North Dorset Liberal Democrat's Councillor Candidates For Dorset Council

The new 'Dorset Council' came into existence on 1st April 2019 and the 'North Dorset Liberal Democrats' are sponsoring candidates to serve as councillors on this new council. 

As background, Dorset Council is a new unitary council that replaced, on the 1st April 2019, 'Dorset County Council' and also 'East Dorset DC', 'North Dorset DC', 'Purbeck DC', 'West Dorset DC' and 'Weymouth & Portland BC'. New wards have been established for the new council and the first elections of councillors for each of these new wards are to be held on Thursday, 2nd May 2019.

The 'North Dorset Liberal Democrats' are sponsoring candidates, in wards that are in the 'North Dorset Parliamentary Constituency', to serve as councillors on 'Dorset Council'. 

The Liberal Democrat candidates for 'Dorset Council' are listed below - by the wards that they wish to represent.


Beacon Ward

Alexandra Gale

Alexandra has lived in the area all her life and would like to opportunity to represent local residents on the new council.

Alexandra wants a council that listens and believes in localism, ensuring fairness for residents and listens to the voices of the area's young people on local issues and plans. If elected she will work for:

  • Better integration of public transport which is affordable.
  • Establishing a presumption against significant housing development.
  • To ensure that local development should meet local needs
  • Work to ensure jobs are created in our villages, as well as towns enabling our young people to find local jobs and stay in the area.


Blackmore Vale Ward

Ian Edlin

I am a retired dental practitioner, having been active participant in the NHS for nearly 40 years mostly in Hertfordshire, but latterly in Dorset where I experienced the difficulties providing health services in rural areas. Recent changes (since 2007) have exacerbated these problems so I have learnt that an administration with a cunning "new contract" causes doom and destruction. This contactualisation has happened in many fields, but should be interpreted as rationing rather than rationalization. The remaining staff are left to continue often underfunded and overstretched.

Provision of affordable housing in the area together with overstretched educational resources, long distance travelling to work without adequate public transport links makes for extreme stress in many local families. I will endeavour to hold planners to ensure that affordable housing targets are met and not "fudged".

Also, I will work to ensure educational support services are enhanced and rural transport provision is re-assessed to allow better links to school and work.


Blandford Ward

Hugo Mieville

I have been living in North Dorset for well over thirty years - having worked at Milton Abbey School since 1985 in various roles including French and Spanish teacher, Head of Modern Languages, Housemaster and Senior Master. I am now the new Alumni Director.

I have lived in Blandford Forum since 2002, and I have been a Blandford Forum town councillor since 2011, serving three times as chair of the council's 'Town and General Purposes Committee', and once as deputy mayor. I am a foundation governor of the Blandford School. In 2015, I stood as the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for North Dorset. I live in Albert Street with my wife Yvonne and my back Labrador dog, Florrie. I have two grown-up children of my own, as well as two adult step-sons. 

I care greatly about conserving the unique character of our lovely town, whilst at the same time ensuring that its residents receive the quality of service and care which they deserve from the new Dorset Council - and the other public bodies which exist to serve them. I hope to have the opportunity of working hard to represent this fantastic community in the years to come, in the exciting first years of the new authority.


Blandford Ward

John Tanner.

I was born and brought up in Blandford. After a few years away, I returned with my family to live in Victoria Road in Blandford. Tragically, within a few years, my wife Pam passed away, leaving me as a single parent with two young children, Claire and Robin. Later I married Joyce whose daughter Charlotte completed our family. For the last 18 years we have been kinship careers of our granddaughter Charlotte.

In later years, I was manager of Castleman House, the elderly persons home in Blandford, while Joyce ran a bed & breakfast establishment.

I have been a district councillor for 24 years and am a trustee of 'Age Concern Blandford' and 'Treads', the youth advisory service. I am also a governor at Blandford School and the Milldown schools.

My ambition is to bring planning up to date by coordinating housing development with increases in social infra-structure provision - making, for example, provision of electrical charging facilities a condition for granting planning provision!


Cranborne and Alderholt Ward

David Tooke  

I’m heavily involved in fighting the appalling proposals to treble the size of Alderholt and the knock-on consequences across the surrounding area. I also want to improve public transport facilities, social care provision for our vulnerable, and local maintenance across the new Cranborne and Alderholt Ward.

This corner of North-East Dorset has been home to my family and myself for over half my life, and I’ve been active within the village for most of that time. I’ve been involved in the scout movement, Alderholt Rugby Club, and have served on the local parish council for several years. I’m a past chair of this council and was the chair of the group that set up the MUGA in the wonderful local Amanda Harris Memorial Ground and, more recently, was largely responsible for installing the outdoor gym and table tennis table there. I will continue working hard for everyone here.


Gillingham Ward

Barry van Clemens

I am a self-employed businesses man living in Gillingham for twenty years. A councillor for six years, serving as deputy mayor in 2015-16 & 2018-19 and mayor in 2016-17. I work as a volunteer with a number of groups.

I want a council that listens and believes in localism. And ensuring fairness for residents working to freeze and then reduce council tax. Also:

  • Better integration of public transport,
  • Establishing a presumption against significant housing development in our countryside,
  • To ensure that local development should meet local needs,
  • Working to ensure jobs are created in our villages, as well as towns.


Gillingham Ward

Mike Gould

I am currently a councillor for Gillingham Town Council. I am an experienced businessman and an academic historian. I am a member of Gillingham’s 'Town Team' ,which is focusing its efforts on regeneration for Gillingham’s town centre.

If I am elected to the new Dorset Council I will focus on three objectives:

1 I will aim to freeze, and then reduce, council tax, using a tried and tested business plan, already adopted by other councils.
2 I am committed to maintain and enhance all local services, especially healthcare, housing and education.
3 I will introduce new and innovative regeneration projects which will enhance the lives of all 'Dorset Council' residents.


Gillingham Ward

John Butcher

I have lived in Dorset for 18 years, the last four in North Dorset, aged 69, married with three grown-up daughters and 5 grandchildren. Our daughters follow their professions in different parts of the UK. I am a retired magazine printer, having held various 'National Graphical Association' union posts at national level whilst working for the Robert Maxwell empire.

Three years ago I joined the Liberal Democrats, having previously been a member of the Labour Party. I would like to serve on Dorset Council as I am very concerned about the lack of affordable housing in our area, especially for young families.

At present, I am chair of the 'Maltings Residents Association', a Persimmon development of over 700 houses on the east side of Shaftesbury. I am passionate that affordable housing should be available without spiralling management fees. These need capping and locked to 1% of the council tax paid by the householder.

The road network and public transport in North Dorset need serious consideration towards improvement and thought towards the needs of all users.

I believe that council tax can be frozen for several years.


Hillforts & Upper Tarrants Ward

Joe Hickish

Joe Hickish has lived in North Dorset for over forty years, where his children, and now his grandchildren, were brought up and attended schools. Throughout his career he has worked in the field of social welfare, firstly with the local authority, and latterly with a voluntary organisation. Joe's wife is a teacher.

He has been active in local politics for many years, and served on North Dorset District Council for eight years.

Joe believes the change to the new Dorset Council has the potential to be a force for good. If elected, he is determined to do his best to ensure residents benefit from what he hopes really will be the economy of scale brought about the change. Joe is worried about the facilities for young people, and deplores the loss of youth centres. He is particularly keen to see improved public transport for isolated communities, and to promote better shared funding arrangements between adult social and primary care.   The shortage of affordable housing in rural communities continues to be a grave problem, and urgently needs addressing to ensure well balanced communities.


Shaftesbury Town Ward

Derek Beer

Totally immersing myself in all manner of Shaftesbury life over many years has helped me serve you as a local councillor with a massive understanding of local needs. I've led or supported groups ranging from Shaftesbury Carnival to St John Ambulance. I was a founder member of Shaftesbury in Bloom, and have helped our sports clubs and volunteer groups through challenging times.

As your county councillor I specialised in improving mental health provision and dealing with social isolation, and passionately worked with rail and bus companies to maintain and improve services.

Shaftesbury will need a strong and knowledgeable local voice to demand better for our residents against the larger urban areas in the south of the county in the new unitary authority. I would love to be that voice on your behalf.


Shaftesbury Town Ward

Tim Cook

I moved from Buckinghamshire to Shaftesbury with my young family in 1999.  A couple of years later I felt that I wanted to do something to contribute to the town and community I was living in and the opportunity arose in 2003 when I joined the 'North Dorset Liberal Democrats' and was elected as Shaftesbury’s County Councillor in 2005.  Three years later I joined the local town council and I served a year as its mayor in 2011/12. 

I am now standing again for one of the new Dorset Council seats in Shaftesbury. We live in a unique and beautiful market town and I will do what I can to preserve the assets we have whilst making sure that our employment and social infrastructure needs keep pace with our growing population.  Both Derek Beer and I believe that homelessness and mental health services, especially for young people, are priorities that need addressing across Dorset, along with over-development, without the resources to support extra housing. I pledge to make Shaftesbury’s voice heard in the new council and that any decisions that affect our community complement the town council’s five year plan. 


Stalbridge and Marnhull Ward

Ros Eveleigh

I am keen to serve as your councillor on the new Dorset Council because, amongst other issues, I want to improve the process for the planning and approval of housing development. We must ensure that all development meets real local needs and addresses concerns raised by the neighbourhood, and follows a transparent and consistent process. 

I worked as a chartered engineer.  On retirement I have become more involved in the community, mainly with local schools and I have been instrumental in setting up new community initiatives for Marnhull and the local area. 

I am married with two children and enjoy languages, dancing and art.


Stour and Allen Vale Ward

Joanna Bury

As David Attenborough says, climate change is our greatest threat - but there’s still time. It needs to be the top of the agenda because it will affect our health and welfare, and that of future generations. Green alternatives often cost less and will certainly be better for us – improved public transport reduces isolation and car use, land managed for biodiversity is healthier for us all.

I will be pressing Dorset Council to declare a biodiversity and climate emergency and to become carbon neutral by 2030.  The recycling rate can be improved, and Dorset can become a zero waste county. I will be urging greener and cheaper energy alternatives for homes and businesses.

We must protect the green belt, ensure there is local consultation on all developments. We must protect the countryside, the air and rivers from pollution.

I am a solicitor and writer and I have lived in Dorset for twenty years. If you elect me I will listen to your concerns focussing particularly on those of vulnerable older people, children and victims of domestic abuse.


Sturminster Newton Ward

David Fox

Safer local roads, affordable homes and fighting Tory cuts to school funding are David Fox’s priority. His family have farmed here for over 150 years, and David served 32 years as a local town councillor, 12 years on the old Dorset County Council and led the old North Dorset District Council when one major achievement was to cut council tax.  Passionate about local heritage, he helped found the 'Museum and Mill Society' and 'William Barnes Society'. David worked for the 'Prince’s Trust' helping young people start businesses.

As Sturminster's Mayor, David started 'SturQuest' community planning and, as the district councillor, fought to keep community use for The Exchange site. He saved our library from Conservative cuts.


Verwood Ward

Ginette Holdroyd

I work as a public health nurse for children and young people in Bournemouth. I'm also the mum of two lively boys.

Verwood is a town with lots of young families, and also a significant older population. I would love to see our community developing with social opportunities for all, with affordable community events and amenities which are inclusive, and can be a great equaliser between people from different walks of life and income brackets.

I would be particularly interested in opportunities for young families, families with teenagers, and older people, who may not have their own transport. Developing the community, will help combat isolation and loneliness for those most vulnerable, will see teenagers meeting their full potential, and our older and wiser citizens living life to the full. E.g. Imagine our own upper school which doubled as a thriving community college??


West Moors & Three-Legged Cross Ward

Marlies Koutstaal

Strengthening our communities, bringing people together and fighting against isolation and loneliness are top priorities for me. I believe more can be done on sustainability, ensuring future generations can enjoy Dorset the way we all do as a fantastic place to live, work and visit. I understand that housing development is required but I believe it must only be in the right locations and at the right scale.

Locally, I am concerned about plans for a large sand quarry near West Moors and Three Legged Cross, raising environmental and road safety concerns for our residents. I am a communications consultant and my background is in renewable energy. I live in Three Legged Cross with my partner and our cat.


Winterborne North Ward

Barrie Cooper

Living and having my own farming business in Charlton Marshall, I fully understand the issues and problems experienced by residents - such as housing, social care, transport, highways and the provision of community facilities.

I am a Charlton Marshall parish councillor, trustee of the new 'Charlton Marshall Village Hall' and also of the 'Blandford Youth Centre'. I am on the management committee of the 'Blandford Food Bank' and an elder at the 'Blandford United Reformed Church'. I was a councillor on the former 'Dorset County Council', the former 'North Dorset District Council' and the former 'Dorset Police Authority' with thirty years’ experience.

Residents need a strong voice on the new 'Dorset Council' - I believe I have the experience and knowledge to well represent Winterborne North. 


Cranborne Chase Ward


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