Local Government Elections will take place on Thursday 2 May 2019. Green Party candidates will be standing in local council wards, in Luton, Central Bedfordshire, Bedford Borough and in the Bedford Mayoral Election.
Your contributions could make all the difference to the success of our candidates' campaigns. If you are interested in volunteering to deliver leaflets, joining in with doorstep campaigning, representing the Green Party at polling stations on Thursday 2nd May, or assisting by any other means, please complete this form.
To make a donation, visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/a-green-mayor-for-bedford. Please give all you can.
For more information on candidates see below:
Luton and Bedfordshire Green Party is delighted to announce that it has chosen Adrian Spurrell to be their candidate for this year’s Bedford Mayoral election.
At a time when councils all over England, indeed all over the world, are declaring climate emergencies and committing to becoming carbon free its time that voters in Bedford Borough had a Mayor who understood that for us to live a decent, happy life, we need to look after the planet on which we depend and worked to make sure this was this case.
Adrian lives in Kempston and is active in Bedford’s community, being a trustee of three local charities and sitting on the board of the local Credit Union. He works as a consultant helping organisations to work better and improve the quality of their leadership.
Adrian is passionate that Bedford needs to change the way it is going about solving the challenges we face – traffic congestion, poor air quality, growing inequality and a stressed health system. He also believes that the people of Bedford should be actively involved in being part of those solutions. Adrian's Manifesto
Printable 'Vote Adrian Spurrell for Mayor' poster, as a PDF.
The Green Party will have candidates standing for election in many wards across Bedford Borough. Details of individual candidates will be added below as they become available.
Gary Lloyd has lived in rural Bedfordshire for more than twenty years, and works as a postman in the rural villages. Gary has been a campaigner and activist for environmental issues for decades, having joined Greenpeace as a teenager in the 1980’s, and is currently co-Chair of Luton and Bedfordshire Green Party.
Gary is active in local life in Harrold Ward, and is a Parish Councillor in Harrold. He acts as co-ordinator for the speedwatch group in Harrold and Carlton and has campaigned locally for traffic calming measures in our villages. Gary also supports and volunteers for Harrold good neighbours, a group which provides company, lifts, and help for elderly and vulnerable people in his village.
Gary actively campaigns and lobbies local councillors in respect of action against air pollution and climate change, and in preserving our treasured NHS services as free for all based upon clinical need rather than the ability to pay privately. Gary is now ready to use his considerable energy as a councillor for Harrold Ward, where he is keen to act as an independent Green voice, free from the constraints of the petty political points scoring which seems to be the priority of the larger parties.
Gary lives in the village of Harrold with his Wife Jenni (a deputy head teacher) and grown up Son.
A message from Lucy:
"I’ve lived in Castle Ward, Bedford, with my family, for over fifteen years and for twelve years I have worked for a small business here.
I’m known locally for my involvement in community activities such as running the community herb garden on Rothsay roundabout; organising and joining many litter picks across the town; actively promoting a car club to ease parking congestion; campaigning on air quality and monitoring air quality local schools. I cycle regularly around town, and this keeps me in touch with the area.
Bedford needs Green councillors to provide an independent local Green voice on the council. As an independent local Green councillor, I would work constructively with other councillors in the best interests of residents but would challenge the council when I feel they are failing to do this.
I stand up for public services and work to improve the quality of life of residents, campaign for reliable, affordable, public transport, sustainable housing and initiatives to better fund and support local policing to reduce local crime.
I am disturbed by the way air pollution is ignored in Bedford and is allowed to affect our health, in particular the health of our children. As a long-time campaigner for air quality, I believe this is an urgent issue that needs to be tackled to improve our health and quality of life.
I believe that the time is right to push the message on environmental sustainability and on the urgency of climate change. Bedford Borough Council needs to put climate change at the centre of its local policy decisions and these issues affect the long-term safety and health of our community. These effects are happening now, and cannot be left for future generations to put right.
We need action now, and independent local green councillors are the ones to do this.
I love Bedford but I know that Castle ward, taking in the town centre as it does, faces many mixed challenges. It needs councillors with integrity who really listen, and unlike other parties, are not ‘whipped’ to vote and support a national party line. There are currently 165 Green Party councillors in England and Wales and they actively work with local people to find solutions to local problems. I am campaigning positively to be elected as that sort of councillor here now.
Working hard all year round, with Ben Foley, I have knocked on hundreds of doors and listened to your views. Together with Ben, and other hard-working local Green campaigners we want your voice to be heard loud and clear in the council chamber."
Ben Foley is best known as a long-term campaigner for Bedford’s rail users. He was the key person behind the ‘SaveOurTrains’ campaign and set up the independent “Bedford Rail Campaigners” group. He has lived near the station for more than 20 years, bringing up two (now adult) children who have attended four local state schools. Ben has also campaigned for safer roads, and for parking improvements around Castle Road, has been active in litter picks around Midland Road and has joined in other campaigns locally, including for the NHS, and against air pollution.
Kate grew up in Bedford and has lived in various parts of the town over the years, including Putnoe. Kate attended Mark Rutherford School, and has first hand experience of many local schools, as a parent, grandparent and school governor. Kate's priorities are improving funding for local schools, protecting Bedford hospital, and ensuring that the climate emergency recently declared by Bedford borough council translates into effective action against climate change. Kate is involved with various local community initiatives, including the Fairtrade Shop at St Andrew's Church and Companions Real Bread CIC.
Kate has worked in local government, the civil service, and small businesses, and is now self employed.
"I proudly consider Bedford to be my hometown, and after many years living in other parts of the country working for a young people's charity and the British Council, I have recently returned to live in Bedford with my partner and young son where I am now self-employed as a commercial artist and retailer.
My home is in the Cauldwell area and I am keen to improve residents' sense of pride there by looking after neglected areas and protecting naturally wild spaces. I have organised several litter picks and my campaigning has led to the council providing extra street cleanliness support in the St Leonard's Avenue area.
My priorities include protecting Bedford hospital as well as funding for schools and community services that support the most vulnerable. As a regular cyclist I am also eager to help make the streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists. Most recently, I have been lobbying Bedford Council to provide safer crossings over London Road near the roundabout close to Rope Walk. Options for safer travel by foot or bicycle would encourage less car use, ease traffic congestion and reduce air pollution which is at dangerous levels in some parts of the town.
I have also taken part in the successful campaign for Bedford Council to declare a climate emergency as I am passionate about confronting the truth that unless radical action is taken our children stand to inherit a dying planet."
"I have served as a parish councillor for Brickhill since 2015 - in that time, I have been proud to support installing solar panels on the community centre, and exercise equipment on Waveney Green. Never afraid to get my hands dirty, I have myself planted bulbs next to Rooksmead pond, and reported dozens of street light fixes, potholes and broken signs for repair. I believe fixing small things such as these makes Brickhill a nice place to live.
I will be looking for ways that the Borough Council and other local organisations can respond to the IPCC's call for an urgent reduction in carbon emissions. This is a genuine climate emergency, and we need to make it our top priority as a community.
My family and I attend St Andrew's church, where I sing in the choir on Sundays. In my professional career as a technical architect, I have come to value getting the right things done, both efficiently and effectively. If elected I will bring the same spirit to the council
"I’m standing for the Green Party because I believe in Social Democracy and like that the Green Party is interested in forming coalitions with other organizations that have fundamentally the same principals, and they are interested in working at the local level to change things for the better."
Richard has lived in Bedford for 30 years, the last 19 years in Newnham.
Richard has worked at Bedford Central Library, the former Bedford Racial Equality Council and the former Bedfordshire County Council. He now works as a Human Resources Consultant in London. Richard has been a school governor at Castle Lower School and Newnham Middle School.
Richard believes that the purpose of government at all levels is to improve wellbeing. This means investing in people; in their health, education, and in the physical and social environment. Richard's priorities are to protect Bedford Hospital, improve funding for our schools, regenerate our town centre and take meaningful action to prevent the threat of climate change.
Richard supports the campaign to stop the Covanta Incinerator at Stewartby which will affect the health of everyone in the borough. As a regular commuter, Richard supports the campaign to improve our North-South, East-West public transport links. Richard is married with four grown-up daughters, all educated locally in Bedford's state schools.
"I am standing as a candidate to give the people of Goldington a choice and a voice.
I believe in fighting and campaigning for:
I am standing because I want to give the people of Bedford a voice to be able to choose a lifestyle that suits them. As someone who has a chronic condition I have faced human and welfare rights issues. I have a daughter at university who is facing a lifetime of debt. I also face a health and social care service that is unable to support me now and in the future. I believe in social justice. Standing up and fighting for people’s rights and responsibilities. To have a public transport system that can support both urban and rural areas, which is important to the villages of Bedford Borough. To have adequate social and private accommodation to support the residents of this area built in a sustainable fashion. I support renewable and affordable energy requirements. A fair tax system so that this does not full on those that can least afford it. An education system that all citizens can be proud of. To support worker’s rights for both the self employed and those working for businesses and an end to zero hours contracts. To significantly reduce with a view to end hate crimes and to educate those that perpetuate this.
These are all areas of life that I feel very strongly about. I feel that a lot of the population of the UK are systematically having their rights stripped away. I am willing to fight for what I believe is right and will do my very best to support the citizens of Bedford.
Jen Foley is a Green Party candidate in Goldington Ward.
"The central reasons for my joining the Green Party are the environment, animal rights and human rights. They are the three things that the other parties seemingly turn a blind eye to when it comes to implementing their own policies.
I believe we are at a precipice in our country in terms of which direction our government takes us in. Brexit has, among other things, shown the true colours of our current crop of MP's and it has divided the country. I believe the Green Party to be the only non-divisive party out there, as its policies are all about protecting our planet and all of its inhabitants for future generations.
The work that the likes of Caroline Lucas, Sian Berry and Jonathan Bartley do is inspiring and is something that made me want to leave my previous party affiliations behind and join a progressive party that has at its forefront the rights of this whole planet, not just a select few.
Steve Irwin once said “We don’t own the planet Earth, we belong to it. And we must share it with our wildlife.” and this is true of every animal, woman, man and child no matter where they come from. It’s my privilege to be standing for a party that believes the same."
"Hi, I'm Hannah Jones. I have lived in Queens Park for 15 years and have worked as a nurse at Bedford Hospital for over 10 years. I am married with a young child and care greatly about the world and environment he is growing up in. Please vote for a change with The Green Party.
"I was born in Kempston towards the end of WW2. Apart from time at university, I have lived all my life in Bedfordshire. I remember post-war austerity, but also that I recognised that rationing and the setting up of the NHS made life fairer.
I taught sixth form and Adult Education classes for some thirty years. From 2002-08 I was Keeper of Social History at Bedford Museum (now The Higgins), where I worked with a range of community groups. My research degree taught me the value of evidence: we need to be aware of fake news. In the 1980s I became aware of the hypothesis that as the world warms, the weather becomes both unpredictable and violent, and we see this now playing out. We need to see the links: desertification or flooding will result in refugees and have a huge impact on humanity. I have been supporting Bedfordshire Against Covanta Incinerator. We are used to a level of pollution from the brickworks, but that could be smelt and tasted, and we could take action to avoid it. This is not the case for particulates (PM2.5) for which there is no safe level. An incinerator would produce carbon dioxide too. Waste needs to be treated as a resource, not go up in smoke.
In terms of my thoughts on current politics, we are not well served by the current first-past-the-post system, already superceded in most other countrues, and need to make votes matter. We need to find a way to replace confrontation with compromise and consensus. This means change, which is often uncomfortable, but now more necessary than ever."
"I grew up in Bedfordshire and after a spell in London and East Africa moved back to Bedford three years ago to start a family. My background is in law and I specialise in education, human rights and public health.
I'm standing as a candidate for the Green Party as I believe Bedford Borough Council needs to start placing greater value on citizens' health and environment, and put climate change at the centre of all policy decisions.
We can't carry on business as usual, we need more environmentally sustainable thinking and now is the time for change. We need Green voices on the Council."
Alison has lived in Bedford for 7 years. She works for a local university doing research in the environment and international develpment. She is very active in the local Green party and is regularly out and about trying to understand residents' views. She volunteers as a Befriender at Yarl's Wood, where she gives emotional support to the women who are detained there, often for months on end with no idea when they will be released. She is also passionate about stopping UK arms sales to regimes where they will be used for oppression and climate change - the most pressing issue of our time.
Gareth is a long time member of the Green Party having previously represented us on Mid Beds District Council. He has lived and worked in this area for 25 years and as a Parish Councillor for the last 12 years and is very active in the local community. Gareth has fought hard to improve road safety in the local area and is passionate about protecting and improving the environment. He has helped develop solar energy projects locally, opposed unsustainable development, campaigned against Covanta Incinerator and worked to encourage cycling and public transport.
"As a Chartered Engineer I am frustrated at how politics has got in the way solutions to the Climate crisis. There are too many vested interests in the status quo. This is unsustainable and has to change. The Green Party has the best policies for implementing that change."
"I moved to Ampthill over 12 years ago with two young children who have grown up here into splendid young people. I have worked as a teacher in South India, and around the UK, including in local schools. I have also been a Registered Childminder, and for the past 6 years, a professional dogwalker. I feel a great sense of privilege to live and work in this beautiful area.
I joined the Green Party 4 years ago, concerned about increasing xenophobia in our politics and frustrated about reversals in progress towards making our economy greener.
I am standing for Ampthill ward for the Central Bedfordshire Council elections so that voters in this area have a chance to say that they are concerned that we preserve our green spaces, develop sustainably where we need to, and that we want CBC to pay attention to the fact that there is a climate emergency which needs action now.”
Catherine is keen to promote Green Party policy on democracy with three practical steps:
• To require councils to introduce more participatory democracy, allowing residents to form panels and assemblies to directly input into council decision making.
• To end the cabinet system on councils....(and) replace this system with themore democratic committee system, where strategic decisions are taken by all councillors on the council, working together across Party lines.
• To devolve more powers to Parish and Town councillors, and the hard working residents who serve on these community bodies.
Gillian has lived in Parkside for a number of years and is our Green Party Candidate for the Ward.
I am a husband, father and lawyer who is passionate about the outdoors (particulatly climbing and mountaineering) and Green issues. I moved to Little Billington 7 years ago and, having had two children since then, I would like to be able to move Green issues up the agenda at both the local and national level. I believe in fairness, both between the haves and the have nots of the present day, and between us and future generations. I don't think that our children should have to face up to more difficult decisions because we avoided making easier ones.
Dominic is a passionate campaigner and green entrepreneur, as well as being a local resident and father of three. Since studying for an environmental science degree he has worked as a sustainability campaigner, founded a community bike recycling workshop, and run his own consultancy advising local authorities, government and business on how to cut emissions from transport.
Vote for Tom Hoeksma in our planetary struggle over the 12 remaining Summer Solstices before Climate Breakdown. I am a law student, an aspiring Barrister, a social housing professional, father of three and active Green Party member since the Eighties. I was Green parish councillor in Stokenham Devon 2013-16 until I moved to Central Beds.
We must win small battles, such as remaining inside European Union climate protection regime, among our European Greens supported by Germany’s Gruene Europa and my old colleagues in the Netherlands Groen Links supporting the Green Party.
Alison is very active in the local Green party and is regularly out and about trying to understand residents' views. Although she does not live in the Ward she does work here and is keen to represent the local community. She is opposed to the Covanta Incinerator which is a danger to the local environment, with increased risks of air and water pollution and climate change - the most pressing issue of our time.
Ken has represented Sandy on Mid Bedfordshire District Council and Sandy Town Council. He is passionate about envionmental issues and serving his local community.
Marc is a long standing member of the Green Party and has been very active promoting environmental and social issues in Luton over three decades.