Over the next week or so, we will be featuring the personal profiles of the DIG 16. Hopefully they will give you more of an insight into what we are like. Also more importantly, what we hope to achieve if we are elected to serve on Dartmouth Town Council.
CHERRY GODDEN – CLIFTON
I am a mother of four and have four stepchildren and have lived in London, Brighton and latterly in Portugal. I have ended up living in Dartmouth almost accidentally but have become very fond of the town as it is such a beautiful place. However I have become aware that there is quite a divide between the top and bottom of town and this is something that needs to be addressed. This is one of the reasons I am standing with DIG as they are committed to considering the needs of everyone in Dartmouth. I have done a great deal of volunteering over the years and feel this experience would benefit Dartmouth. For example I worked with a housing association when I was living in London and after a bit of battle managed to secure a great deal of good quality affordable housing for the local residents. I ‘d like to see what could be done in Dartmouth along similar lines. I’d also want to see if we could find other uses for the hospital building which of course currently lies empty and finally see more community spirit in the town. I’m keen to help all parts of this lovely town and for this reason hope you will consider voting for me and my fellow DIG candidates on 2nd May
LUCY WILLIAMS - CLIFTON
I was born in Wiltshire into an RAF services family and as the youngest of 5, I traveled (far too much!) with my family, spending my early years based in Singapore. I landed eventually in London in my teens finally resettling in Dartmouth 30 years ago, along with my parents. During my early childhood my parents fell in love with Dittisham and the close surrounding area and we were fortunate to be allowed to be taken out of school each September (it was more affordable then) to spend a few glorious weeks soaking up the charm of Dittisham (or Ditsum as I’m regularly corrected!) It became a place I could only dream of living near by until 1989 when I made the leap to move to Dartmouth in 1989. It fast became my first “proper home” after a lifetime of moving and disruption a service childhood can create.
My CV is a highly varied one but I shall keep to the more positive, happier career moves! I have worked in Harrods, trained as a glass blower, been a chain store store manager, trained as an estate agent and valuer (until the boom/bust of 2008 where my loyalty was returned by way of redundancy!) … dusting myself off to become a self employed cleaner/house keeper for a further 3 years and more recently setting up my tiny retail outlet in the town, in 2013. The idea for Bird was created on the back of a cigarette packet having seen possibly the smallest premises advertised for rent. I had no idea what I was going to sell when signing the lease but Bird quickly evolved by itself and fast became a successful little enterprise which also allowed me to meet townsfolk and visitors from many diverse and varied backgrounds. On a day to day basis I was, and still am, hearing the gripes and groans of people who live and work in the town and the failings of Dartmouth and it’s ongoing issues. Within the last few weeks I attended the first DIG group meeting and was inspired by finally meeting other like minded individuals who held similar aspirations for the town which in my view, has become somewhat an island - changing dramatically over the years I have lived in and around it.
After listening to townsfolk my core interests in aspiring to joining the new Town Council are as follows - “The Dream List” so to speak….
Emergency heath care - lets get our hospital back open. It could easily incorporate a new Dr’s surgery which is clearly under pressure in it’s own right.
Affordable housing - for the people who live and work in the area and to research other towns efforts such as St Ives which have capped 2nd homes.
To support the vulnerable in the town via charity groups such as the Food Bank and Community Chest - who appear to have been left out in the cold by previous Town Councils. I am also interested in setting up a new meet/talk sub group to help combat the loneliness and life trauma members of our community.
Council owned properties - to ensure repairs are carried out without delay or inconvenience to tenants.
Parking - to negotiate with SHDC to ascertain the possibility of residents parking permits in the town. There are also visitor parking issues which should and could be further addressed.
Police support - concerns have been raised as to security and also the lack of policing in the town and consequent late night speeding seen in the town culminating in the tragic loss of life in recent times.
Connection - to look into the possibility of creating a community volunteer run “Darty Bus” - serving people from Townstal and could also stretch out to Warfleet. A project that would not be too dissimilar to the successful Bob The Bus currently running in Totnes.
Funding/Grants - investigate for local projects to include our younger members of our community - too numerous to mention here but so very much needed.
Young Town Council - create a working young people’s council, which was suggested by a member of the public at one of the recent DIG meetings which would engage our future town councilors at at early age, enabling youngsters to relay what they would like to see happen/need for them.
CAB - to try and reinstate the Citizen’s Advice Bureau in order to help our more vulnerable members of the community.
Marketing - the creation of a working Marketing Group sub committee to help promote footfall back into the town liaising in tangent with the many hard working groups who already work tirelessly at creating fun eye catching projects (eg Music Festival, Regatta and Candlelit to name just a few) to help draw in the crowds.
That’s just part of my Dream List and can only speak for myself, however I do know that many of the above aspirations are also shared by my working DIG colleagues. Engaging back with the townsfolk is possibly the highest priority on our list and we are looking forward to hearing what your dream/wish list is at future Town Council meetings. In order to be able to do this I ask that you vote on May 2nd and you use your vote wisely, but please vote and I further ask that you consider voting for the DIG candidates, if you seek change in Dartmouth.
ALISA KEFFORD PARKER - CLIFTON
Hello, I’m Alisa. I’ve spent my working life in the world of Event Management, Communications and Change Management, across a variety of industries, from retail, hospitality, advertising, entertainment, conservation and government, in various parts of the world. Whilst working in London, I was brought down here to Dartmouth by friends who’d grown up here. From that moment on, I had found ‘my place’. I found any excuse to be here. I immediately made some of the best friends in the world and felt part of something, somewhere special. Before I could conjure up a way to live here, I would often be found ‘working from home’ on a boat in the middle of the river. Leaving to go back to London became harder and harder, so in 2006, I moved here to raise my daughter.
I have been actively involved in many community activities since that time. I am now a very passionate advocate for justice and human rights, and a keen wildlife and environmental warrior. I am currently in the process of writing a book on my adventures in Africa. Which, if nothing else have taught me that life is short, it isn’t always fair, but no matter what, we should strive together to make it the best it possibly can be for everyone. Given that, I am very committed to representing all the people of Dartmouth, from all their different walks of life, should I be given that opportunity.
I understand, from experience, the complexities of governance at all levels, and know the frustrations that can so often be present when red tape gets in the way of achieving the best possible outcomes for people and their communities. This is why I feel so compelled and excited to run as a candidate as part of DIG - a group of very inspiring and motivated people, all with different skills and backgrounds, who’ve come together with a shared vision and hope of delivering this town an approachable, dynamic and inclusive council, one that represents everybody. A ‘Let’s give it a go, don’t say No’ council.
I am keen to address many areas, including the dreaded parking issue, the need for a neighbourhood plan, an emergency health provision and a 24/7 Police response presence in Dartmouth. I am keen to organise more social events that bring people together, for fun, wellness and an added sense of community.
Please consider voting for me and my DIG colleagues on 2nd May. Many thanks, Alisa
HAZEL LEWIS - TOWNSTAL
I was born in London, a child of a South American airman and a Scottish mother and I’ve lived in this beautiful town for 25 years.
I have volunteered with several charities, including Victim Support in London and Access Disabled Group in Dartmouth. I am currently a member of The Dartmouth Cool Group, which supports mental health issues.
I believe DIG has no facade and we can work together peacefully as a team with little conflict.
In Africa I saw heartbreaking poverty side by side with great riches (so many lepers) I was forever changed and developed compassion for all human suffering.
This being said, I’d like to see more provisions for those less fortunate and local children to have a safe environment in which to engage in a positive manner. I have several skills which I believe will be useful within the group.
I’m passionate about this town and our community.
Please consider voting for me and my fellow DIG members
DIANA CASE - CLIFTON
Hello, I’m Diana Case. I hope that, firstly, you’ll vote on 2nd May and, secondly, you’ll consider supporting me and my fellow DIG candidates.
After many happy holidays, my partner and I took the leap and moved to Dartmouth in early 2016. Despite arriving midwinter, it felt magical to be here and still does.
Originally from Chester, I spent over 20 years in Royal Dutch Shell, initially at a refinery and later in global roles specialising in learning and organisational effectiveness, change management and senior leadership development. I’ve worked around the world but decided last year, now in my mid-forties and settled in Dartmouth, that I wanted a change of lifestyle and new challenges. I’m currently a part-time Lecturer in Management and Leadership at South Devon College and have busied myself with some of the many activities that our lovely town has to offer.
Standing as a candidate for the town council was something I thought I might do one day, but it was only when invited to a DIG meeting that I felt inspired to ask myself ‘why not now?’ Already, I’m proud that DIG has sparked greater local discussion, hopefully encouraging more people to use their vote and certainly offering voters a wider choice of candidates. I believe this can only be positive.
My vision for Dartmouth is that it’s a happy, healthy and prosperous place for residents to live and work, and attractive to tourists and visitors. If elected, I’d look for ways to foster a greater shared sense of community between the top of town and the town centre. I’m keen on responsible and sustainable guardianship of our town’s assets. I’m also keen to explore how to better support local businesses and the great work done by our many local charities, groups and clubs that benefits all members of our community. Last, but by no means least, I’d want to use our collective power to lobby decision-makers on issues outside of the Town Council’s direct control, the most significant, arguably, being a solution to our currently inadequate local health and social care provision.
I am willing and able to speak up for what I believe is right and, more importantly, to listen. I am told I have a lot of common sense and good judgement, which is reassuring, and a good sense of humour, which is rather pleasing. Please consider voting for me and my DIG colleagues on 2nd May.
DAWN SHEPHERD - TOWNSTAL
I moved to Dartmouth 15 years ago with my family. I have been a campaigner for animal rights all my life and worked in factories, cleaning, waitressing ,in shops and at a rescue centre in the Midlands. I have also worked with the NSPCC and domestic violence charities.
I love this town, it’s beautiful, but what makes it special for me is the people who live here, our community. We might have our differences but when help is needed we all pull together for the good of our town and the people in it.
Nine years ago I could see the struggle locals had with seasonal, low paid, insecure work and so I started the food bank and four years later Dartmouth Community Chest. During this time I’ve learned a lot about the many problems that face the people of our town and villages, the cost and time to get to appointments out of town, the lack of services and transport, isolation and the lack of opportunities and housing for families and young people.
I am a Mother and Grandmother and don’t want my family to have to move away through lack of jobs and housing and I don’t want that for your families either. We need to work together to make sure our town can provide all they need. I believe this is possible if we work together and everyone is listened to and allowed to be part of our town’s future through an open, transparent council that keeps the community at the heart of all it does.
I want to work with our community to try and find solutions to the hardships locals face and create a fairer town for all who live here. I believe that all the people I have met through Dartmouth Initiative Group (DIG) have the knowledge and skills to benefit all of our town and I am proud to stand with every one of them. I hope that you will vote for all our candidates at the local elections on the 2nd of May.
MANDY WEBBER - TOWNSTAL
JESSICA PINDER - CLIFTON
Hi my name is Jessica Pinder, born in Yorkshire I’ve lived in Devon since
1991 and Dartmouth for the last 4 years with my little girl.
I have been involved with Dartmouth Community Chest but due to personal
circumstances had to reduce my involvement. I popped into the Flavel to pick up a loaf of bread and some other food items and have a cup of coffee and a chat and I was told about DIG. It was suggested that I stand for the council as part of this amazing team. So here I am
Dartmouth lacks in services for Health and Wellbeing as well as support for young families and single parents. There is a significant lack of support services especially significant trauma, though the local charities we do have, we should be proud of. If it wasn’t for them then I’m not sure what I would have done over the last few years.
I want to change this and bring back and introduce more services to Dartmouth and continue to support those local charities and their amazing hard work.
I hope you will vote for me and my DIG colleagues on May 2nd.
Dartmouth is a historic town with a proud identity. I have been associated with Dartmouth in various ways for many years, but only came here, finally, to live last year when I retired from the IT and Finance industries where I was able to live and work around the world and experience many different lifestyles, environments and cultures.
Having worked for a number of Computer Games companies, Banks and Financial institutions, my final role before retiring was in Canada as a Director of Visa Canada, where I also met my wife, a Canadian, who now lives with me in Dartmouth.
As a candidate for Dartmouth Town Council I believe in:
Fighting to regain NHS services in Dartmouth and to continue my work with the Heart of the Dart campaign
Ensuring Dartmouth is better connected; both its transport and its digital links
Protecting our town’s green spaces and our unique identity and history
Ensuring that Dartmouth is a safe and friendly town where families and young people are supported
Ensuring that jobs and services are available so families do not have to move to obtain a future
Ensuring the council is visible, transparent and working for the people of Dartmouth
Re-launching the neighbourhood plan for Dartmouth
Dartmouth needs councillors who represent all of Dartmouth’s communities, who put the people first, have a clear vision for Dartmouth’s future and who bring real life experience in business and community roles to the table.
Dartmouth is ready for change, so please vote on 2nd May for a new Town Council and if you see me around town, please feel free to stop me and have a chat.
Our Dartmouth, your Future. Dartmouth Initiative Group (DIG). Candidate for Dartmouth (Clifton) 2nd May 2019.
Hi I’m Sally, mummy to 4 beautiful children and part of the team at The Dolphin.
I moved to Devon 15 years ago from Manchester, 10 of these have been spent in Dartmouth and it’s the best decision I’ve made to date. The people here are not only welcoming but also some of the kindest people I’ve ever met.
I love Dartmouth, it has great sense of togetherness that I’m proud to be part of, it’s like one big happy family.
Being a mother means I’m passionate about children, providing excellent opportunities for the youth of the town. To deliver this, we need to grow as a community, to have both our ideas and concerns listened to and to move with the times.
I’m passionate about about housing, about employment, so much so I created a housing group on Facebook a few years ago because I knew a lot of people wanted to swap accommodation. I ended up handing the reins to someone else as the demand got too much, but last time I looked it had over 40,000 members! There was a lot of demand for jobs, so I made another group which currently stands at nearly 2,500 members!
I love my Manchester but Dartmouth is my home!
Please consider voting for not only me, but the other DIG members in your ward. 6 in Townstal, 10 in Clifton
GED YARDY - CLIFTON
Hello, my name is Ged Yardy. Please vote for me and my DIG colleagues on May 2nd.
I want to create an environment for children and families to prosper and stay in our town with affordable housing and sustainable jobs. I live in Dartmouth with my wife and two children. I am a former cub scout leader, I currently teach junior sailing and enjoy rowing, sailing and generally being out on the water. I want to put back into Clifton and Townstal communities.
I am passionate about finding a solution to Dartmouth’s Healthcare challenge and want to use my experience in life-sciences and healthcare to obtain funding for this crisis. I also wish to use my knowledge to apply for grants to support the incredible charities that give our young and old access to social support, clubs and activities in the town. This includes the amazing events and festivals that are so important in attracting many people to visit Dartmouth and making our town a great place to live.
Most of all it is important for me to listen to the needs of the townsfolk and work positively with all groups, bringing Townstal and Clifton together to create a vibrant community spirit.
LYNN GUNNIGLE - TOWNSTAL
Hello my name is Lynn Gunnigle please consider voting for me and my DIG group members in the upcoming Town Council elections.
I was born in the great City of Liverpool and raised in Lancashire. I have lived in South Devon for 28 years, 9 of them in Dartmouth and have raised my family here.
My first job was as a waitress; I have run a traditional dance troupe in Lancashire and worked in my own cleaning company in Devon.
If I am elected to serve Dartmouth I promise to do my very best for Dartmouth and do what is right and sensible for the town and everyone who lives here.
I am keen to support small and family run local business ,balancing the requirements of our local work force too.
I am part of the Heart of the Dart Hospital campaign group and passionate about reopening, refurbishing and reinstating our Hospital and lost services and saving the NHS.
My concerns are not just for our senior and vulnerable residents but also their carers .
I represent Dartmouth at the Save Our Hospital Services Devon campaigns when possible.
My other concerns are developers riding rough shod over our historic town and giving little thought to the residents, social injustice and climate change.
I am a proud member of the Candlelit Dartmouth Team, in the past fundraising via our handcrafted market and now assisting in the lantern making /craft workshops. I am a member of the Labour party but believe that at Town Council level there is little room for party politics hence my decision to stand with DIG.
NATHAN BODINNAR - TOWNSTAL
I have lived in Townstal all my life. I was educated in Dartmouth until the Sixth Form, when I went to the Kevic Sixth Form College in Totnes.
I have always worked locally starting off as a kitchen porter down in Dartmouth and working at Mr Sam’s on Ivatt Road before it closed. I currently work in the Royal Naval College as a Data Manager for one of the contractors.
I have a keen interest in computing, gaming and sometimes over the top interest in Sci- Fi.
Unlike many of our other candidates who have always been a part of the town community I was until recently, happy enough just to go to work, live my life outside of the town and to tut at the latest goings on in the Dartmouth Chronicle. It was only by chance I was invited to the initial DIG meeting by Pam Barrett, a councillor from Buckfastleigh.
I had heard of the changes at Buckfastleigh, Frome and a few other towns in the country. But I never thought something like it would happen in Dartmouth. So I became part of the group expecting to help with admin, leafletting etc. However I was persuaded to put myself forward as a candidate and am standing because I think local politics needs to change.
Possibly this bio isn’t the best advert for people to vote for me, but it is the truth and I leave it to the voters to decide if I’m worth a shot.
CATHY CAMPOS – CLIFTON
For me Dartmouth was love at first sight. I came here on holiday in June 2014 and just knew that this was where I wanted to live – a year later I moved here permanently. I have never regretted doing this. Even now, I have to pinch myself when I’m walking my dog Olli along the embankment and think “Do I really live here? “ Dartmouth has so much to offer natural beauty and an incredibly friendly community, who have always made me feel very welcome and at home.
Before I moved here I ran my own PR Agency specialising in video and mobile games for over twenty years. I have often thought I would like to use the experience of running a business for the benefit of the town.
If I was to be elected alongside my DIG colleagues, I would like to look into resurrecting the neighbourhood plan. I would also be far more supportive of the impressive charity and campaigning work that goes on in the town. From talking to my DIG colleagues, improving the town for children and young people is also a priority. With my PR hat on, we need to look at new ways to attract tourists and businesses to the town but also in a complementary way to resident’s needs.
Lots to do, so lucky that I have a hands on approach and a can do attitude.
DIG’s philosophy of listening to people and being accountable to them dovetails with my own. For these reasons I hope you will vote for me and all of them on 2nd May.
ADAM EDSALL – CLIFTON
Sixteen years ago my wife Helen & I moved to Dartmouth in search of a better life and have sought to be an active part of this community ever since. Through our various enterprises – Dartmouth Ice Cream, Home and then White Sails Gallery – we have always felt like we belong here and have been made to feel welcome every step of the way. But in recent years that sense of unity in the town has seemed under threat and I believe that Dartmouth Town Council has an important role in bringing the town together and working for all sections of the community. I want to see a council that is open, welcoming, active, energetic, positive and even-handed. Everyone should feel that they can approach the council or attend meetings to help solve the local challenges they face. It should be a council that routinely says “Yes, let’s try it” as opposed to “No, I don’t think so”. It should be a council that takes a strong lead on issues such as local emergency healthcare, the Neighbourhood Plan and a local future for young families. We should be supporting local organisations, helping those in need in the town, and trying to attract grant money and investment to seek modern solutions to the town’s problems. As a group of new councillors we can significantly change the way in which our Town Council works for us all and I sincerely hope that you will vote for all of DIG’s candidates in order to make this a reality.
GRAHAM WEBB – TOWNSTAL