Greens win Leominster South with big majority

Trish Marsh has won the Leominster South seat on Herefordshire Council with a large majority over her nearest rival. Now holding three seats, the Greens are a bigger force than the Liberal Democrats in Herefordshire. With a reputation for hard work and positive ideas, the party is increasingly confident of further gains in Leominster, Hereford, and around the county.

Newly elected Trish Marsh said: ‘I am delighted to have gained the support of residents in Leominster South and pledge to do my best for them however they voted.’

‘I owe my victory to the good people of Leominster who wanted a local, hard working councillor. I would also like to thank my Green County Council colleagues Jenny Bartlett and Felicity Norman. Leominster voters recognise that when they elect Greens they elect people with a solid background in community action who make thorough and conscientious elected representatives.’

‘My campaign challenged Conservative-led Herefordshire Council’s wrong-headed priorities. Lots of voters told us they were fed up of crumbling roads and infrastructure and this is the clear message they have sent. I am determined to continue my campaign for a fair deal for Leominster as County Councillor.’

The by-election was caused by the death of long-serving Independent councillor Peter McCaull. The full results were: –

Trish Marsh (Green) 318 (41%)
John Stannard (IOC) 143 (18%)
Connor Egan (Con) 139 (18%)
Mark Latimer (Ind) 116 (15%)
Clive Thomas (LD) 54 (8%)

What Would Trish do?

Trish Marsh is campaigning to be elected County Councillor for Leominster South ward in the by-election on March 23rd caused by the recent death of Peter McCaull. What would she want to do as a Councillor?

Support a thriving town centre 

The Conservative council intends to sell part of Broad Street car park for retail. Green councillors have raised residents’ and traders’ concerns and insist Herefordshire Council must first evaluate impact. The council is forcing Leominster to expand massively in coming years, so adequate parking space and a vibrant town centre are crucial issues.

Provide infrastructure before the town expands 

The council gave Leominster no choice on planned town expansion of more than 2,300 houses yet it has so far failed to agree that  a new road should be built first. The Greens are no fans of new roads but say bluntly our town cannot cope with a ring of new estates without improved infrastructure.

Safeguard Leominster’s green spaces

Support a tougher stance on planning. Prioritise new development on Barons Cross Camp, long earmarked for housing, rather than allow piecemeal development on valued green spaces in residential areas (such as the land at Westcroft).

A fairer share of resources for Leominster

A spending spree goes on in Hereford (such as a £27 million new link road across the city) – while the council fails to fix pot-holes in Ryelands Road and Ivington Lane!  The council economic plan focuses only on Hereford – it should be replaced by a proper county plan.

Crackdown on dog fouling

Reverse the cuts to services which have resulted in more muck in the streets due to the lack of council enforcement.

Clean up our polluted river

The River Lugg is suffering high-risk levels of phosphates and other pollutants. Herefordshire Council has a statutory duty, with other agencies, to protect the river.

Meet Trish Marsh

Trish Marsh is married with two children. She is a former Local Government Officer with Herefordshire Council.  She is a member of Leominster Town Council and is the town’s representative on Herefordshire Cultural Partnership.

Trish is promoting Leominster so it can share in the benefits if the county is successful in its unique bid for ‘UK City of Culture’ status.

Over many years, Trish has worked hard for Leominster and has been a driving force behind several local initiatives.

Prior to council recycling collection she ran Leominster’s first volunteer-led recycling scheme in which money from the sale of ‘waste’ benefitted local good causes.

More recently, she played a major role in saving Leominster Festival from closure.

Trish organises the annual autumn festival of St. Edfrith (founder of The Priory) which helps play a part in bringing Leominster’s rich history alive.

Make your postal vote count!

Trish Marsh, Green Party candidate for the Leominster South by-election on March 23rd, has written to all postal voters to remind them to vote. The by-election is taking place due to the recent death of Peter McCaull.

Trish writes that she has a track record of working for Leominster. She is a member of Leominster Town Council and chair the Finance & General Purposes Committee. Over many years, she has put energy into local community initiatives and in organising town festivals and events.

She is experienced and knowledgeable, saying that as a former Local Government Officer with Herefordshire Council “I have a thorough knowledge of how the council works.”

Trish would be part of a winning team if elected, joining forces with Green county councillors Felicity Norman and Jenny Bartlett. This hard-working pair have won the respect of Leominster residents having been elected and re-elected.

Trish adds: I’m outspoken on issues affecting Leominster. Greens have provided the only real opposition to Conservative-led Herefordshire Council’s indifference to Leominster.  Hereford is getting a £27 million new link road across the city while Leominster’s deteriorating roads go unrepaired.

She ends the letter by pledging a positive approach to work together with all others of goodwill to fight for public services and to get the best deal for Leominster.

The election is likely to be very close between Trish and the Conservatives. Trish is urging voters not to waste their votes on other candidates who can’t win.

Spring Clean Leominster

Leominster Greens run regular volunteer litter picks in Leominster and have an extra big event coming up as part of THE GREAT BRITISH SPRING CLEAN on Sunday 5 March, 10-12. Meet Corn Square, Leominster. Equipment and bags provided. Bring your own gloves. You can join us in the town or clean up a street in your own area. More info from 01568 611734 or 780886.

Trish Marsh (photo by Green Party member Chris Watson)

Five candidates in Leo South by-election

Green Party candidate Trish Marsh, a former local government officer, is competing against 4 other candidates – all men – in the Herefordshire Council by-election in Leominster.

The by-election on March 23 has been called following the death last December of Peter McCaull (Ind) the Herefordshire councillor for the Leominster South ward.

Trish Marsh (pictured here) is competing with a Tory, a Lib Dem, It’s Our County and another candidate who gives no affiliation or description.

Trish’s campaign manager, Green county councillor Jenny Bartlett:” We are working hard to get Trish elected as the third Green councillor on Herefordshire Council.

“Trish will be a fantastic addition to the Green team at county level – she is already a town councillor and chairs the town council finance committee.” (photo by Green Party member Chris Watson)

Leominster briefing

Peter McCaull – a life of service

We were saddened last December to learn of the death of Councillor Peter McCaull. Peter was dedicated to Leominster, serving the town as a councillor for an astonishing 44 years.

CAB at the library

Herefordshire Council’s withdrawal of a grant forced Leominster Citizens’ Advice Bureau to close. Now Town Council support will enable CAB to offer free advice sessions at Leominster library every fortnight.

Great British High Street

Congratulations to the town centre traders and Leominster Business Group for their success in gaining Silver in the Great British High Street Awards Rising Star Category. They also won Gold for their brilliant promotional activity on social media. Well done!

Community Hub takes shape

Work on Leominster’s planned new ‘Community Hub’ at 11 Corn Square is progressing well. Community Wheels and the Marches Family Network have moved in and the Tourist  Information Centre and the Town Council will soon be moving there too.

Future of Leominster Primary

Greens are concerned about proposals for the school to leave the local authority and join a Malvern-based academy chain.

Councillor Felicity Norman said: “Greens oppose academisation because it fragments and divides our education system, although we do understand that schools are under pressure from the government to do this. We believe that it would be preferable to partner local smaller schools, as this would help to ensure their viability and retain local control and influence.”

Council leaving towns and parishes “in limbo” say Greens

The Green Party has accused the Conservative leaders of Herefordshire Council of leaving towns and parishes “in limbo” after blocking a Green move to ease a parish-level funding crisis.

The council approved a 1.9 per cent increase in council tax  (on 3.2.17) but rejected a budget amendment by Green group leader Jenny Bartlett to raise the figure to 1.99 per cent. The increase would still have been within the Government 2 per cent limit without triggering a county referendum.

“Financial cutbacks are damaging the ability of town and parish councils to take on and run services as now expected of them under the localism agenda,” said Councillor Bartlett. “Herefordshire Council’s Tory leadership has left them in limbo.

“My proposal would have raised £80,000 for a pot of money to fund parish-level projects – a modest sum but a step in the right direction.

“It was in no way intended to replace the parish grant withdrawn by Herefordshire Council. Leominster Town Council had £43,000 taken away by the loss of its grant – a measure of how much the parishes are hurting at a time when they are having to take on extra responsibilities.”

Cllr Bartlett accused Conservative councillors of failing to read the details and dismissing out-of-hand her proposal for a ‘spend-to-save bridge to enable service transformation.’

“While £80,000 could be said to be a ‘drop in the ocean’ in terms of Herefordshire Council’s spending that is not so at parish level,” said Cllr Bartlett,

“The ability to access additional small funds for specific projects can make all the difference. At parish level residents can see the impact of that money and the benefits to their community that result.

“Increasingly parishes are working together to pool resources to save services such as buses. For example Bodenham, Stoke Prior Group Parish, Leominster Town Council and Community Wheels have replaced the withdrawn 427 public bus with a community mini bus.

“The 490 bus from Leominster to Ludlow is now supported by all the parishes along its route and recently attracted inward investment from Ludlow Town Council which recognised the economic and social value of a vital link.”

Cllr Bartlett added: “The Greens are appealing to the council leaders for common sense. Services are being cut now, parishes are hurting now – now is the time to act while communal infrastructure is still intact.”

 

Leominster concern over loss of parking

There is real concern among traders and residents over Herefordshire Council’s proposed sell-off of part of Broad Street Car Park. Local councillors Felicity Norman and Jenny Bartlett have raised residents’ and traders’ questions with the council over loss of parking space, impact on businesses and protection of the riverside.

The Green councillors told Conservative-led Herefordshire Council that they must evaluate the impact on local traders before reducing parking space.

Under the council’s growth proposals Leominster is being forced to expand by a minimum of 2,300 houses in the coming years, so car parking space and a vibrant town centre are crucial issues.

Leominster left in cold by Tory economic plan

Jenny Bartlett – Elections Officer (North) – Contact Jenny

Green Councillors are challenging Conservative leaders on Herefordshire Council not to cut Leominster adrift in their plans. Green Party Councillor Jenny Bartlett spoke out at a Council meeting saying: ‘The Council’s economic plan is Hereford-centric. They have got the balance completely wrong. Job creation is only happening in Hereford.’

‘New developments in the city include an Enterprise Zone, Business Quarter, University plans, Urban Village, Football Club development and a new River Quarter’ said Cllr. Bartlett, ‘but what about Leominster?’

Members of the Herefordshire Market Towns Forum gave the Conservative Cabinet Member for Economic Development a roasting at a recent meeting. Forum Chair, Green Councillor Felicity Norman said: ‘Our members were dismayed by the lack of consultation, and the clear favouritism being shown to Hereford. We are calling for proper recognition to be given to our market towns, small businesses, and farming, food and drinks industries.’

Greening the mountain slopes of Nepal  

Chris Evans grew up in a comfortable home in Herefordshire, but after gaining a forestry degree and joining VSO, he found himself in a harsh environment where communities struggle to survive on degraded land.

His arrival in 1985 was the beginning of a lifelong association with people and farming in the mountains of Nepal where he has helped set up the Himalayan Permaculture Centre. In a talk in Leominster for Herefordshire’s Tree Week programme, Chris described how there was now hope for the future in the challenging terrain.  Spread of permaculture methods in which planting trees and perennial plants alongside arable crops are key, is helping to reverse decline.

In many areas fuel had become desperately short, with women spending up to six hours a day walking to find and gather a bundle of firewood. As a result people resorted to burning animal manure, thus depriving the soil of input. “It’s a no-money economy,” said Chris, “In many ways they are incredibly resilient communities, but they face a constantly deteriorating resource base.”

The ecological recovery work has included improved composting techniques, better harvesting of water resources, boosting honey production with better beehives, seed production and training ‘barefoot consultants’ to reach farming communities needing advice. Chris illustrated his talk with superb images of the rural Nepalese people and their mountain landscape. He is happy to give talks around the county.

Chris and his partner Looby are based at Waterloo Farm, Orleton, near Leominster, where they recently launched Applewood Permaculture training centre.   Contact cevans@gn.apc.org

Trip to Swan Brewery

Herefordshire Greens will be visiting Swan Brewery in Leominster on Saturday, 4th February 2017 from 2-4pm.

This recently-established family-run brewery majors on sustainability. Experienced brewer Jimmy Swan has won green awards in the industry. We will join Leominster Allotments Society members on the tour (they use Swan’s spent hops for compost). Entry free/donation to Birmingham Childrens’ Hospital if you wish. Contact Pete at folley.farm@btinternet.com or 01568 780886.

Swan Brewery, Enterprise Park, Brunel Road, Leominster HR60LX