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Gloucester City Council Elections 2014: Abbey ward

By citizenmike  |  Posted: May 01, 2014

By Mike Wilkinson, Public Affairs reporter

Abbey

Candidates for Abbey ward

Comments (8)

At just 18-years-old Sarah Dobson will be one of the youngest candidates in this year’s Gloucester City Council elections on May 22.

She, along with two other candidates, will be hoping to give long-standing Conservative councillor Andrew Gravells a run for his money.

Mr Gravells is defending a seat that he has held since 2000 by pointing to his campaign for better bus services through Abbey.

VIDEO: MEET THE CANDIDATES

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He said: “I want to ensure our area remains a great place to live. I have fought for better bus services and am currently talking to Stagecoach about their new routes 2 and 2A which have proved to be unpopular.”

But both Lib Dem Sarah, from Carwardine Field, and UKIP candidate Danny Sparkes, from Wheatway, are also campaigning on public transport issues.

Mr Sparkes said: “I would like to see all the bus stops on Abbeymead Avenue set back from the road allowing transport to pass instead of creating a backlog.”

Setting out his stall to be re-elected, Mr Gravells added: “I have also been working with campaigners to stop the Ridge and Furrow pub, an important community asset, from being demolished to make way for a Morrisons filling station.”

Mr Sparkes, who is one of 10 UKIP candidates this year, said that as an Abbey councillor he would ‘stop pandering to political correctness’. He added: “It is clearly detrimental to the efficiency of any public service. I also believe the council should stop knocking down historical buildings to build flats, instead utilising buildings that have been left empty. I would support the construction of small industrial and commercial units suitable for small businesses. Start-up businesses should be leased such units for up to two years at a discounted price.”

Bernard Mundy, representing Labour, who came second to Mr Gravells back in 2010, said: “Abbey is a great place to live, but massive coalition government cuts to council budgets mean that it will be harder to maintain services like grass-cutting, keeping our streets clean and rubbish-free. The Tories and Lib Dems voted for a budget that proposed an increase to garden waste charges next year and deep cuts to the voluntary sector.”

SWING-O-METER

  • Andrew Gravells (Con) enjoyed a 1,725 majority when he was re-elected in 2010.
  • Bernard Mundy (Lab) got a 22% share of the vote compared to Mr Gravell’s 56% share
  • Last year the Conservative majority was reduced to just 461 when Gordon Taylor (Con) won over Labour’s Jean Grigg
  • UKIP pushed the Liberal Democrats into fourth place in 2012

MEET THE CANDIDATES

SARAH DOBSON, Liberal Democrats

I have lived in Gloucester for over 10 years and would be honoured to represent anybody in the Abbey ward. I believe everyone has an equal voice and any issues brought to me would be treated sympathetically and respectfully.

I am currently a student who works part time in Tuffley. I am keen to champion initiatives that help make life easier for people and help protect our local environment, such as improving public transport.

We live in a time of austerity, so I would look out for small changes that do not cost the earth, but can make a big difference to locals.

ANDREW GRAVELLS, Conservative

I live in Drivemoor, in the heart of Abbeydale. I was first elected as councillor for the Abbey ward in 2000. I pride myself on being an accessible councillor and regularly pick up local issues when meeting people while I’m out walking the dog or visiting Morrisons, as well as holding regular surgeries. I am also the county councillor for the area. I was born and brought up in Gloucester, attending St James Junior and Crypt schools. I have also been privileged to serve as mayor and sheriff of the city. I hope to continue representing the Abbey ward.

BERNARD JAMES MUNDY, Labour

I have lived in the Abbey ward for over 39 years and my three children attended local schools during which time I was associated with The Heron School PTA and a parent governor at the (former) Saintbridge Comprehensive. I am an active member of the Abbey Labour team. If elected I would be an active and committed councillor for Abbey. If elected I will endeavour to ensure that all the residents of Abbey are represented on the city council – and with my fellow Labour councillors try to provide a fairer society for all the residents of Gloucester.

DANNY SPARKES, UK Independence Party

My name is Danny Sparkes. I have lived on the Wheatway, Abbeydale, for 21 years. I was born and bred in this great city 67 Years ago. I have one son and three gorgeous granddaughters. I took early retirement in 2002 after nearly 40 years at Birds Eye Walls. I did volunteer work for the White City Project. I am an ex mayor of Barton and I am also a trustee for the Special Care Baby Unit. If elected I will support any practical, common sense measures I believe to be in the best interest of my constituents, irrespective of their political beliefs.

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8 comments

  • Encourager  |  May 10 2014, 11:47AM

    Except one leaflet through my door I am struggling to get information about what each of the candidates actually stand for. I also want to say to Sarah Dobson "go for it". It is true that with age comes experience. However she must have something about her to be wanting to serve the community in this way at such a young age. I don't know Sarah and am not even a Lib Dem supporter but you watch she will go far. Sarah my advice to you is not to get caught up in petty politics but stay in politics. Find a cause and run with it. You could make a real difference. You have my vote because I think you will inspire others.

  • RoadWombat  |  May 01 2014, 5:43PM

    GlosAnarchy - the same people who filled in the bus stops in and around our city in the first place - the highways authority. They have plenty of money to throw about on vanity schemes, traffic calming, needless islands randomly placed in the road etc. etc. If they won't use it for pothole filling and resurfacing that can spend it on putting right some of the things they've needlessly done in the past.

  • GlosAnarchy  |  May 01 2014, 11:53AM

    MrGarnet and who is going to pay?

    |   -29
  • BertieBus  |  April 30 2014, 7:43PM

    Fact is Abbey needs a new face on the council and not more of the same end of !!

  • MrGarnet  |  April 30 2014, 7:27PM

    "Mr Sparkes said: "I would like to see all the bus stops on Abbeymead Avenue set back from the road allowing transport to pass instead of creating a backlog." At last a local politician with a brain!!

  • BertieBus  |  April 30 2014, 11:24AM

    Local elections are not really about parties but about how the candidate will serve the electorate of the ward. Andrew Gravells has been councillor since 2000 but has he really made a difference in those years to the Abbey ward and while there is issues with public transport in Abbeydale/mead he seams to neglect the real issues people care about like street cleanliness and green areas and anti social behaviour. I feel he only really cares about the immediate area he lives in and you very rarely see him in some parts of Abbeydale but seems to never miss a publicity photograph. Mr Gravells also mentions his work with campaigners regarding the pub but fails to say how late he was getting off the fence and backing the campaign so could this be just a vote winning exercise for him who knows. Maybe its time to get some fresh thinking and young blood into the Abbey ward and get rid of the old fashioned cronies! It would be so refreshing to have a female councillor in the Abbey ward so in my opinion we should give Sarah Dobson a chance and looking at the statements above she seams the most believable and realistic with what she would strive to achieve.

  • Mikejh62  |  April 30 2014, 10:08AM

    Are the Liberal Democrats now so unpopular that they have to resort to an 18yr old? What life experiences does this poor girl have that will allow her to empathise with constiuents? Good luck to her, but I guess that many of the people of Abbeymead have problems older than her.

  • GlosAnarchy  |  April 30 2014, 9:16AM

    Pity Danny is standing for the UKIP I thought more of him!

    |   -37

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