South Gloucestershire Council election preview: Dodington ward

THE Dodington ward covers an area of south Yate and Chipping Sodbury, including homes in roads off Shire Way, Rodford Way and Heron Way.

Extending from Chedworth in the west to Lilliput Avenue in the east, it includes a number of streets north of Rodford Way that are not part of Dodington parish – but does not cover the village of Dodington itself, which is part of the Boyd Valley ward.

The ward has two seats, both of which were won by the Liberal Democrats in 2019, when the second-placed Lib Dem candidate was 867 votes ahead of the leading Conservative candidate in third.

Four years ago the election was a straight fight between the Lib Dems and Tories, with 30% of voters turning out.

This year a fifth candidate, from the National Housing Party, is standing for election.

The Voice invited all of the candidates in the election to submit a short statement and picture, to introduce themselves to voters.

They appear here in the order they will be listed on ballot papers.

Louise Harris (Liberal Democrats)

Louise grew up locally and lives on Shireway. As a councillor she currently leads for the Lib Dems on Community issues and the Climate Emergency. Louise works for a charity providing advocacy for people with mental health issues and learning disabilities.

Cheryl Kirby (Liberal Democrats)

Currently Town Mayor, Cheryl has been leading the work to get Kingsgate Park and Abbotswood sorted out. She chairs the local Transport users group, fighting for better public transport and as a former bank manager knows how important it is to ensure we get value for money.

Callum Leat (National Housing Party)

“I am 22 years old. I live in Yate Central. I am a practising Christian. I campaign to highlight the injustice of South Gloucestershire Council giving refugees housing before UK citizens in Dodington. This is also happening all over the country with over 1 million people on housing waiting lists.”

Jo Nicholson (Conservative)

Jo has lived locally all of her life and enjoys bringing up her family here. Is passionate about making our area an even better place to live and work.  Supports the local Conservative campaign to improve our roads by fully resurfacing to tackle potholes. Enjoys her job working with animals.

Rachel Welch (Conservative)

Rachel and her family live in the ward. She was delighted to support the recent Conservative campaign to re-open the right-hand turn onto Heron Way.  She is also passionate about the local environment, which includes the planting of more wildflower gardens and trees and soft-plastic kerbside recycling.

POLLING takes place from 7am to 10pm on Thursday, May 4, with counting getting underway immediately afterwards.

For the first time, all voters will need to bring formal photo identification, such as a driving licence or passport, with them to the polling station or face being turned away.