Representing the whole community of Bradford on Avon

Ideal Bradford have been the majority group on Bradford on Avon Town Council since 2017.

We’ve completed innovative and exciting projects, improved the way the Council runs, protected local green spaces and wildlife habitats, and set up projects to improve the town’s sport and recreational facilities.

We would love to continue this work, and we've now announced all twelve of our candidates for the Town Council election on May 6th 2021. Please take a look below, and let us know how you would like to help us!

 

Who we are

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We’re a group of local people who’ve got together to make a difference
 
We are your friends and your neighbours. We're working for you and your town, to protect it, improve it and make it the best that it can be for future generations
 
Click the photos above to find out more about Ideal Bradford's candidates in the upcoming election. We will be announcing more over the coming weeks, and we need your vote on May 6th!

We’re a group of local people who’ve got together to make a difference.
 
We are your friends and your neighbours. We're working for you and your town, to protect it, improve it and make it the best that it can be for future generations.
 
We will be announcing more candidates over the coming weeks, and we need your vote on May 6th.

“Change only happens when ordinary people get involved”

Click the photos above to find out more about Ideal Bradford's candidates in the upcoming election

Hayley Stevens
Candidate, South Ward

Has lived in the town since she was a teenager, and currently works for a manufacturer in the town, supplying goods to household names.
 
Blogger and lecturer, who also runs one of the town’s better known social media forums. Has worked at the Wiltshire Music Centre and knows first-hand exactly what can be achieved when the community works together – for example on community opera or at the Bradford Roots Festival.
 
A strong voice seeking to address air quality and pollution, protecting and improving access to green spaces and working to support those in need.

“As someone who lives in social housing, I know the issues that affect us all are experienced differently by people across our community. I believe that progress can be achieved when all voices are heard and understood – that’s why I’m standing for the Town Council and for Ideal Bradford.”
Alex Kay
Candidate, North Ward

Professional geologist in the energy and environment sector who played a key role in Bradford’s Arts Festival before becoming a councillor in 2017.
 
Leading role in many successful Council projects: solar panels on St Margaret's Hall, public drinking water stations, public purchase of Becky Addy Woods, Avoncliff Weir repair, Grow BoA, Climate Emergency declaration and workshops and many others.
 
Chair of the Environment & Planning Committee.
 
Creative and analytical thinker with a passion for community, arts and environmental issues.

"We've come so far, let's continue the journey! Ideal Bradford have worked so hard and achieved so much in our four years as Councillors, with the exclusive focus of supporting our local community. I feel very proud of the projects we've delivered and I look forward to furthering this adventure."
Dave Garwood
Candidate, South Ward

Former senior civil servant, business consultant and director of an international NGO. Brings a weath of experience with complex projects to the Town Council.
 
A Bradford resident for more than twenty-five years.
 
Community radio presenter. Looking forward to getting back to teaching IT skills in the library when the world returns to normal.
 
Mayor, 2017–18. Leading role on Town Council tourism strategy. Chair of the Christmas Lights working group. In his second term, he plans to push on the with the skateboard project, and to help local businesses and tourism back on track after the pandemic.

“Living in Bradford-on-Avon is a real privilege and I will continue to promote the town as a beautiful place to visit and to work. One of my aims will be to improve the visitor experience through the development of existing facilities and the introduction of new ones”
Tom Lomax, Ideal Bradford
Esther Gordon-Smith
Candidate, North Ward

Chartered engineer who works on major infrastructure projects for Highways England. Her work gives her deep insight into the environmental legacy of public projects and how areas of government, legislation and communities can best work together.
 
A baker, singer, and active member of her local church, she also helps the Community Emergency Volunteers.
 
Keen to support the community's wellbeing as we emerge from the pandemic, and get stuck into the town council's work on ecology, biodiversity and sustainable development.

"I settled in Bradford on Avon because it's the friendliest community I've experienced in a long time, and I was attracted by the independent Council and the opportunity that brings for meaningful positive change for the community now, and for the future."
Jes Wire
Candidate, South Ward

An environmentalist for more than 30 years. Now retired after working for the Office for National Statistics on social surveys.
 
Since moving to Bradford on Avon from Surrey, via Frome, has become hugely active in our local community and brings a wealth of experience in community engagement and action to the Ideal Bradford team.
 
Volunteers with various climate, environmental and cultural organisations in Bradford on Avon and beyond.

"I'm very proud to have been involved with climate and ecological issues since 1986, and I'm keen to keep on campaigning – making Bradford brighter, greener and more sustainable for generations to come."
Holly Taylor
Candidate, North Ward

Works in government communications and stakeholder engagement and has worked and volunteered in the charity sector. Has lived in Bradford on Avon since 2009, and has two young children.
 
Motivated by changing local democratic systems for the better, and a drive to make things simpler, more representative and more accessible – especially for those who are vulnerable or disadvantaged.
 
Active in many creative community projects, from yarn-bombing to Christmas carol singalongs.
 
A newcomer to the candidate team, having been involved behind the scenes with Ideal Bradford since 2017. Keen to get involved in environmental, biodiversity and community-led projects, and to improve participation in local democracy.

“I’m standing for Ideal because I think having a Town Council that acts solely for the best interests of the local community is the best way to get more people involved in what our town does, and how we run it.”
Emma Franklin
Candidate, South Ward

Raised in Bradford. Loves our town and has deep roots in its community. She understands what makes our town tick and has brought this passion and understanding to her hard work as a Councillor for the past four years.
 
Passionate about opening up local democracy, young people’s participation, and environmental issues. Has used her first term as Councillor to be a positive voice for the whole community.
 
Has got Bradford on Avon more involved in South West in Bloom and enjoyed making and looking after the beautiful planters for Whitehill and St Laurence Road.
 
Experienced retail manager with a strong working understanding of how important interpersonal relationships are in making organisations run well and achieve the best they can.

“I believe Ideal Bradford can make a real positive change by actively listening, working together and creating a sustainable environment for everyone in our town.”
Simon McNeill-Ritchie
Candidate, North Ward

Mayor of Braford on Avon for the last two years. Has worked on a wide range of community projects, bringing together community volunteers, and raising over £115,000 in grants for town projects.
 
Played a leading role in bringing Culver sports field and Sladesbrook Park and allotments into Town Council control, and organised the Countdown to Peace commemoration events for the centenary of the end of the First World War. Led the analysis of traffic flow data in the town as part of the KERB report and consultation. A Community Emergency Volunteer, and part of the team that repaired the Avoncliff Weir.
 
An award-winning social entrepreneur and former British Diplomat. Experienced in complex negotiations and working with competing interests to find positive results for all.

“I’m immensely proud of what we have achieved over the past four years. We’ve got a lot more to give, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to do even more over the next four.”
Simon McNeill-Ritchie, Ideal Bradford
Nick Aslett
Candidate, South Ward

In Bradford for 23 years, brought up his family up here.
 
Has worked as a school teacher, and for Wiltshire Council in the Children and Families branch. Recently returned to university and fulfilled a long-held ambition to become a social worker.
 
Standing for Town Council as a way to serve and support the community that he’s a part of, and which has given so much to him and his family over the years.
 
A passionate advocate of building a sustainable future. Keen to help our town celebrate its diversity, capture as broad a range of views and ideas as possible, and help the Town Council work for the benefit of everyone who lives in, works in or visits Bradford.

“I feel so lucky to have been supported by the wonderful community here in Bradford on Avon. I want to make other families feel just as welcome, and play my part in making it a town that’s sustainable, welcoming and strong.”
Matthew Hubbard
Candidate, North Ward

Bradford on Avon resident for over 20 years.
 
Engineer and Director of a local automotive engineering business for many years. Has had significant international involvement in developing active safety technologies to make transport safer for everyone. Currently engaged in advisory roles with a number of technology start-up businesses.
 
Lives with his family in Bradford on Avon, with both of his children having attended local schools.
 
Active member and Treasurer of Bradford on Avon Rowing Club.
 
Passionate about securing the future of Bradford’s commercial centre and encouraging sustainable transportation.

“I’ve lived, worked, and socialised in Bradford on Avon for over 21 years and I’m extremely fond of our town. If elected, I’ll use my engineering background to help our community develop and adapt to the changing world we live in.”
Tom Lomax, Ideal Bradford
Kate Bessant
Candidate, South Ward

Background in retail management, from Bristol independents and high-street giants. Now works in sales and communications for a local ceramics designer.
 
Has lived in Bradford for twelve years. Happy that she and her husband have been able to raise their children, now teenagers, in such a strong small-town community.
 
Volunteer for The Hub. Driven to find other ways to help people in the area to overcome the challenges of poverty. Sees stimulating the local job market through support for businesses as one important part of that.
 
Paddle-boarder, wild swimmer and vegetable grower. Keen to involve secondary school kids like her own in the conservation and sustainability work of Ideal Bradford and the Town Council, and to help secure the future of the old golf course as a green space for the whole community of our town.
 

“A vibrant and well supported town centre is the beating heart of any town. I am passionate about independent retail, and want to continue the work of the Council to support the diversity of business in Bradford.”
Dom Newton
Candidate, North Ward

Senior information rights professional with 20 years' experience working with community and charity projects. Two young sons go to Christ Church School and play in Bradford on Avon youth football, rugby and cricket teams.
 
Chair of Trustees for the local Floaty Boat charity, which supports live-aboard boaters and promotes understanding between the boater and land-based communities.
 
Leader of the Town Council since 2017. Has led on many initiatives, from creating the town’s first ever Youth Strategy to Biodiversity and Wildlife Protection policies, modernising the Council's systems and processes.
 
Initial focus for a second term will be to complete the skatepark project, improve electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and to make sure that more of the public are able to get involved with our local democracy and decision-making.

“I’m really proud of all that Ideal Bradford has achieved since 2017 – but there is more work to do. Our lovely town needs a Town Council that can be relied upon to work hard both with and for it, to meet new challenges, and head into the next four years able and ready to act on its behalf.”
Tom Lomax, Ideal Bradford

We will be announcing the rest of our candidates here and on Facebook over the coming weeks ahead of the election on the 6th May
 
Make sure you register to vote!

“Change only happens when ordinary people get involved”

Click the photos above to find out more about Ideal Bradford's candidates in the upcoming election

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Get involved

Hosting a poster, delivering leaflets to your neighbours on a sunny afternoon, chipping in a few quid towards campaign costs, or just being part of a constructive conversation about what's best for Bradford on Avon; there are lots of ways to contribute to the work that Ideal Bradford is doing for our town.

Our current councillors

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Councillors 2017-2021
 
Our seven Ideal Bradford Councillors have achieved a huge amount in what has been a very busy four year, from tackling Climate Change at a local level, to supporting businesses and creating youth services
 
Some of the team are now stepping back, but five of our existing Councillors will be standing for re-election, joined by some fantastic new faces, all willing to give their time and passion to the working for the town
 
Click the photos above to find out more about Ideal Bradford's current councillors

Councillors 2017-2021
 
Our seven Ideal Bradford Councillors have achieved a huge amount in a very busy four years from tackling Climate Change at a local level, to supporting businesses and creating youth services.
 
Some of the team are now stepping back, but five of our existing Councillors will be standing for re-election, joined by some fantastic new faces, all willing to give their time and passion to the working for the town.

“Change only happens when ordinary people get involved”

Click the photos above to find out more about Ideal Bradford's current councillors

Dom Newton
Councillor, North Ward

Senior information rights professional who has worked across the charity and commercial sectors
 
Involved with community projects for around 20 years. Chair of Trustees for local charity Floaty Boat
 
Leader of the Council since 2017. Has led on initiatives including the town’s Youth Strategy, new policies on biodiversity and ecology, and the modernisation and digitisation of Town Council systems and processes, saving time and cost, and reducing emissions. Key figure in the Town Council response to COVID-19 – including building all of the boxes for GROW BoA!

“I’ve never been one for sitting on the sidelines when I can see that something needs to be done.”
Alex Kay
Councillor, North Ward

Chair of the Environment & Planning Committee
 
Leading role in many successful Council projects: solar panels on St Margaret's Hall, public drinking water stations, public purchase of Becky Addy Woods, Avoncliff Weir repair, Grow BoA, Climate Emergency declaration and workshops and many others
 
Professional geologist in the energy and environment sector who played a key role in Bradford’s Arts Festival before becoming a councillor in 2017
 

Creative and analytical thinker with a passion for community, arts and environmental issues

“We can achieve great things together for the town: it seems important to be part of it.”
Dan Taylor
Councillor, North Ward

Head of department at a local secondary school, where he is involved in engaging students in democratic participation
 
Deputy Mayor, 2019–20. Chaired the Community and Recreation Committee for his first two years as a Councillor, as well as taking a leading role in the running of the Col. William Lewelyn Palmer Educational Charity
 
Leading role in Council support for the Cricket Club. Active supporter of youth projects like the Youth Service and skate park, Dan led through proposals to support the Cricket Club with Ground’s maintenance

“I realised this was my chance to actually make a difference and contribute – rather than just feeling disheartened or complaining about what wasn’t being done.”
Simon McNeill-Ritchie
Councillor, North Ward

Social entrepreneur and former British diplomat, with a wealth of experience in complex, multi-lateral negotiations
 
Mayor, 2019–21, elected twice by his fellow Councillors
 
Raised over £115,000 in grants for town projects
 
Lead role in transfer from Wiltshire Council to the town of Sladesbrook play area and allotments, and Culver Close sports field
 
Co-author of KERB report on traffic. Organiser of WW1 centenary events. Part of the team that repaired Avoncliff weir

“We’re lucky to live in a town that’s steeped in cultural heritage and natural beauty, and that has such a thriving community.”
Simon McNeill-Ritchie, Ideal Bradford
Tom Lomax
Councillor, North Ward

Land rights lawyer for an international charity, helping communities in Liberia, Kenya and Uganda to stand up to governments and companies seeking to take their ancestral lands
 
Driven by the belief that local people should be the ones in the driving seat when it comes to looking after the place they live and the people they share it with – no matter the context
 
Proud of the Council’s activism in local planning, expansion of youth services, progress on environmental issues such as solar panels on St. Margaret’s Hall and helping to save Becky Addy Woods for the community, and of the coordinated response to the pandemic that has helped keep Covid rates low in our town and helped to protect the elderly and most vulnerable

“I love Bradford’s healthy independent spirit, and the fact that people really care about where they live."
Tom Lomax, Ideal Bradford
Dave Garwood
Councillor, South Ward

Former senior civil servant, business consultant and director of an international NGO, with priceless experience in the analysis of complex situations
 
A Bradford resident for more than twenty-five years
 
Mayor, 2017–18. Leading role on Town Council tourism strategy. Chair of the Christmas Lights working group. Strong proponent of the skate park project. Fought hard to make sure that town centre Social Distancing scheme took full account of the needs of all residents

“Ideal Bradford has introduced fresh, energetic and independent thinking into the Town Council.”
Tom Lomax, Ideal Bradford
Emma Franklin
Councillor, South Ward

Experienced retail manager, currently running a local flower shop
 
Raised in Bradford on Avon, passionate about the town and its community
 
Leading role in Bradford's successes in South West In Bloom, the GROW scheme, and in installing public planters around town
 
Looking forward to building on the Town Council's recent progress on environmental matters and democratic participation

“I believe Ideal Bradford can make a real positive change by actively listening, working together and creating a sustainable environment for everyone in our town.”
Emma Franklin, Ideal Bradford
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