About Dave

I live in Wiveliscombe and am married with two children, who attended local schools, with one now at Richard Huish College and the eldest working after graduating from university.

I was elected at a by-election to Taunton Deane Borough Council in 2018, then to Somerset West and Taunton Council in 2019 and to Somerset County Council and the new Somerset Council in 2022. There have been two local government reorganisations in this time, with the latest forming the new unitary Somerset Council, which took over from the previous county and district councils in April 2023.

By-election result

At Somerset Council, I am in the Green Group, which is the joint third largest with five members. As well as the full council, I sit on the Climate and Place Scrutiny Committee (13 members).

Before retiring early in 2017, I was Development Manager at Somerset Waste Partnership, which was 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 information on these initiatives at: dmrecycling.wordpress.com

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 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.

Cheer for solar 2 (min)
Wivey Action on Climate call for clean energy in 2016

In the Wiveliscombe area, I promoted local solar power, including community-owned panels on Paddocks Nursery installed in 2011 and bulk-buying for local roofs through Wivey Solar Club in 2014.

I was a founder of Wivey Action on Climate & Environment in 2014 and was the group’s secretary until July 2019.

I enjoy cycling, paddle boarding, walking, playing badminton and skittles, and visiting nearby beaches and Wimbleball Lake.

I was an active Wiveliscombe Town Councillor, after being co-opted on to the town council in February 2017 and then elected in May 2019. I contributed 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 resigned from the town council in September 2019 to focus on my role as a district councillor, but continue to work with the town council and attend meetings.

During 2018, I was a trustee and director of the Wiveliscombe Area Partnership, which runs the Community Office and Wivey Link, and was on the campaign group for the Friends of Wiveliscombe Library.

In my year and a bit on Taunton Deane Borough Council (TDBC), I had seats on the Joint Scrutiny Panel for Somerset Waste Board and on the Shadow Scrutiny Committee for the Shadow Council, which became Somerset West and Taunton Council, by merging TDBC and West Somerset Council, in April 2019.

At Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT), I was in the Independents and Green Group, which was the second largest on the council and was the Shadow Portfolio Holder for Climate Change, attending monthly portfolio briefings with officers and the Portfolio Holder (Dixie Darch).

At SWT, I had seats on:

  • Full Council (one of 59 members);
  • Community Scrutiny Committee (one of 15 and vice-chair);
  • Somerset Waste Board (one of 10);
  • Somerset Climate Emergency Implementation Board (one of 10);
  • Consultation Panel for Climate Change Delivery Partnership between SWT and Sedgemoor (one of six).

I also contributed to a number of council working groups on climate emergency strategy and action plan, council governance, ecological emergency strategy and action plan, public transport and council housing zero carbon retrofit (chair).

SWB with ECV at County Hall Oct 2021
Somerset Waste Board with electric collection vehicle – October 2021

As a Somerset County Councillor from 2022, I had seats on:

  • Full Council (one of 110);
  • Scrutiny for Policies and Place Committee (one of 13);
  • Joint Scrutiny for Local Government Reorganisation (one of 16).

I also contributed to working groups on the cost of living crisis and on scrutiny arrangements for the new Somerset Council.

During 2022/23, I was a twin hatter sitting on both Somerset West and Taunton Council and on Somerset County Council. From April 2023, the new Somerset Council replaced the county and district councils in Somerset. My term, from the 2022 elections, as a Somerset Councillor on the new unitary authority continues until May 2027.