I live in Wiveliscombe and am married with two children, who attended local schools, with one still at Kingsmead and the eldest now at university.
As a Somerset West and Taunton Councillor, I have a seat on:
• Full Council (one of fifty nine members)
• Scrutiny Committee (one of fifteen members)
• Somerset Waste Board (one of two representatives for SWT Council with ten members on the board).
I also contribute to a number of council working groups and currently sit on groups on council governance, public transport and the county-wide climate emergency strategy.
I am in the Independents group, which is the second largest on the Council, with 15 members (13 Independent and 2 Green), and am the Shadow Portfolio Holder for Climate Change.
Before retiring early in 2017, I was Development Manager at Somerset Waste Partnership, which is the joint officer team for Somerset councils’ waste services. During my career, I mostly worked in recycling for local authorities. I also worked for a recycling services contractor, as a consultant and for Friends of the Earth. I was involved in developing and managing pioneering recycling services in the UK and throughout Somerset. These included the UK’s first modern kerbside collections in Sheffield in 1989, award-winning kerbside sort collections in Bath in the 1990s, the UK’s first food waste collections in Somerset in 2004 and the Recycle More trials in Wiveliscombe in 2014. There is extensive information on these initiatives at: dmrecycling.info.
I had a number of roles at a national level, including:
• Election to the National Executive of the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (1994-99), serving as Media Officer and the Executive’s first Policy Officer.
• Special Advisor to the House of Commons select committee inquiry in 2000 on delivering sustainable waste management.
I was a founder of Wivey Action on Climate & Environment in 2014 and was the group’s secretary until July 2019.
I enjoy cycling, local walks, playing badminton and visiting nearby beaches and Wimbleball Lake.
In 2018, I was elected at a by-election as Taunton Deane Borough Councillor for Wiveliscombe and West Deane, which covered Ashbrittle, Bathealton, Chipstable, Stawley and Wiveliscombe. In my first year as a district councillor, I was TDBC’s representative on the Joint Scrutiny Panel for Somerset Waste Board and had a seat on the Shadow Scrutiny Committee for the new Shadow Authority, which was formed by merging TDBC and West Somerset Council in April 2019.
In 2019, I was re-elected for the larger ward of Wiveliscombe and District (covering the town and 10 neighbouring parishes) on the new Somerset West and Taunton Council.
I was an active Wiveliscombe Town Councillor, contributing to the sub-committee which helped to save and take over the town’s public toilets and had a central role in helping to save Wiveliscombe library from closure. I was co-opted on to the Town Council in February 2017 and elected in May 2019, but, with regret, resigned in September 2019.
I have an environmental sciences degree (first class honours, 1986) from the University of East Anglia and am a member of the Institution of Environmental Sciences. Previously, I was a member of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management and I am also a qualified Project Manager.