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Blackbrook & Holway


Hazel Prior-sankey

Hazel lives in the centre of Blackbrook and Holway, and is married to Adrian with 3 grown up children and 10 grandchildren so far! Hazel has been a local councillor for more than 25 years and devotes her time to working in the community.

Hazel is pleased that over that time several pedestrian crossings have been installed as well as many cycleways across the south and east of Taunton. She has also fought a campaign to stop the Blackbrook loop and is very concerned about proposals to destroy Hawthorn Park with a motorway junction. The alternative behind Killams Green is also dissatisfactory.

Hazel also started the campaign to stop Holway Green being developed with a mass of tiny flats. She has a very good track record of helping local people with a host of individual issues!

Francesca Smith

Fran has been involved with and a supporter of the Lib Dems for many years, together with being a district councillor since 2003. 

She was born in Taunton and educated at Priorswood Secondary Modern and SCAT. She is married to Peter and they have 3 daughters, one of which, Federica, is also a councillor!

Fran regularly campaigns for local people to have access to good housing and jobs, and has also worked on other local issues such as the pedestrianisation of the town centre and economic development in the town. She opposed the sell off of the council housing stock as well as the proposed merger with West Somerset District Council.

Fran’s passion for her role and the area is made clear through her words:

''I believe in fairness, equality, and transparency, and undertake to follow those ideals in my role as a councillor. As one of the Blackbrook and Holway ward councillors I am keen to help the local people I represent.''


Comeytrowe & Bishop’s Hull


Simon Nicholls

Simon lives in Comeytrowe with his wife and children. Having spent over 30 years as a full time Fire Officer, he understands the values of integrity, compassion, and straight honest talking.

A "sense of community" has always been important to him, which he believes he has displayed in his role as Parish & District councillor.

He is passionate about speaking up for those who are vulnerable, supporting residents with problems, and campaigning for improvements to Taunton. . . OUR county town! Only through a spirit of cooperation can we effect positive change, he says, and this is increasingly important as our planet requires significant behavioural change from us all.

habib farbahi

Habib started his secondary education in SCAT here in Taunton, enabling him to achieve a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Aston University in Birmingham. After university, he set up a number of businesses from commercial outlets to construction, but he views the most varied part of his work as representing his area on the council.

He was elected as a councillor in 2007 and has since advocated tirelessly for his ward to the council. He has held the shadow portfolio for economic development for the last two years, and also set up the ‘Taunton Forward’ initiative in order to get private sector expertise into public sector mentality. He was pivotal in ensuring that some of our services, such as the Direct Labour Organisation (DLO) were not outsourced.

Recently, together with fellow Lib Dem councillors, Habib fought hard for the people of Comeytrowe and Bishop’s Hull to ensure that, when it comes to large housing developments, a comprehensive ‘Master plan’ should lead the development when looking at traffic impact, school provisions, and flooding.

Habib is passionate about promoting a secure future, better outcomes for all, and having a safe home for our children. He wants to give a helping hand to others less fortunate than him, and do all he can for the residents of Comeytrowe and Bishop’s Hull.


Cotford St Luke


John Hassall

John is Parish Council Chair of Cotford St Luke.

He has passions for local transport, environment and local communities.

John has been campaigning on increasing the the 25 Bus Service running through Cotford to include Sundays.

He is also a campaigner for the extension of West Somerset Railway.


Creech St Michael

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Nick O’Donnell

Having grown up in Brighton, I moved to central Taunton seventeen years ago to take up the post of Head of Physics at Queen’s College.  I have a strong passion for Astronomy and I am currently chairman of the South Somerset Astronomy Society.

During my time at Queen’s I have introduced to the school a Model United Nations society which gets students to engage and debate in global issues.  I have taken students to MUN conferences that have been held all around the country and also, for many years, to one in Paris which was hosted at UNESCO.  We also organise our own conference, held each March, to which we have always striven to include local schools and help them also engage their young people in global issues.  Back in 2013, I was also involved with the IF campaign, in conjunction with the Methodist church and our school, where we actively engaged in getting people to sign our petition, a six-foot papier-mâché plate, and myself and my students were then invited, along with a select group of other schools from around the country, to submit our petition, of nearly a thousand signatures, directly to Downing Street.

I have spent much of my time in education in helping young people to see themselves as part of a community but also as individuals who can make a difference, be it to promote fair trade or to reduce their use of plastics.   I have also done the same at the Baptist church I attend in Taunton, where I have worked to promote it as a fair-trade church and to promote fair trade products to our members.

It is that drive and passion to enable change for the better that now makes me seek a more public role for myself as a local councillor.  I have a strong desire to protect our environment; in terms of reducing our carbon footprint; protecting our green fields and seeing more recycling of our resources as we aim to reduce the amount we throw away.

  As a local councillor I look forward to being an active part of the process that will help bring about positive change for Taunton.

Tony Sutcliffe

Tony has been an IT & Project Manager, working throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle East. For 10 years he was a school governor, and is currently a parish councillor. He gave up time to help with flood relief efforts on the Somerset Levels, and is involved with a local Rotary branch.


Hatch & Blackdown

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Ross Henley

Ross was elected in by-election for Blackdown in December 2016 and is a very popular and visible Councillor! 

He is well know for attending local events, attending Parish Council meetings and not holding back on what he thinks.

He determined to hold the new council to account to make sure there are no service cuts to the rural communities from Churchinford to Hatch Beauchamp.


Halcon & Lane


Chris Booth

Chris lives Taunton born and bred and was elected in a by-election in April 2016 as a representative of Halcon and is one of the youngest memebers of Taunton Deane Borough Council at the age of 27. 

He has wasted no time in getting stuck In and currently sits on Planning, Tenant's Management Board, Planning, Community Scrutiny and Corporate Governance.

He believes in the importance of local councils to make a difference to the people of Halcon, Lambrook and Lane.

Federica Smith-Roberts

Federica believes in helping people, not using politics as a means of scoring points. ‘’The behaviour of our politicians in Parliament, particularly on Prime Minister’s Question Time, is why people don't want to engage in politics.

In addition to the work Federica does for local residents and in the Borough Council (among other things she chairs ‘corporate scrutiny’) she has also set up ‘Refugee Aid From Taunton (RAFT)’. This charity was set up in August 2015 to provide clothing and food to refugees in Calais and since commencement has raised significant assistance to these refugees.

Federica is a keen enthusiast for getting her message out using Social Media and using Social Media as a means of communicating with the electorate. ‘’I love it as it allows me to inform people on what is happening quickly and easily. I also get casework reported really effectively. For example, Claire (a local resident) on Thursday night let me know of a damaged tree, I emailed late at night and then phoned the team at 8am as potentially it was dangerous. The tree service team were excellent, came out that morning and made it safe - great service all round!’’


Manor & Tangier


Martin Peters

I have lived in Manor and Tangier ward for 12 years and I work in the ward, for the NHS, at Musgrove Hospital. I have been a HCA for 8 years, dedicated to patient care and working with people from all backgrounds. Up until 2010, I worked for Taunton Deane Borough Council in planning admin, gaining experience of the planning process and using my degree in geography and history. I am a member of the Royal College of Nursing and the Electoral Reform Society and active in Taunton Amnesty.

I was also Coordinator for Britain Stronger In Europe for Taunton during the referendum, and worked hard to put the case for bettering Taunton.

I have a record of campaigning on local environmental issues such as bus provision and cycle paths eg submitting a petition with 1,000 signatures in favour of pedestrianisation on Sundays and better cycle routes. I have been supporting the Taunton Area Cycling Campaign and I am pleased that Taunton has obtained Garden Town status. Over the last few years I have been used to working cross-party in a number of organisations including Compass and Make Votes Matter. I strongly believe in enhancing our green spaces, improving public transport and the provision of more social and affordable housing.

I will listen and act on the views of local residents.


Milverton & District


Eddie Eatwell

I’m currently a full-time husband, father and grandfather.

I’ve had the luck to be in the right place at the right time repeatedly so have enjoyed 3 completely different and successful careers.

Starting as an apprentice draughtsman in a fledgling (and rapidly expanding) computer industry I quickly became a design engineer, project manager and engineering manager. I am proud to have helped develop some of the country’s first data routers, word processors and process control systems. Fortunately my employer did not take my advice to steer clear of mobile telephones as they ‘will never catch on’. Eventually I started my own company to develop and produce specialist security equipment for the government. This collapsed when Maggie Thatcher transferred the contract to an American company.

There weren’t any managing director vacancies at the local job centre so I was sent to the nearby catholic secondary school as an instructor (these do the job of a teacher for half the money).

I then worked for 2 of the larger north London councils as a noise enforcement officer. I was often working alone, or with a single bodyguard, in areas noted for riots, crime and drug use. I treat everyone with respect, and consequently almost all the people I had to deal with were courteous and helpful. I was seconded to the neighbourhood management team for 6 months to help introduce a high-tech smart way of working. In this department every pothole, crack in the pavement, fly tip or overhanging branch was recorded, sorted out and inspected. What a difference to the way our own towns and villages are being neglected.

I would like to represent Milverton and District because I think the current Tory administration have failed to provide the leadership and forward vision that the ward needs. I have leadership skills and will not tolerate incompetence or failure.




Sarah lithgow

Sarah has lived in Wellington for over 30 years, and before that she grew up and went to school in Taunton.

She is married with three grown up children, and is currently a teacher at a local secondary school and has been for over 30 years.

During her time there, Sarah has been a school representative for the National Union of Teachers. Sarah also does voluntary work as a first aider and youth leader with St. John’s Ambulance.

Sarah is interested in promoting a high quality education for all children and young people. She is passionate about creating equality of opportunity in society.


North Curry & Ruishton


Sue Buller

Sue lives in Thornfalcon with her husband Mike, two cats and four alpacas (The Fab Four), names John, Paul, George and Ringo!

Sue is retired and prior to retirement she was a partner in a top tier firm of chartered accountants. Her career involved travelling across the country so she has good experience of what quality infrastructure/transport looks like across the UK, and is ready to apply this knowledge on the Council.

Sue's main reasons for standing in the 2019 district elections are:

  • She is passionate about infrastructure and by this Sue means schools, education, more social housing, joined up transport, cycle ways, NHS, and to essentially bring back the ‘feel good’ factor to our County Town. This includes helping the less fortunate, the elderly, introducing more children's facilities, reducing inequality and bringing about a more inclusive society.

  • One Tory MP recently compared Taunton with Aleppo, disgraceful! However, in saying this, the MP criticised his own party’s running of TDBC, which most of us would agree with!

  • We do not need another expensive hotel in our town but we do desperately need many other facilities and fresh ideas, which bring good employment to our area. Sue’s aim is to help provide and implement these ideas.

Sue wishes to help to make Tauntonians feel proud of their home town again and to help provide a future where the next generations really do want to stay and work. 

Phil Stone

Phil is currently the Deane Councillor for North Curry, Stoke St Gregory and Burrowbridge and has represented this lovely rural area for almost 20 years.

He takes a real interest in all aspects of community life in the villages which he represents. As Vice Chairman of North Curry Parish Council, Phil understands how important the role of Parish councillors is in helping to shape the future of the local community, ranging from minor issues like dog bins to major housing developments. Phil also attends most Parish council meetings of the other Parishes he represents to try to keep on top of local issues.  

Phil holds a range of voluntary roles, including footpath liaison officer, tree warden for North Curry, a member of the White Street sports management committee and chair of a local wildlife group. Phil led the establishment of a community woodland and works with other volunteers to manage the site for local residents. Flooding remains a serious threat to many in the Ward, not just from tidal rivers but as a result of poor maintenance of drains and roadside ditches.  

Phil is looking forward to representing residents of Ruishton and Stoke St Mary which will be included in the enlarged Ward after May this year. Phil represented Ruishton and Thornfalcon for years prior to his move to North Curry. 


North Town


Caroline Ellis

Information to come soon!


Norton Fitzwarren & Staplegrove

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Dixie Darch

Dixie has been a resident of Nailsbourne near Kingston St Mary for 27 years. She has recently retired after a long teaching career in Further Education, before which she worked as a cartographic draughtsman at Taunton Hydrographic Department.

She has adult children and grandchildren, and is passionate about the environment and the need to act on climate change to secure our future. She wants Taunton to become a Garden Town in the realest sense, with green spaces for wildlife and people, as well as a thriving town centre where independent sustainable businesses can flourish.

She supports Taunton Area Cycling Campaign for improved cycling and pedestrian routes as well as Citizens UK, an apolitical organisation which works for social good. In her own ward she is determined that existing residents should experience minimum disruption but maximum gain from the housing development that has already been agreed. Dixie is committed to working hard to support and represent the residents in her ward.

Ed Firmin

Information to come soon!



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Lee Baker

Lee has lived in Somerset all his life, moving to Taunton from Minehead a couple of years ago, to be nearer his work.  He is now leader of a team providing financial advice, on behalf of a major high street bank,  to agricultural businesses and farmers across the UK. His teenage children are all active and schooled in Taunton.

Rosemary Sabel

Rosemary has lived in Taunton for nearly twelve years and is a Research Associate. Her research has covered housing, transport and community - all relevant to helping local residents.

Matt Sibley

Matt has lived and worked in Taunton for his entire life. He has worked in Human Resources and IT Services and looks forward to supporting the community.


Rockwell Green


Nancy Powell-brace

Information to come soon!


South Quantock


Mike Rigby

Information to come soon!


Trull, Pitminster and Corfe


Sarah Wakefield

Sarah has lived in Pitminster and Blagdon Hill for over 25 years. She works locally and has been a member of and former Chair of Pitminster Parish Council and of the PTA at Trull School when her three children were pupils. She is a member of her local church and new hall committee in Blagdon Hill.

Sarah is looking forward to representing this new ward and raising such issues as speeding traffic through our villages, lack of public transport and the minimising of the adverse impacts of the huge housing development planned at Comeytrowe. Our villages need to be protected from rat running vehicles and the Trull area must retain its separate vibrant community and not be swallowed up in the spread of the town.

Sarah hopes to meet many of the residents in the run up to the election and promises to be a listening and active voice on the new Council.  She is proud that our plans for Taunton are based on protecting and enhancing our environment.




Richard Lees

Richard has been a councillor in the Eastgate Ward for the past 20 years, and is looking forward to standing in the new Victoria Ward in the upcoming elections.

Richard works as an Advocate supporting disabled people, the elderly, and those with mental health issues. He is passionate about helping others and doing his best to represent them.

Being blind himself, Richard understands more of what the people he champions are going through, and he wants to work for the whole community by improving lives of the disabled, elderly, and vulnerable in Taunton.

He has worked tirelessly for many years for the betterment of the community and others, and embodies the best of Taunton in himself as well as his work.

Simon Coles

Simon has served as one of the two District Councillors for the former Eastgate Ward since 2005, and has been County Councillor for the Taunton East Division since 2013. He has also been a school governor for many years and was even Chair of Governors for two years.

Simon believes in ensuring equal opportunities for all. Amongst the many improvements he has supported in Taunton has been the consistent campaigning for improvements to Victoria Park. Simon was also instrumental in the removal of ‘legal highs’ from our town.

Simon is passionate about the regeneration of Firepool and the town centre, with associated job creation and necessary infrastructure, along with the creation of a new business park and infrastructure works at Junction 25 on the M5. This should allow maximum benefit from the proposed dualling of the A358 and creation of the long awaited Henlade By-Pass.




Danny Wedderkopp

Come this May, Danny will have been a Councillor for 12 years. He is originally from Newcastle but has lived in Taunton/Somerset since 1984.

Danny is standing again as he wants to see a strong Liberal Democrat presence on the Council. The Liberal Democrats have a positive and practical plan for the coming years, and the other candidates standing are all excellent people, determined to do their best by the people of Taunton Deane.

Danny was also a County Councillor up to 2017, and so has lots of experience in representing residents and in making a difference.


Wellington East

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Keith Wheatley

Keith was a journalist, author and publisher for much of his life, writing for newspapers ranging from the Daily Mirror to the Sunday Times. He founded a successful regional magazine company in 1990 and, having sold it 10 years later, went back to university to qualify as an English teacher.

He taught for 10 years before taking relatively early retirement to set up the hyper-local online news service Around 15,000 people each get their local news about the TA21 area from this digital local newspaper.

Keith moved to Wellington in 2009 and has been active in the community serving as chair of the Wellington Business Association for three years and recently working with the Town Centre Working Group on projects as diverse as a Wellington film festival and a pop-up shop in the High St. 


Wellington North


Mark Lithgow

Mark has lived in Wellington with his wife and three children for 30 years. He cares passionately about our area and improving local services. He is currently on the Wellington Town Council, demonstrating his commitment to the area. He has also recently stopped full time employment to focus on his long term desire to support the people of Wellington.

Mark is keen to become more involved in the organisations that care for and educate the young and old alike in Wellington. He has recently joined as one of the governors of Beech Grove School, and has also been appointed onto the boards of three Wellington based ‘Community Interest Companies’: Wellington Community Support Services LimitedWestcountry Health Education Research Enterprise (WHERE), and Wellington Community Counselling. 

Locally, Mark and his family have all been involved with St John Ambulance. Mark has worked with youth services for many years and has been on the Restorative Justice Panel – a cause he firmly believes in. 

Mark is passionate about Wellington and plans to find ways to make any new development part of the community and bring with it the infrastructure and investment that our town needs.


Wellington South



Information to come soon!


Wellsprings & Rowbarton


Sue lees

Sue has been a Councillor for the past 12 years, representing the Fairwater Ward. Under the new boundary changes she will be standing in the Wellsprings and Rowbarton Ward. She is determined to help people in the ward and brings a wealth of experience to the table to assist in this.

As stated by Sue:

“I am a visually impaired person but this does not prevent me from playing my part in helping any constituent who needs help. I look forward to meeting many of you as the weeks progress.”

Marcia Hill

Information to come soon!


West Monkton & Cheddon Fitzpaine


eamonn leniston

Eamonn has lived in Monkton Heathfield for nearly 40 years.

He joined Avon and Somerset Constabulary in Taunton in 1994 as a Special Constable and in 2003 became on of the first PCSO’s in Somerset. Now retired, during his time in the police he was a Union Representative, as well as covering many beats including West Monkton and Monkton Heathfield. He got to know the area and its residents extremely well during this period, and was inspired through this to try and help the community.

Eamonn decided to become a candidate for the Liberal Democrats as he felt that ordinary people weren’t being heard, and because he didn’t like what was happening to the local area. Having served the community through the role of PCSO, Eamonn now wishes to dedicate his time to serving through a role of councillor. He is determined to make sure that everyone’s voices will be heard, and excited for the opportunity to stand.

Ray Tully

Information to come soon!


Wilton & Sherford


Alan Wedderkopp

Alan has been a member of the Liberal Democrats since they were formed in 1988, and an environmentalist since 1966. He served on TDBC for 12 years as Deputy Leader and environment portfolio holder. 

He has represented Wilton & Sherford on Somerset County Council for 6 years, and has immensely enjoyed doing all he can for the residents. He lives in Wilton, has done for 25 years and knows the ward well. It made sense for him to stand for Wilton & Sherford on TDBC as he already represents them on the County Council. 

More widely on his experiences, he’s lived in the real world as well! He spent 6 years working in a coal mine and studying coal mining. Then he worked for 35 years worldwide in the oil industry, rising from roughneck to offshore installation manager. Prior to that he was a regular soldier in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and spent two years on active service in Korea. 

Alan is passionate about Wilton & Sherford and about representing the people well. 


Wiveliscombe & District



Information to come soon!