I joined the Liberal Democrats just before the 2010 General Election (having voted Liberal or Liberal Democrat since I could vote).
I became active in the local Branch after the Spring Conference in Gateshead in 2012 and first stood as a candidate in Middle Dales Division (NYCC) in 2013 followed by Newsham with Eppleby (RDC) in 2015, Richmond East (RDC) 2015, Richmond Central (RDC) 2016, Richmond (NYCC) 2017 and Melsonby (RDC) 2019. The closest I got to election was 32 votes in Richmond Central.
I also agented for David Coates in Catterick Village where we lost by 25 votes.
I am the Chair of Richmondshire Branch, Secretary of Richmond (Yorks) Party and Policy Chair for Yorkshire and Humber Region.
I have submitted (and won) motions at Regional Conference on moving Parliament to York while Parliament is refurbished and on moving healthcare under more democratic control. I have also submitted a motion to Autumn Conference on truth-telling in politics.
I have been an active campaigner against the closure of the Mental Health Wards at The Friarage, the possibility of closure of The Friary in Richmond, the downgrading of A&E at The Friarage and for a Peoples’ Vote (including travelling to Brussels with North Yorkshire for Europe 7-10 July). I was actively involved in Toby Abel’s campaign in the 2017 General Election.
I have been successful in getting letters published in the Darlington & Stockton Times on many different topics and created and maintain the rylibdems.org.uk website. I have written a piece for the Yorkshire and Humberside Liberal Democrats Yellow Book on Options for Devolution which will be published shortly. I have also been active in the re-establishment of the Northallerton Branch supporting first Benedicte Windle and, now, Rachel Wadsworth and her team. At the time of writing the first meeting of the newly-formed Branch will take place on 17th July.
I am also active with the Liberal Democrats Northern Federation and hosted a consultation at Spring Conference in York on Rural Issues.
My twin passions are a fair financial settlement for the North and providing equality of services to rural areas. This covers health, transport, connectivity and education.
Rural areas pay the same taxes as urban areas but get fewer and poorer services. We also pay the same mobile phone and broadband charges but get poorer service too. We also need an MP who will fight for our rural communities and understands the real issues of rural isolation.
I am currently the Emergency Candidate for Calder Valley constituemcy.
Personal and Family History
I was born in Darlington Greenbank Maternity Hospital (much to the disgust of my Bradford-born maternal grandfather – ‘He’ll never be able to play for Yorkshire’) and have lived in or around Richmond all my life (apart from studying at the University of Hull). I have lived in Eppleby for over 30 years.
My mother was born in Richmond and my father in Leyburn and have family connections in Swaledale and Wensleydale.
I went to Primary School in Leyburn and Hipswell and Secondary School in Richmond.
After University I worked as a Quantity Surveyor in Richmond before moving into Engineering and Manufacturing in Darlington.
I started teaching part-time at Darlington College in 1991 before going full-time in 2003. I left in 2014 then taught at Sheffield College until September 2018 when I started teaching part-time at Manchester Metropolitan University. My main subjects are Business, Marketing and Project Management
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