set up the Glastonbury Yellow Day, Zombie Walk, and motorcycle ride out, all of which raise of lots of funds for charitable causes locally."

"I want to support our High Street's businesses, improve our town’s prosperity and strengthen our communities."

"I'm not satisfied with what I see around me, so I decided to be your councillors. Things won’t change if you don’t make them change."

Glastonbury St Edmund's

Nick Cottle - [email protected]Nick_Cottle.jpg

Nick is a familiar face on Glastonbury High Street. He used to run The Monarch and Coffee Bean cafes, and now you may have met him as he’s probably delivered a parcel or two to your home!

Why I’m standing …

"I’ll continue to campaign against heavy lorries coming through Glastonbury and I want to persuade shops and takeaways to discontinue the use of single-use plastics."

"I’m determined that Mendip Council should transfer the unused land near the cemetery into community ownership for public use as an orchard, allotments, dog walking and picnic area."

Glastonbury St Mary's

Laiqa Browne - [email protected]

ld-glastonbury-2019-223-of-323_40125918563_o.jpgLaiqa lives in Glastonbury and runs her own dog walking business. 

She graduated & post graduated in medical sciences, and conducted research into Cystic Fibrosis & diabetes. She trained as a lecturer in Biology, working in Further Education and  secondary schools. 

She has volunteered with international charities in India, Israel, Ukraine & Myanmar where she lived for almost 2 years.

She has lived in Glastonbury for over a decade and was elected to the Town Council in 2007, where she was involved in local charities, planning & the burial board. She became a school governor at St Dunstan's School.

Why I’m standing ...

"For too long, Mendip Council has ignored Glastonbury Town Councillors' views and overruled local decisions. I feel now is the time for like-minded Councillors to work together for the good of Glastonbury."

"I want to encourage manufacturing small businesses and artisans to come here to use local wool, leather to make clothing & shoes or build furniture, to encourage tourism."

"Together we can improve our green spaces, find a safe place for travellers and finally re-route heavy polluting lorries away from our historic town."


Matt Martin - [email protected]Matt_Martin.jpg

Matt lives between Meare and Westhay and works as an engineer. For several years he was a school Computer Science teacher.

Why I’m standing...

"I’ve lots of time and energy to devote to being your Councillor. I’m local and I'll be easy to contact as I work from home. I'm looking forward to serving you and using my time to make the changes you need and want."

"I’m currently exploring ways to reduce vehicle speeds through the village. The speed limit in some of our local lanes should be much less than the current 60 mph, which is so dangerous for pedestrians on our rural roads."

Rodney and Westbury

Ros Wyke - [email protected]

Ros has lived in Westbury for over 25 years. She is a former School Governor and Mendip Hills AONB management committee member.

She actively supports local groups including the Strawberry Line off road path and she spearheaded the initiatives for a successful community owned village shop and Post Office, and the project to save the village pub.

Why I’m standing …

"My career in international business and senior roles in the NHS have equipped me to provide the strong and assertive voice that our rural community deserves."

"Since being elected in 2015, I have challenged the quality of planning services, pushed for affordable housing and campaigned against single use plastics. There's much more to do."

Shepton East

Garfield Kennedy - shepton-2019-1-of-11_47185086502_o.jpg[email protected]

Garfield had a successful career as a producer and director in film and television before joining The Woodland Trust charity as a professional fundraiser.

He has enjoyed 9 years' service to Shepton as a Town or Mendip Councillor. During his time as Chair of Collett Park Management Committee, he has seen a café and the popular weekly parkrun launched, and Collett Park has been honoured as the first Green Flag park in the Mendip area. For 5 years, Garfield has managed Collett Festival, transforming it from a one day event to an annual weekend of celebration for thousands, and overall made a modest profit for the Collett Park Charity.

He supported the new Skatepark, BMX Track, the extension of The Strawberry Line cycle and footpath through Shepton and Mendip, and was instrumental in helping establish Shepton's Sunday Market.

Why I’m standing …

"I love Shepton and will work hard for this wonderful town.  I'll actively campaign to prevent developers and planners infilling every available green space in Shepton, I want truly affordable quality eco-homes for local people as part of all new developments, and I'll continue to challenge cuts to buses that have made it almost impossible to rely on public transport."

Gavin Mayall - [email protected]

Gavin_M.jpgGavin and his family chose to live in Shepton nearly 3 years ago and were delighted to find a welcoming and vibrant community here.

Having been self employed for over 25 years, Gavin has a wide skill and experience base and is passionate about supporting small and local businesses.

Why I'm standing ...

"I want to fight to maintain our already squeezed public services. Our hospital, buses and library are Shepton's backbone - they must be saved and properly funded."

"For too long, Shepton Mallet seems to have been overlooked, or even written off. Planning is of particular interest to me - developers are keen to swallow up huge areas of our green resources with great promises of new schools, parks and doctors surgeries, but they need to be held to account and made to deliver on their promises."

"It’s time for change and a new era of collaborative thinking. I believe party politics often gets in the way of common sense at local government level. I'd like to work shoulder to shoulder with all Councillors for the good of Shepton."

"I relish the opportunity to serve the people of Shepton Mallet and the surrounding areas."

St Cuthbert Out North

Tom Wyatt - Tom_Wyatt.png[email protected]

Tom lives in Draycott and is studying for a Politics & International Relations degree with University of West of England in Bristol.

Why I’m standing ...

"Mendip is crying out for some authentic, young voices willing to represent people on issues that are most important to them such as littering, recycling, public transport, decent roads and infrastructure."

"I will provide a strong voice for local residents and be a breath of fresh air at Mendip Council."

Street North

Peter Goater - [email protected]

Peter_Goater.jpgPeter has lived in Street since 2012, having moved with his family after a career in aerospace engineering and project management. He has studied History at Strode College, and produced plays for Strode Theatre. Elected as a Parish Councillor in 2016, Peter has worked on Planning, Highways, Finance, Strategy and the Parish Website.

Why I’m standing …

"Growing up as the third generation of an RAF family (on both sides) meant frequent moves and no home roots. My work took us all over the world, and when it was time to retire, we chose Street as our new home. We love living here and I enjoy being involved in the Houndwood Community Group and Parish Council."

"With your support and your vote, I want to extend my work to Mendip Council and continue making Street an even better place to live and work."

Heather Shearer - [email protected]

Heather runs her own company supplying temporary warehouse buildings. She volunteers at Strode Theatre and is actively involved in the Houndwood Community Group.

Why I’m standing ...

"I found the community I was looking for when I moved to Street."

"I worked with Citizens Advice some years ago and I'm aware of the challenges many of face daily. We all want safer streets, good schools and affordable housing and I’m ready and willing to do my bit to hold Mendip to account on these matters and more, in order to help my neighbours."

Street South

Simon Carswell - [email protected]

Simon was born and raised in Somerset, and has lived and worked in Street for the past 22 years.  Both his children went to school in Street. Simon has worked in both the Public and Private sectors and is currently self-employed.

Why I’m standing ...

"I’ve served on Street Parish Council since last May and have seen how local people can make a difference in their community - with the Merriman Park Group and the campaign to save our Library. I've supported our youth groups, which are essential to the future of our community."

"Street is a great place to live and work, with excellent facilities. We still need to revitalise our High Street, push for affordable eco-homes and ensure a fair chunk of the money raised in our car parks comes back to Street!

"I believe that local politics transcends parties and it is what I can do for our community that matters, not the party I stand for. If elected to Mendip Council, I'l fight hard to ensure Street comes first."

Liz Leyshon - [email protected]Liz_Leyshon.jpg

Liz lives in a Victorian worker's cottage in Street with her partner. She is County Councillor for Street & Glastonbury.

For 24 years, she was Manager of Strode Theatre, responsible for the National Lottery funded extension, and worked hard to keep the community theatre and cinema open for the next generation when arts funding was cut by both Somerset County Council and Mendip Council in 2011.

With a real ability to engage with and listen to residents, Liz enjoys working with the Parish Council and other organisations to get projects completed. Drawing on her administrative skills, financial management experience, fundraising record and personal determination, she is always willing to speak up for others, to find solutions and to get the job done.

Why I'm standing ...

"I believe Mendip Council needs a proper shake-up, with new Councillors taking strong representation from Street to ensure that our town-sized village has a flourishing High Street, fantastic facilities for people of all ages and properly affordable eco-homes."

"I think Mendip needs to work more closely with the County Council and I look forward to being part of that link between the Councils."

Street West

Adam Metin Sen - [email protected]

Metin_Sen.jpgAdam lives in Street with his family, and works locally. His children attend school in the village.

Adam has a degree in Business Management and Accountancy and runs his own business locally. He helps with a variety of different school and community groups and other village organisations. Adam has been a Parish Councillor, and a Mendip Councillor for the last four years.

Why I’m standing…

"My work means I am always out and about, so I know what is going on in Street, in the community and the surrounding areas." 

"One problem I am really keen to tackle is speeding, in the village centre, around our schools and in our residential areas.  I'll work with the Police and Highways team to take positive action in this area."

"I'm looking forward to serving Street again and doing my best for the area."

Wells Central

Lois Rogers - [email protected]

Lois is an experienced multi-lingual journalist, a former Health Editor at The Sunday Times and trains NHS staff. She is an experienced campaigner and a Trustee of the Wells Cathedral Chorister Trust. Lois is a member of an NHS research ethics committee, and on various steering committees for clinical trials.

Why I’m standing …

"I'm passionate about Wells and now my three boys - all educated locally - are older, I want to give something back by improving life in our City."

"Services are needed to cater for the huge new housing developments around Wells, and our environment must be protected. High Street regeneration, car parking, and affordable eco-homes are priorities.  I am keen to promote local culture, tourism and leisure too."

Wells St Cuthbert's

Rob Ayres - [email protected]

rob-ayres-wells-1-of-18_32585498431_o.jpgRob is a teacher and lives in Wells. He introduced the motion to make Wells City Council ‘single use plastic free’.

Why I’m standing …

"Every day, I encourage students to work hard so they have the best chance to get on in life."

"If we don’t take immediate action on the environment, our children might not have a future. Urgent action is needed at all levels of Government, and I’m standing to make that happen."





Laura Waters - [email protected]

Laura taught for 22 years before working in property maintenance, and is used to ‘rolling up her sleeves and getting things done’.

Why I’m standing …

"I’m passionate about education, tackling homelessness, and our environment - especially eliminating single use plastics and air pollution."

"I’ll work with local food outlets to see if unsold food can be donated to food banks or homeless charities, not buried in landfill."

Wells St Thomas'

Caroline McKinnell - [email protected]

Caroline_McKinnell.jpgCaroline lives in Bekynton Avenue. A former woodwork and metalwork teacher, she now runs her own business as a weight loss coach, winning several awards for her work.

Why I’m standing ...

"I’ve been your City Councillor since last October and would love to continue serving local people. Making our High Street thrive and improved parking are my priorities."

"The Council must also lead the way in combating climate change and reducing plastic waste."





Tom Ronan - [email protected]

Tom lives near Stoberry School and runs his own company supplying goods to the NHS. He is well known for his work to make Wells plastic free.

Why I’m standing ...

"Over the coming years we face massive environmental challenges and local councils have a key role to play."

"We must reduce waste at our markets, festivals and events and ensuring developers of new housing on the perimeter of Wells make it safe for people to cycle and walk into our city."

Wookey and St Cuthbert Out West

Lucie Taylor Hood - [email protected]

Lucie_Taylor_Hood.jpgLucie lives locally with her husband - a tree surgeon - and her two young daughters, one of whom attends Wookey School. Earlier this year she set up her own business specialising in healthcare communications.

Why I'm standing …

"Protecting the environment and countryside will always be a priority for me as your representative."

"I’m passionate about revitalising Wells High Street where we villagers all do our shopping. I’ll also push for truly affordable housing and eco-homes, which are so much easier and less expensive to run."

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