Cllr Helen Sprawson-White Joins Mendip DC Lib Dems

Cllr Helen Sprawson-White for Frome Oakfield Ward has joined the Liberal Democrats on Mendip District Council and has become a member of Somerton & Frome Liberal Democrats.

We welcome her back to the constituency and look forward to working with her in the coming years.

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“We want to make it clear that the District Councils of Somerset do not support ‘One Somerset’ and the proposals for a single council for Somerset.

“The detailed work which the five councils of Somerset commissioned together clearly concluded that a single council was the wrong solution for the people and communities of Somerset.

“Somerset’s District Councils have been focused in recent months on supporting our residents and businesses through the Coronavirus crisis. This remains our priority including focusing on how we help Somerset’s communities and economy recover. However, as Somerset County Council is determined to push the debate on the future forward during the pandemic, as four districts we will now be putting our collective efforts to developing an alternative proposal. We have always said would refocus on this when the time was right.

“We know we can offer a better future for the people of Somerset that reforms local government and is ambitious for our communities and their quality of life. Somerset does not deserve the cheapest local Government. Somerset deserves the best local government.

“We will develop the best plan for the future with the help and involvement of our communities.”


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Councillors ask car park owners to follow their lead

I am  very concerned as lockdown eases that we make life as easy as possible for residents of our villages and town that need to shop and do business in Shepton. 


So I have issued the letter below, I believe it is a sensible and constructive proposal that councillors of all parties and none can support. I am looking to achieve a positive outcome and delighted that my fellow councillors Sam Phripp, Josh Burr, Edric Hobbs and Garfiled Kennedy (Liberal Democrats) and Chris Inchley (Independent)

Thank you !



Cllr Barry O'Leary

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Cllr. Drew Gardner Speaks Up for 5G Safety

As reported by the Somerset Series Newspapers

Cllr. Drew Gardner Issues a Public Safety Warning

19 June 2020, Frome


Councillor Drew Gardner, Liberal Democrat Frome,  has hit out after 5G campaign posters across the Mendip area were allegedly laced with dangerous objects.

The posters had been attached to lamp posts, barriers and other street furniture in different areas of the district, with local reports suggesting they had been covered in objects such as razor blades in an apparent attempt to stop them being taken down.

The existence of the objects has been confirmed by Mendip District Council, although the exact nature of the items attached to them has not been confirmed.

Avon and Somerset Police says it has not received any reports about the posters, but the council has urged anyone who discovers them to report them to the landowner or the police immediately.

A spokesman said: "Mendip District Council was made aware of a number of cardboard signs which had been applied to street furniture, barriers, and the like, regarding 5G.

Click here to read the article




Edric Hobbs joins Lib Dems in Mendip

Edric Hobbs, Mendip District Councillor (Shepton West) joins the Liberal Democrat group at Mendip District Council.

“I am really pleased to be joining the local Liberal Democrat party and the other Lib Dem Councillors at Mendip,” commented Councillor Hobbs, who is also the newly elected chair of Shepton Town Council. “I have supported the change this administration has sought to bring about from the day I was elected – my priorities, my values and what I want to do for Shepton haven’t changed. One year in, and with a good understanding of what Mendip can get done, I felt that now is the time to join the Lib Dems, a party that seeks to include others in how they can make Mendip better.”

Councillor Ros Wyke, leader of Mendip District Council said: “I know that I am speaking on behalf of all the Mendip Lib Dems when I say how pleased we are to welcome Edric to the group. Edric was part of a whole new wave of councillors elected last year – an independent thinker and active voice in his community, well known for launching Shepton Mallet parkrun three years ago, and for all his hard work and commitment to Shepton Town Council.”

Since the local elections last May, Councillor Hobbs has been a Cabinet Assistant, member of the Council’s Planning Board and the Council’s representative on the Mendip Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership Committee. More recently, Councillor Hobbs, together with Councillor Matt Martin (Moore), has kicked-off work to drive forward one of the major projects at Mendip to increase active travel – cycling, walking and running – and reduce traffic and carbon emissions across the district. 

“Anyone who knows me will tell you how passionate I am about increasing cycling and multi-user paths across the district, including reinstating as much of the Strawberry Line as possible,” continued Councillor Hobbs. “It’s a big project and one that is only going to work through close partnerships with the County, City, Town and Parish Councils, as well as other interested bodies and organisations.”

This ambitious project is part of the Council’s Corporate Plan, adopted earlier this year, which is guided by the vision to build a fairer, greener and more vibrant Mendip. Whilst supporting local businesses and communities through the COVID-19 pandemic is the absolute priority, the Liberal Democrat administration is actively pushing forward other major projects such as responding to the climate and ecological emergency to reach carbon neutrality by 2030, initiatives to provide affordable and social housing, and the regeneration of market towns.

Unitary Proposal for Somerset

Wednesday 8th January 2020 12.30pm

“Local democracy at stake,” say Somerset Liberal Democrats in wake of plan to create new unitary authority

The Liberal Democrat Group at Somerset County Council has released the following statement in response to the Conservative Leader of the Council’s statement of intent to actively pursue the creation of a Unitary Authority for Somerset.

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Upskirting 2019



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County Council Elections. Approvals and selection process starts.

The approvals and selection process has started for the Somerset County Council elections in May2021. If you want to stand go to "Be a Councillor" for more information. An application form can be downloaded and more information about what it is like to be a councillor is also available.

New Look South Somerset District Council

South Somerset stays Lib Dem but with a new look as council meets

With many of the councillors being newly elected, it looked a very different council that met, but the dramatic change was the majority with the Liberal Democrats taking 41 of the 60 seats.

Cllr Val Keitch, who represents Ilminster, was nominated unopposed as Leader and will continue in the role she has undertaken since September, saying it was a great honour to do so. Cllr Peter Seib will be the Deputy Leader.

During the meeting, which took place on Tuesday 21 May, Cllr Tony Capozzoli stood down as South Somerset District Council Chairman saying it had been an honour and privilege to have held the role. Cllr Paul Maxwell was voted in as the new chairman with Cllr Jenny Kenton serving as vice chair (Cllr Mike Best had previously served in this post).

Cllr Maxwell said: “I want to thank both Tony and Mike for the superb jobs they did for this Council. I also want to give a warm welcome to our new councillors and I want this to be a Council where we treat each other with respect, regarding of political parties and views. We were elected to serve the people of South Somerset and we want to make them proud of this Council.”

The meeting saw portfolio holders – the elected council members who are responsible for different areas of the Council's work – appointed.

The portfolios have been redesigned to link more closely with the areas of work in the Council Plan, the document which sets out the vision and aims for the Council and how these are going to be delivered through areas of focus and priority projects. The current annual action plan and priority projects were approved unanimously by Full Council in February 2019.


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New Look Mendip Council

All change at Mendip as new look council meets

Mendip’s new look council met last night bringing together the district’s 47 councillors for the first time since the elections took place earlier this month. 

With over half of the councillors being newly elected, it was a very different council that met, not only was there a dramatic change in the leadership after the Liberal Democrats took 22 of the 47 seats, but the make-up of the council looked very different with over a third of the council made up of female councillors. Four of those taking on the roles of Leader, Deputy Leader, Chair and Deputy Chair.

Cllr Ros Wyke takes over as Leader, supported by a cabinet, which is a mix of former and newly elected councillors. Cllr Helen Sprawson-White takes on the role of Chair with Cllr Bente Height supporting as Deputy Chair.

In her opening speech as Leader of Mendip District Council, Cllr Ros Wyke, said; “The opportunity to address this council, this new council, as leader of the largest group and leader of Mendip is a great privilege and responsibility.

“I lead a group of people who are younger, more diverse and I am proud to say, more gender balanced than ever before. It’s my strongly held belief that when we bring people with different views and life experiences together to make decisions, we achieve better results for the people we are here to represent.”

Remarking on collaboration and the council working across party boundaries to achieve positive change for Mendip’s residents and communities, Cllr Wyke, said; “Just as for the suffragettes – deeds, not words, must be our motto.”

In her closing comments Cllr Wyke mentioned all the those that the council is there to serve, from the shopkeepers and market traders in England’s smallest city – Wells, the market towns of Frome, Glastonbury, Shepton Mallet and the village of Street, to the farmers and residents of the many rural communities.

Cllr Wyke, said; “We councillors are all amazingly proud to represent this beautiful part of our ancient County of Somerset.

“As we move forward, approaching our work for Mendip, we should try to forget what divides us politically, and remember the people who put us here. We’re public servants to the citizens of Mendip, and it’s in that spirit that our work begins tonight.”

Following her election by council as Chair, Cllr Helen Sprawson-White, set out her plans to focus on health and education during her time as Chair. Cllr Sprawson-White, said; “As Chair I believe it is important that we send a clear message to our communities that we are an authority that is approachable, transparent and inclusive. I want all residents, members and officers to feel a real sense of pride and belonging to Mendip, working together to deliver effective outcomes and I will do all I can to break down any barriers that are in place to make this happen.”

If you require any further information please contact'.


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