South Gloucestershire Council election preview: Yate North ward

THE Yate North ward covers most of the town north of the centre, including Ladden Garden Village.

Extending from Yate station in the south west to Little Wood Park in the north east, it includes all homes on roads leading off Goose Green Way, Greenways Road, Cranleigh Court Road, Longs Drive, Eastfield Drive, Randolph Avenue and Peg Hill.

The ward has three seats, all of which were won in by the Liberal Democrats in 2019, when the third-placed Lib Dem candidate was 774 votes ahead of the leading Conservative candidate in fourth.

Four years ago the election was contested by eight candidates – three each from the Lib Dems and Tories plus two Labour nominees, with 36% of voters turning out.

This year there are no Labour candidates and the election is a straight two-way fight between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives.

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.

Mike Drew (Liberal Democrats)

Founded the Focus Team, bringing together people to volunteer for Yate. He’s lived in Yate since he married and has led all sorts of projects from getting Yate Station opened to raising money for local sports facilities. He’s currently a Councillor for North Yate.

Matt Lewis (Conservative)

Matt Lewis was born locally and has lived here all of his life. He is married to Jo and their children go to local schools. Matt is landlord of the Horseshoe Pub in Chipping Sodbury. He is passionate about helping the community and has been a local Town Councillor. 

Ben Nutland (Liberal Democrats)

Ben was born and educated in Yate, joining the Focus Team of Councillors four years ago. He was quickly made Deputy Mayor of Yate, and has been involved in a lot of community campaigns, for example to save the Street Marshalls, as well as serving locally as a school governor.

David Williams (Conservative)

David is married to Sonia and shares her passion for helping to make the community thrive and a safer place to live and work. After leaving school he served in the Royal Navy. David enjoys watching Rugby and Football. He currently works for a Charity which he finds very rewarding.

Sonia Williams (Conservative)

Sonia Williams was born in Yate, and has lived in the town most of her life. Married to David, their children and grandchildren also live in Yate. She is passionate about Yate and Sodbury and is actively involved in the community. Enjoys gardening, cooking and spending time with their family.

Chris Willmore (Liberal Democrats)

Has a long record of bringing people together as volunteers to do things in Yate. Her award-winning environmental work mobilised young people to take part in sustainability/climate projects. She co-founded the Focus Team, is currently a town councillor and runs a popular local Facebook page for the Focus Team.

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.