South Gloucestershire Council election preview: Yate Central ward

THE Yate Central ward covers the town centre and homes in roads off Westerleigh Road, Sundridge Park and Scott Way.

Extending from Westerleigh Close near Yate station in the west to Melrose Close in the east, it includes all homes on roads leading south off Station Road and those to the north near the town centre, including those around Poole Court, St Mary’s Church, Broadway, Firgrove Crescent and Melrose Avenue.

The ward has two seats, both of which were won in by the Liberal Democrats in 2019, when the second-placed Lib Dem candidate was 799 votes ahead of the leading Conservative candidate in third.

Four years ago the election was contested by six candidates – two each from the Lib Dems, Tories and Labour, with 33% of voters turning out.

This year there are no Labour candidates but there is one from the Green Party.

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.

John Davis (Liberal Democrats)

Born in Yate, John has been active here since he asked for litter bins on the Common aged 6! Now a father of two small children and an experienced councillor, he has been focussing on improving facilities for families and young people and campaigning on traffic and transport problems.

Sandra Emms (Liberal Democrats)

Settled in Yate after her husband’s RAF service. Works in primary care nursing at BRI, set up a memory café. Led Town Council’s dementia work and making Yate an Age Friendlier Community – which has won international (WHO) recognition. Her focus is on helping older residents and environmental campaigning.

Marian Gilpin (Conservative)

Former primary school teacher, now retired – still keen to ensure great educational opportunities for all. South Gloucestershire Councillor 2015-19, representing Ladden Brook. Was Chairman of Health Scrutiny Committee. Management Committee member of Green Community Travel Ltd. Chairman Yate-Genieri Community Link. Former Sodbury Town Councillor and President of Yate Rotary Club. 

Christopher Jackson (Green)

“I’m an IT engineer and served as a member of the armed forces in a reserve capacity. I’ve lived in Yate for four years. I joined the Green Party because of their progressive manifesto, their focus on environmental change and because I want my children to have a brighter future.”

Joanne Lewis (Conservative)

Jo Lewis lives locally, is married to Matt and has 5 children. “As a parent I am passionate about improving road safety near our local schools. Prioritise more money for every pupil and build a new primary school in Yate.” Jo is very active in the local community.

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.