By-Election candidates have their say - The Malvern Observer
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9th Aug, 2022

By-Election candidates have their say

Malvern Editorial 30th Jul, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

FIVE candidates have been confirmed to contest the Wells ward by-election of Malvern Hills District Council which became vacant following the death of Chris Cheeseman.

Here, each candidate has their say on why they should win a seat on the district council ahead of the vote which takes place next week on Thursday, August 7.

CHRIS O’DONNELL – Conservative Party candidate

Chris O’Donnell is the Conservative Candidate for the Wells Ward by-election. Chris is a retired teacher, who taught at Malvern Wells Primary School, and a local businesswoman. She has lived in Malvern Wells with her family for over 34 years and been a Parish Councillor for 6 years.

“I’m proud to have been involved in local projects including improvements to Assarts Play Park and the new Christmas tree for Fruitlands,” she said.

“I’ve also had the privilege of teaching children in Malvern Wells and watching them flourish. I intend to carry on this work at district and be a Strong Local Voice for Malvern Wells.”


“I am a Malvern born, 58 year old, retired water distribution engineer. I am alarmed at the destruction of our area’s green spaces under our Conservative controlled council in its slavish adherence to a ‘one size fits all’ national planning policy.

“Instead of getting on with the long overdue replacement of this District’s development plan, they vote themselves huge increases in allowances, whilst failing everyone, apart from greedy landowners. The lifeblood of this area is tourism and farming. Neither will be helped by concreting over our countryside. How many tourists will come if we allow this area’s essential character to be destroyed?

“Let’s face it, the management of our District Council is a shambles, stumbling along, from one dubious decision to the next. Each time they tell us that they have ‘learned lessons’, and will be ‘more transparent’ in future. It must be time for change. Please make a start now and vote for a candidate who is actually prepared to represent your views.”

CHRISTOPHER BURROWS – Labour Party candidate

“My name is Chris Burrows and as a local teacher and resident of Malvern I would like your support and vote on the 7th August when the people of Malvern Wells elect a new District Councillor. I want to represent you in OUR district council, and not the wishes of the few.

“I will continue the fight to maintain Malvern Wells links to the rest of the county and to local services and not allow the Tories and Lib Dems to push through their cuts disproportionately on rural areas like Wells.

“I will also fight to ensure that any building work in Malvern has widespread support from the community and is not rushed through, as is the current vogue.”

LOUISE GIBSON – Independent Party candidate

“My sole concern is to prevent the over-development of Malvern Wells. The Prime Minister has given public assurances that Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) will remain protected, that housing estates will not be “plonked” on the edge of villages against local opposition and developments shouldn’t exceed 30 houses.

“The proposed developments (Rothwell Road (43 houses) and Wood Farm Road (184 houses)) are clearly unsustainable. Worse, this could set a dangerous precedent for further developments. Malvern Wells lacks the infrastructure to support this increased population and road traffic.

“We need to act now to protect the village’s identity.”

SIMON GILL – Liberal Democrat Party candidate

Simon Gill is an IT Engineer employed at a large technology company in Malvern who has lived in the Ward for the past six years. He grew up on Army bases across the UK and Europe and has now settled in Malvern.

Simon said: “I believe that we need a new vision for Malvern that’s not just about maintaining the status-quo and keeping costs down. We can harness the creativity and energy of local people to create a thriving, vibrant community.

“A community that works together to find new solutions to old problems whether that’s sustaining local bus services, improving road safety or protecting our green spaces.”


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