That there is no permanent Homeless shelter in North Somerset, is a disgraceful state of affairs; Conservative North Somerset Councillors should hang their heads in shame.

Did you know that the Police in Bristol have been sending homeless people from Bristol to Weston-super-Mare telling them there is a shelter for them to sleep at?  There is not, the only shelter that ever opens in Weston or North Somerset only operates for a few days over Christmas.

Could you imagine sleeping out in the gales and rain of the last few days? Do you imagine people do this through their own choice? No-one would voluntarily subject themselves to that sort of existence.

At our monthly meeting of the Weston Labour Party earlier this week some of our members when leaving to go home happened upon this very thing.  There was a man, who had been sent that very evening by the police from Cardiff to Bristol, then again by the Police from Bristol to Weston, just pushing this poor man along the tracks to become “someone else’s problem”

This is just not acceptable

Most admirably, between them, our members from their own pockets, raised enough money for this man to stay in a B&B that evening, and provided his fare to get back to Bristol where there are several homeless shelters, and at least some infrastructure to assist someone in that situation.

The Conservatives keep throwing out the tired old line that the homeless on our streets are not really homeless and are “professional beggars” “travelling by train” to the town daily to fleece residents – this just is not the case.  If you go out around the town late in the evening you will see well over a dozen rough sleepers, in all weather conditions.

Cllr Ap Rees (Deputy Council Leader) when interviewed on Radio Bristol a few days ago mentioned the homeless man who sleeps outside a bank in Weston, I have personally spoken to this man, he is genuinely homeless and chooses that location to sleep in because it is well lit and so he feels safer there.  You can hear the Radio Bristol interview with Cllr. Ap Rees here starting at 2h07m (available until 30th January 2018)

These people are some of our most vulnerable. It was Mahatma Ghandi who said “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.”.  At this current time, under this government, and the previous, we do not measure up, we are not a great nation; we will not be until we properly address the issues facing the most vulnerable in our society.

For the Many Not the Few.


Senior North Somerset councillors have been criticised for their ‘dismal reign’ after multi-million-pound budget cuts were announced.

The Independent, Labour and Liberal Democrat factions within the council have hit out at North Somerset’s emergency measures to slash £4.5million off 2016-17’s budget.

Savings will be achieved through a raft of measures including rescheduling non-essential repairs and a freeze on vacancies. A larger than expected bill for adult social care, coupled with Government funding cuts, have been blamed.

Read the Full Article at the North Somerset Times

We support local groups who seek to improve the state of Local Democracy in North Somerset.

Press Release 22/03/2016
Friends of Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve


Friends of Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve (FoPWNR) have called for an internal and external inquiry into the actions of Cllr Nigel Ashton. The assessment should determine if he should remain involved in Port Marine Management Limited. In a letter addressed to PMML, the group highlight actions by Cllr Ashton which seem to be abuse of power and position. FoPWNR Spokesperson Jeremy Ludlow says: “His immediate disqualification as chairman should be considered.”

Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve (PWNR) is a nationally important site that was established to offset major development in Portishead, North Somerset. The reserve used a pioneering solution of fees levied on the new properties to pay an annual levy (it was £54 for 2015), which covers the maintenance of the reserve; this commitment, in perpetuity, is written into the deeds of these properties. Avon Wildlife Trust (AWT) was approved by all parties, including North Somerset Council, to manage the reserve, and it was originally agreed that AWT would take over ownership of this land once the development was complete and reserve infrastructure fully in place. At that point, the direct interests of both Council and Developer in the reserve site would cease. The company set to collect and administer the fees was Port Marine Management Ltd (PMML).

On the 10th April 2015, Nigel Ashton – leader of North Somerset Council and Chairman of PMML – sent out a letter to levy-paying residents, proposing a complete and fundamental change to this plan: the abolition of the levy funding mechanism, and transfer of full control of the reserve to North Somerset Council. The contents of this letter were apparently not agreed by the rest of the PMML board, and were a total contradiction and breach of statements of intent made at the last company AGM (18th September 2014).

We believe the letter has no legal validity, since it had not been approved by the other directors of Port Marine Management Limited and that Cllr Ashton’s actions make him unfit to continue in his role as chairman of Port Marine Management Limited:

• Conflict of interest
• Breach of trust
• Failure to gain approval from other directors of Port Marine Management Limited
• Failure to convene an extraordinary general meeting, or indeed any general meeting, despite repeated requests by Chris Giles and Arthur Terry, the other two directors of the company
• Failure to account for his actions and decision making to levy payers

We believe that Ashton’s actions not only conflict with the rules set out by Companies House, but that he is also at odds with the codes of conduct set out for Councillors.

Thus we feel the arrangement suggested by Cllr Ashton in his letter of 10th April 2015 is voidable as per the Companies Act 2006 (Part 10, Chapter 4, Provision 195), and we suggest that the remaining directors of Port Marine Management Limited meet to discuss an agreeable way forward.

Supporting documents including minutes and the details of our formal complaints to Port Marine Management and North Somerset Council about Cllr Ashton’s actions are available on request. Please use the contact details below.

Friends of Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve


About Friends of Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve

FoPWNR is made up levy paying residents and North Somerset Council tax payers concerned over the handling of matters relating to the future of the Reserve. We can be found at:

For more information, please feel free to contact us via any of the above

North Somerset Labour Party are pleased to present to you the following candidates for the North Somerset Council local ward elections, which are being held on the 7th of May alongside the General Election. Our prospective councillors  are presented in alphabetical order by Ward. Each candidate has put together a few words about themselves, their policies and what’s important to them.

Clevedon West  – Stuart Hale

Stuart Hale









I am 51 years of age and have lived and worked in Clevedon all of my life. I work for an engineering company with 35 years of service. I represent the workers at my workplace as a shop steward and active member within the UK’s largest union Unite. I joined the Labour Party five years ago firmly believing working people’s interests are best served by labour being in government. I will endeavour to do my best to oversee the duties of North Somerset Council and represent local people.

I’m committed to protecting Clevedon Community Hospital  – Councillors must realise the importance and value North Somerset patients/families place on having local accessible hospital care (remember how we watched Orchard view disappear along with its exceptional facilities for the community). It’s a vital  not-for-profit, service. Our community Hospital also offers beds for support care, which is vital for our local carers, especially at a time when policy is to help patients stay in their own homes, where possible. If short-term cuts lead to the loss of these beds, this local community asset will never return – this would be wrong and reckless.

I believe:

We must act to provide more good affordable local housing for local families.

Ensuring our local schools get the support and funding they need to be a success

Jobs and investment, training and opportunities, I know we can do more to help Clevedon

Transport – Ensuring local bus and train services meet the needs of local people.

Getting a fair share of funding from the council for sports and children’s play facilities

Tackling issues quickly, helping people when it’s needed, and working diligently for local people.

Clevedon South – Nikki Barton

Nikki Barton

Hello, I am Nikki Barton, a retired BT IT Engineer who lives in Clevedon.  I am delighted to have been selected as the Labour Candidate for Clevedon South.  I have previously held the roles of Chair of School Governors, National Trade Union Officer, Local Councillor, Alderman and Deputy Lord Mayor of Bristol.  With this experience

I believe I would be an asset when working with local agencies enabling me to support and protect our council services, and to provide a better and safer future for you and your family. Should you elect me as your Local Councillor I will work tirelessly so that we can improve the everyday lives of all our residents.

Clevedon Walton – Ivy Cameron

Ivy Cameron

I am standing as the Labour Party candidate in Clevedon Walton because I am so angry at this unelected Government’s cynical use of banker’s greed to justify a brutal assault on the well-being of vulnerable and hard-working people. There is no balance here between necessary efficiency savings and an investment in the economic future of the younger generation.

I am a long time Labour Party member and have lived in Clevedon for 20 years directing, with my husband, a small company delivering advice and training on practical employment law and industrial relations.
In my three major working roles as school teacher, national trade union negotiator and consultant I have developed extensive negotiating, campaigning and case work experience, including regular dealings with national and local Government agencies and departments.
I am passionate about using the law to help people achieve justice and fairness across public, private and community sectors.
If elected I will use my extensive campaigning, negotiating and casework experience to represent you on all of the relevant matters, including local planning, the condition of roads and pavements, the standard of local schools and waste collection.
I will keep in regular contact with you via drop in sessions and newsletters.

Clevedon East – Kevin O’Brian

Kevin O'Brien


Hello, I am Kevin O’Brien and I live in Clevedon. I am delighted to have been selected as the Labour candidate for District and Parish Councillor in Clevedon East.

I was an IT professional who worked in HR and Finance; I am now retired so if selected as your councillor it will be my full-time commitment.

I believe that local people should determined how money and resources are used to improve the everyday lives of the our community. So I promise to provide a coherent voice that represents your wishes and aspirations. I shall work diligently on the issues that matter to you and I will fight to protect our local services.

Clevedon Yeo   Michael Harriott – (To Follow)      

Gordano Valley Katherine Everitt (Angela) –

(To Follow)             

Long Ashton – David Johnson



Dave Johnson has lived in Long Ashton for nearly ten years.  Dave was involved in the early stages of the Long Ashton Neighbourhood Plan and is also standing as the Labour Party candidate for Long Ashton Parish Council.  Dave is a former Avon County Councillor and Bristol City Councillor.  As a councillor he was very involved in planning, transport, culture, parks and environmental matters and served on numerous planning committees. He has also been a school governor.

Dave teaches town planning at the University of the West of England.  He has also worked for the National Union of Students, Future West – a local charity promoting sustainable development in the West of England, and for English Heritage.

Here are my priorities if I am elected: an end to cuts in local public services; more affordable homes; a fairer, greener world; invest in our young people and their future; better public transport; and a council that really works for all the people of North Somerset.

Please see my Facebook page for more details: or email me at:

Nailsea Yeo – Peter Harris      (Words to Follow)

Peter Harris 04















Portishead East – Anthony Hill

Anthony Hill Photo

Anthony has lived in Portishead for the past 7 years with his partner and two children aged 9 and 6. Anthony’s children attend a local primary school and like many parents worries about the shortage of school places in the town.

Anthony works for the Children’s charity Barnardo’s and has done for the last 19 years, managing services for vulnerable children in North Somerset and Bristol.

Through his work, Anthony has seen the difference that well run services including youth services, children’s centres and family support services can make for children and young people and their future opportunities.

Anthony says “It would be an honour to represent the people of Portishead, to champion our fantastic community and to ensure it has the services it needs.”

Portishead North – John Farnham

John Farnham Photo








I moved to Portishead in 2008 with my partner whose family moved here over 20 years ago.  I am originally from London but was a regular visitor to Portishead and have been amazed by the change from a village to a thriving town.  I am a humble man and very proud of my working class background.  I was born in the 50’s where times were fairly hard and poverty was experienced by many families and I am deeply proud of my upbringing.

I would like the opportunity to be a North Ward councillor that fights for, and support the residents of Portishead.  This is a vibrant, diverse, engaging community and needs champions to push through changes.  The infrastructure for Portishead needs to be high on the agenda to get the services, the roads and the links to this town and for its people.

Before I moved to Portishead I had experience of working with The London Borough of Redbridge as a Chairman, was an active as a co-opted tenant member on the Social Services Scrutiny Committee and was Vice Chair of the Leaseholders Group & enjoyed this role very much.  I encouraged residents to get involved, was their spokesperson when holding Redbridge Council to account, and stood by my convictions.  I hope to represent North Ward, be a voice to support Labour within Portishead as well as the community and fight for the cause I may be campaigning on about.

I have had a varied career and currently work for The Cop-operative in Avonmouth as a shift worker,   an Inspector on London Underground for 12 years, in the Security industry for 23 years as Head Supervisor and Mobile Support Manager where I experienced human behaviour at its worst and sometimes funniest!  In my youth I was in the Territorial Army Parachute Regiment for 5 years and appreciated knowledge and the training I was given.

Portishead South – Terry Lester

Terry Lester Photo

Terry Lester has lived in Portishead for nearly twelve years. She has brought up three daughters, and was a teacher 32 years after which she worked in the field of energy assessments. She is interested in environmental and education issues as well as the arts.

Moving from Hertfordshire for a post in Bristol she chose to settle in Portishead because of its strong sense of community. She was a local councillor for twelve years and has also had experience in being a primary school governor and with various community/charity groups.

She would now like to use this experience in Portishead where she is standing for both District and Town council seats.

Terry writes:

“ I have devoted a lot of time to voluntary groups since finishing work and I am a very firm supporter of the voluntary sector. However, I know that a strong voice is needed for the residents at local government level as well. I am a strong supporter of the MetroWest project bringing the railway back to Portishead. I am also keen to support resolution of smaller projects that will assist residents day to day. I would be very proud to be a strong voice for the ward.”

Portishead West – Paul Dunn

Paul Dunn Photo

Paul is 68 and married, with two children and three grandchildren, and has lived in Portishead for 27 years and enjoys walking, reading, the theatre and a wide range of music, and now has an allotment.

During his career he has worked as a coal miner, ran a successful European project for the TUC, was a senior manager of Unison, the chief executive of a skills and enterprise quango, chief executive of a SW regional charity, and worked as an equality and human rights consultant.

Paul has sung in the choral society choir, the Portishead community choir and used to play trombone in the Portishead town band.

A past chair of the Bristol International Twinning Committee and the Bristol Link with Beira, Mozambique, Paul has been involved with anti-apartheid and its successor, ACTSA, for many years and was a member of the Bristol executive committee for many years.

Wrington – Patrick Cooney (To Follow)      

Yatton – Hedley Woods

Hedley Woods

I have lived in the area for 20 years running, with my wife, a small company delivering advice and training on practical employment law and industrial relations.   Off duty I have greatly enjoyed fishing from the pier and at Blagdon and walking our dog around the towns and its environs.

I am a long serving member of the Labour Party.  In my working roles as a national trade union negotiator and consultant I have developed extensive negotiating, campaigning and case work experience, including regular dealings with national and local Government agencies and departments.

I am standing as the Labour Party candidate in Yatton because I am so angry at this unelected Tory dominated Government’s cynical use of banker’s greed to justify a brutal assault on the well-being of vulnerable and hard-working people whilst enabling the rich to prosper.    There is no balance here between necessary efficiency savings and an investment in the economic future of the younger generation.

Yatton – Richard Westwood

Richard Westwood Photo

“Richard Westwood is a retired teacher who is married and has lived in North Somerset since 2008. He was an elected Labour councillor in North Herefordshire for 20 years.

If elected for Yatton he would make improving the state of the roads in Yatton a priority. Some of the road surfaces are in an appalling condition, Wakedean Gardens being an example. “

Greg Chambers, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for North Somerset, has expressed his concern about the government’s plans to stop funding for rural community councils such as the one in Somerset.

Mr Chambers said that ‘these councils provide an important voice for rural communities and services like maintaining village halls, and lobbying for better transport and digital infrastructure. It beggars belief that Defra can think about these cuts when rural communities are under so much stress already’

‘Please take a minute to sign this petition. They receive no funding from Somerset County Council and may not survive if this grant is withdrawn. Other Community Councils are in the same position.’

Greg Chambers
TA11 6HR

Our Election Agent and former CLP Chair Paul Dunn has highlighted the issue of funding to enable rural community councils to continue to support their local communities. We cannot  wholly rely on individuals generosity in volunteering their time and resources, the state must have a role to play in supporting communities.

Paul says ‘Rural Community Councils play an important role in the life of small towns and villages throughout the south west. If you think their funding should not be cut out completely, please sign this petition.’



North Somerset CLP supports the North Somerset Times Fairer Funding for North Somerset Campaign.  Sign the petition here.

Fairer funding for North Somerset
Fairer funding for North Somerset

This issue has been discussed over many years,  our two current Tory MPs seem to have achieved nothing in terms of resolving this issue, neither has the Tory led council. Maybe it’s because the squeeze in services doesn’t really impact their day to day lives in the same way it does the less well off and our most vulnerable residents.

So, now the North Somerset Times has taken a lead, please support them by signing their petition.

Sign the petition here.

Our prospective parliamentary candidate, Greg Chambers enjoyed a drink and a chat at the Ring O’Bells, St Mary’s Grove, Nailsea. Nailsea People Dotcom, the local online news website were on hand to take some photos and share in the discussions. Greg was also shown around town by Nailsea Town Council chairman Claire Hunt. Key local issues including the proposed National Grid pylons, housing and the plans for the new Lidl in the centre were discussed. Greg also chatted about his views on other key issues including local transport, schools and access to health care.