Latest Stories

Meet the candidates for Labour in South Cambs. It's an all out election for the district council on May 3 so every seat is on the line. Our candidates will be out and about over the coming days canvassing in their wards, if you see them make sure to say hi and show your support!


Bar Hill

Stuart Hilpert

I’ve lived in Bar Hill with my wife for 5 years, having previously lived in the city centre to study.

I love the local community and am now proud to call Bar Hill my home with its great local ser­vices and friendly neighbourhoods.

My job as a Brand Ambassador takes me around the whole region and this often highlights how special small communities such as Bar Hill are.

For instance, just having a local library seems a privilege these days so having one as good as the Bar Hill is great and services like this are reasons to love Bar Hill. I have spent time working for the Civil Service, as a Union secretary, and studied as a mature student before my current role - each different experience teaching me new ways to look at the world.



Jonathan Harper

I feel strongly about strengthening communities through both increased financial support from the Government, and increasing grass-roots projects that bring people together.

I personally would like to encourage more sup­port for learning modern, employable skills in technology and coding.

I am a passionate Remainer when it comes to Brexit but believe in the importance of debate and democracy on the subject.

I stand firmly with the NHS and believe that pri­vatisation of our public sectors should be done so only when this benefits to our country and local community are clear for both the short and long-term.

I believe in full transparency and that the com­munications between government and the pub­lic should be dramatically improved.



John Goodall

I taught for 10 years at a local comprehensive school before moving to work overseas.

My experience of working in Syria, Libya, Philippines and Japan has given me a significant insight into some of the local problems that we face.

The growing population has put extra pressure on local surgeries and we need more doctors with an expansion of facilities, so that patients can access the service they require without travelling to an A&E department.

With this growing population, we have the problem of increased traffic and parking. There are places with excellent public transport which helps alleviate these problems.

A member of a local council has identified the problem of providing adequate parking in new housing developments, but we also need to address the existing problems of congestion in the village for residents and customers of local services



Gavin Clayton

I have lived in Cambourne since 2000, and have raised my family within its first shared equity housing plot. Having been involved in the very earliest stages of community development here I have enjoyed Cambourne’s successes, but also recognise the challenges that we face as it con­tinues to grow and mature as a settlement and community.

The planned growth and continued austerity due to cuts impact the most disadvantaged. And it brings a pressing need for community facilities and services to be robustly negotiated with developers and corporate companies who will profit due to this expansion.

Working at a senior level for mental health, disability and social care sector charities in my professional life I know how hard it is for ordi­nary people to deal with the uncertainties and reduced services that the government’s austerity agenda create for a majority of households and individuals and in particular for the poorest and most disadvantaged.

Darren Macey

In 2004 my wife and I moved to Cambourne. Getting on the housing ladder was only made possible by the key workers housing scheme introduced by the Labour government at the time. A shared equity home gave us a foothold in the community and we have lived here ever since.

During my time in Cambourne I have been an active member of Cambourne’s music and sporting communities, involved at the incep­tion of Cambourne Exiles RFC as a player and a coach, and occasionally contributing to Green’s open mic night, which I once helped run as a member of Maidofale.

I worked as a Secondary Maths teacher for a decade and now work as a curriculum research­er in central Cambridge. As Cambourne con­tinues to grow, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that more attention needs to be focused on providing local amenities and the impact on our transport infrastructure of moving large numbers of people from home to work.

Len Thornton

I retired from a career in education during which I sought placements in learning, train­ing and work for the marginalised. Resident in Cambourne since 2005, I volunteered with Cambourne Church’s Community Cafe from its inception and volunteer with the Cambourne Youth Partnership, Romsey Mill Youth Club at The Soul as well as being a trustee for the CYP.

I serve as an Elder for Cambridgeshire Area Quakers and Clerk to St. Neots Local Meeting, where I organise “New Economics” reading groups.

For some years I facilitated the Love Justice group, in Cambourne, which was laid down four years ago.

I enjoy the lively, forward-looking community here and take pleasure in walking and wildlife observation.

I am a committed enthusiast for life in Cam­bourne.


Caxton and Papworth

Edith Hall

Edith Hall is a member of the Labour Party who lives in Papworth Everard.

She is a professor at King’s College London and a member of the Universi­ty and College Union.

She regularly broadcasts on BBC Radio, and is Chair of the Gilbert Mur­ray Trust. She is married with teenage children who have attended State school.

Since her teens she has been involved in political campaigns including support of the NUM during the miner’s strike, anti-apartheid, CND, pris­on reform, gay rights and abortion rights.

If elected she would prioritise the improvement of Cambridgeshire Public Transport and support state primary and secondary education in the area.

Richard Poynder

Richard Poynder is a member of the Labour Party who lives in Papworth Everard. He is a freelance journalist and member of the National Union of Jounalists.

Richard is an independent journalist and blogger who writes about open access to publicly-funded information, especially research information.

He is married with teenage children who have attended state school. Rich­ard was a Thame Town Councillor (in the 1990s), an Upper Rissington Parish Councillor (in the 2000s), and a school governor at Bourton Pri­mary School in 2011-13.

If elected he would prioritise the need for transparency in local govern­ment, the improvement of local transport, and support state primary and secondary education in the area.



Adam Gledhill

I grew up in Norfolk and studied Biology at the University of Leeds but have settled in Cottenham with my fiancée Rachel who is a primary school teacher in Cambridge.

Like many people locally, I work in the scientific sector in Cambridge, working on drugs to hopefully transform the treatment of cancer.

My main concerns are fighting for truly affordable housing for local resi­dents while ensuring that healthcare, education and general infrastructure is not left behind.

I will work closely with both Cottenham and Rampton Parish Councils to push the District Council to ensure the growth and development of both villages and the district is sustainable.

If you would like to contact me with any concerns or questions, please call 07534439572 or email

Mark McCormack

I live on Wellbrook Way in Girton and have lived in Cambridge for eight years. I currently manage a well-known charity in Cambridge and actively support the city’s valuable voluntary services as a leader with two local non-profits. Previously I was a community worker and led Government crime-reduction contracts, helping to form the Institute for Community Safety.

I believe South Cambridgeshire is a wonderful place to live and would be honoured to work for each and every resident to sustain Cottenham’s special character. Cottenham will be impacted by increased demand for housing and facilities, and increased traffic through the village. I will en­sure that:

1) New planning requests are consulted upon widely across the village, and see that new proposals that are not in the interests of Cottenham resi­dents are rejected.

2) Seek to work with County Councillors to improve our bus services, roads and cycling safety.

3) Consult all residents on new services residents would like to see in the village, particularly those aimed at new or young families in the area.



Jackie Scott

I’ve lived in Cambridge for over 20 years and now live in the lovely village of Hinxton. I am a proud mum and grandmother.

I began my career as a school-teacher and I have recently retired as a Professor of Sociology at the University of Cambridge.

I believe that our District Councillors should be doing much more to promote our community interests.

As a Labour supporter, I would oppose Conservative led cost-cutting and I would champion the provision of decent local services.

The District Council should be enabling good affordable housing. It should take better care of the environment. It should ensure that local planning takes account of the needs of the many and not just the affluent few.

I would work hard to improve services that benefit the lives of us all.



Angela Patrick

I am a retired teacher, now living in Great Chishill. I have a large family and enjoy spend­ing time with my children and grandchildren.

We are all active in our local communities and see the value of supporting community events.

I believe the Labour Party is fundamental to the well being of all people. My time is spent supporting the Labour Party as well as looking after my family. I am an active member of the Icknield Way churches serving on the organising committees and am president of Heydon and Great Chishill WI.

We support local functions with our catering skills as well as debating social issues at our meetings.

I taught in London for 25 years in primary schools and in a school for pupils with special needs, continuing as a senior teacher at St Eliz­abeth’s school in Much Hadham for the remain­ing years of my career.

My hobbies are gardening, walking, travel, dancing and cycling with a local Breeze cycling group.



Jenna Hegarty

I work and live in the region but originate from the Labour heartlands of South Yorkshire.

I’m a passionate believer in government action to ensure everyone who needs help gets it, and everyone pays their fair dues.

Sadly, the current government appears to have ideals that are in total opposition to this.

I would like to offer local voters the chance to vote for a party that shares the principles of equality, fairness and justice, and puts people, rather than power, first.

I am interested in working with others to improve facilities for our local community.

I’m passionate about Gamlingay and want to see affordable, sustainable housing that meets the needs of local people and those moving to the area whilst protecting and improving our cherished natural spaces.



Jane Williams

 A life-long Labour supporter and a party member for over thirty years, the phrase ‘For the Many, Not the Few’ encapsulates my view of what gov­ernment at all levels should strive for.

I was born just over the border in Essex, but have lived and worked as a teacher in Cambridgeshire for over forty years, some of that time in the city, then in Over. I moved to Girton in December 2009.

In Girton, we are concerned at the lack of planning control, the diminish­ing support for our infrastructure - deteriorating roads and pavements, funding for schools/nurseries and social care.

National Government’s increasing attempts to delegate responsibility for essentials to the lower tiers of Local Government without adequate fund­ing places intolerable strain upon services. These must be resisted at grass roots’ level.

Lee Taylor

I have a BA in Social Work and work as a Senior Social Worker, and have seen at first hand the effects of Tory cuts to our local services.

I have lived in Girton now for just over 5 years, with my family being part of the village for nearly 40 years.

I have previously been a Parish Councillor and a School Governor within the village. In my spare time I volunteer for St. John Ambulance as a Dis­trict Manager.

It is important that we retain the character of Girton in the midst of so much economic activity in the ward and surrounding area. I wish to work with our village groups to build a stronger community for Girton.

I am honoured to be standing as your Labour candidate.



Mark Hurn

My name is Mark Hurn, I am 54 years old and work as a librarian for the University of Cam­bridge.

I have lived in Cambourne, Cambridgeshire since 2001. I do have some experience of local government, having been a school governor and served on Cambourne Parish Council.

If elected I would make my priority social care. I am very concerned about the threat of cuts in this area. It is also important to maintain and improve the quality of services.

Public transport is a vital service for many peo­ple, and a key element in reducing congestion and pollution on our streets. Local government has a key role in building communities and in Cambridgeshire we have the challenge of pro­viding a balance of economic growth with its demands on transport and housing, with main­taining the quality of life and environment in our established villages.

Not easy, but a challenge I am willing to accept.


Harston and Comberton

Chris Coleridge

I have lived in the Cambridge area since 2002. I’m a lecturer at Judge Business School, in entrepreneurship and business strategy.

I have been a Labour member since 1990 and a UCU member since 2006. I have served as a parish councillor in Harlton since 2015.

I believe that the Harston and Comberton district is facing significant challenges in its development around Cambridge, one of the most important cities in the world.

With the expansion of Cambridge’s population and workforce, we face concerning pressures on transport, housing, education, health and social care; Labour is needed to ensure that the County has the right strategies to provide a cleaner, fairer and safer environment for all.

I am committed to working for social justice and an environment where all citizens are valued.

Roger Tomlinson

I moved to Coton in 2004, working with an arts consultancy practice based in Madingley for over 25 years.

I am a lifelong Labour Party supporter and Remainer. I am concerned there is a serious democratic deficit in Cambridgeshire and South Cambs, with the voices of our villages largely ignored, with some councillors not representing our views.

Cambridge is growing, yet infra-structure comes after growth, developers fail to deliver quality of life, and schemes are planned that ignore the impact on our villages, especially traffic, noise and pollution.

We need to address planning, housing, local services, recreation and arts provision, we have to get solutions that conserve our environment and landscape, and better solutions than busways, Park+Ride sites in the wrong places, and huge traffic flows on inadequate roads.

Laurens Drost

Hi, my name is Laurens Drost. I recently arrived in Cambridgeshire to work in the semiconductor industry here’, after some twenty years of long and short stays in the UK.

I have nearly ten years of experience working with local politics, most recently as a city councillor for the Dutch Labour party in the rural south east of the Netherlands.

Like many of us I want to contribute to a social and just society where we all can have an opportunity to grow to our fullest potential.

Education, social care for young and old, affordable and decent housing and a good balance for nature, land and environment will receive my attention.



Ed Stokes

As an ex-teacher I am passionate about ensuring that all young people have access to high quality education and believe that funding for schools and teachers should be always be a priority.

I am also amongst the ever growing number of people who are very con­cerned by the current mismanagement and under-funding of the NHS. The NHS needs to be properly funded and not sold off to private compa­nies for profit and I believe it needs to be protected.

Locally, I think that two of the key issues we face is the cost and accessi­bility of quality housing and the lack of a decent, sustainable transport solution for the city. These are two things I feel strongly affect the quality of life of Cambridge’s residents and are issues that need to be address as a matter of priority.

Polly Gunsman

I’m a Senior NHS Nurse who has worked in the Health Service for 33 years. Labour will fight for our NHS to be funded adequately and to ena­ble it to be staffed safely.

Having been a resident of Longstanton since 2006, I’m acutely aware of people’s worries about Northstowe and the effect it could have on our local community.

As a mother of 3, I’m concerned that we will continue to have sustained improvement in our local education services, and that the services will meet the needs of all local children.

Vote for me in the District Council election and I will fight to sustain the services you care about.



Beverley Cottrell

I have lived in Meldreth since the early 90s.

All our children attended village primary school and for ten years I ran the local veterinary surgery. I therefore feel a strong connection to Meldreth.

I am standing as a Labour councillor for the Melbourn ward because I believe the party is the only one currently addressing the important issues facing us as a society, such as growing inequality, in-work poverty and the lack of affordable housing.

If elected, I will do my utmost to improve the services provided by the District Council, particularly for those in greatest need.

Turlough Stone

I have lived in Shepreth for nearly 10 years.

During that time I have served as Chairman of the board of trustees of the Village Hall, played an active role in the re-founding of Shepreth Neigh­bourhood Watch, and acted as Chairman of Shepreth Ploughshare (which helped to save the local pub from re-development).

I work as a barrister in London, and am a former Fellow of All Souls Col­lege, Oxford.

Coming from a family of nurses, doctors and teachers, I am committed to defending public services from unnecessary and harmful cuts.

I am a passionate advocate of local democracy and involving local people in building a fair, socially cohesive and financially prudent community.



Alix Valentine

My name is Alix Valentine. I live with my family in Bassingbourn, and I work in Shepreth as a service co-ordinator in a surveillance company.

As a mother I am concerned about the lack of facilities for the very young and for the youth of our villages.

As a daughter I worry about the lack of provision for the over-60s.

As a resident I am troubled by the isolation of those who cannot afford a car.

If elected I will seek to address all these, and will campaign for a restoration of bus links to Royston and Cambridge.



Rob Grayston

I’ve got experience working in parliament for an MP, and I’ve seen how our political system works up close. I’ve dealt with people from the top to the bottom of Government, and I know that the setup we currently have in South Cambs isn’t delivering for us.

As part of Sawston’s community I’ve been a member of the Parish Coun­cil, organised the Winter Fair, been involved with the Summer Fair, mar­shalled for the Fun Run, admin the Sawston Facebook group – if there’s something happening in Sawston, I’m happy to get involved!

This is why I’m standing for District Council. We have issues like housing and transport to deal with, issues which are not being satisfactorily ad­dressed by the current council.

I believe we can do better, whether it’s sorting the pothole plague or hold­ing Sainsbury’s to account for their lack of action over the former Barclays site – Sawston can do better.

Anand Pillai

I am Anand Pillai, and as a local I am pleased to be standing as your La­bour candidate in the forthcoming district council elections.

I have lived in the Cambridge area since 1972, and have worked in the NHS most of my working life, both in a hospital environment and in the Ambulance Service. I have seen at first hand the damage caused by Tory cuts to the NHS. I am committed to having a properly funded Health Service.

I work now with Greater Anglia Railway, and am committed to improved public transport services, both bus and rail.

As someone who knows local people and the local area, I will work hard as councillor to ensure that the interests of all are represented in the Council Chamber.



Mark Toner

I am a married man from a working family who has lived and worked in the electoral area for most of my life, so I know the issues that affect and impact our community.

My wife works for the local NHS and I have worked for over 20 years as a trade union official for the Communication Workers Union in the

Royal Mail. I have an experienced background in political campaigning and negotiating “for the many and not just the few”!

I actively campaigned against the privatisation of the Royal Mail and for the living wage. I successfully negotiated the settlement with Royal Mail that kept the Cambridge Royal Mail site open and maintained jobs for now and future generations of postal workers in Cambridge.

I will work hard in delivering benefits to the whole of the community, including the availability of “real” affordable homes for local people. I will help protect the local environment from poor development and ensure that future developments are environmentally sustainable. I will also seek to maintain the importance of local shops and businesses within the community.

I will campaign to improve and maintain transport links, be that roads, cycle ways, public transport or parking. I will also ensure that all our communities’ requirements are always heard!

Mike Nettleton

I have lived in Great Shelford for the last 20 years and run a local IT business.

I’ve chaired Great Shelford Parish Council for the last two years and I’m proud of what the team I lead have achieved - zebra crossing and pavement widening in Woollards Lane, safety lights for the school, speed monitoring, major improvements to the riverbank and a raft of other items about to be delivered.

The local villages are a great place to live, but we now face a number of challenges if we are to keep them that way.

Huge numbers of new houses have been built in South Cambs, with more to follow. And yet local people on quite decent wages cannot afford to live in them, and many have been bought by speculators to rent out.

The effect on local roads, especially the A1301, is obvious. We cannot continue at this rate without having a coherent strategy for transport and other infrastructure. Labour will place far more emphasis on affordable housing, including Council and Housing Association properties.



Tom Mayer

Having lived in Swavesey for the past 18 years and now studying Politics and Sociology locally at Cambridge University, I cannot think of a better place to grow up.

That being said, we can do more in South Cambridgeshire to ensure that our social services work better for everyone living in this District; from school children and families, to shelter scheme residents.

Facing the challenges of leaving the European Union, as well as the existing problems of rising income inequality and job insecurity, our local government needs to step up and ensure that we have enough affordable housing and robust public services which cater for the many, and not the few.

In the coming years, South Cambridgeshire is going to have to step up to do our bit for our planet. This means pushing ahead with efficient and sustainable environmental policies that work for both households and small businesses. This is why I’m running for your District Coun­cillor.



Philippa MacGarry

I am happy to represent our community at local level. My two careers in architecture and educa­tion have helped give me a broad understanding of different issues affecting us.

I have inherited a sense of public service from my father who worked in public health all of his career. Since my children have left home I have rejoined my husband in our architectural part­nership and I have had more time to do my bit for the local community here in Thriplow.

I have been a community shop volunteer: we offer our services to keep the shop open on Sundays, in our village run business. The vil­lage shop is so much a key to keeping amenities working in our village and for many people going there is an important part of their day. The loss of full post office facilities is at least ad­dressed by the helpfulness of people in the shop.

I also work for Royston District Community Transport, which offers local non-drivers a lift to doctors, hospitals or other appointments - a much needed service in our village, whose pub­lic transport is so inadequate. I am interested to help work towards appropriate public transport and car share schemes. I want to help set up new ways of dealing with these issues.

I regret the divisions in our society between classes and interests and would like to work towards more fairness.

Our candidates on May 3

Meet the candidates for Labour in South Cambs. It's an all out election for the district council on May 3 so every seat is on the line. Our candidates will...

b1116cd2-fee0-4dcd-8f12-175d5465c5d2.jpgSouth Cambs Labour chair John Beresford is putting his best foot forward to help the homeless.

Homelessness threatens to increase over the coming years and Jimmy’s, the hostel for the homeless in East Road, Cambridge, provides a vital service in combatting it locally.
On September 1st John, aged 70, will be starting the 1407 kilometre (874 miles) journey - the distance from Land’s End to John O’Groats - in the gym at Hills Road Tennis and Sports Centre.
John predicts the challenge will see him heading to the gym between 150 and 200 times and he will be giving regular updates on his progress on his Just Giving page
Please give what you can and help John raise as much as possible for this very worthy cause at

CLP chair John's 1,400km challenge for the homeless

South Cambs Labour chair John Beresford is putting his best foot forward to help the homeless.

On Tuesday 27th June, the Conservative MP for South Cambridgeshire, warming to her role as one of the newly reformed “listening” Tories tweeted this:


An often outspoken MP, since the election failed to produce a majority for the Conservatives a string of public tweets and media appearances from Ms Allen have made it clear that she is uncomfortable with her party allying itself with the DUP and should begin to listen to the groundswell of opinion in the country that the policies of austerity are targeting the wrong people.

On Wednesday 28th June, the Labour party tabled the amendment below to the queen’s speech. It called for an end to cuts in the police and fire service, along with an end to the public sector pay freeze.


One of the wonderful things about the sometimes complex and frustrating UK parliamentary system is that we all have access to our local MPs in constituency surgeries for face to face meetings, but also through correspondence via letter and email. With the growth of social media, both Facebook and Twitter have become a very public way of communicating with MPs too, and this access allows us to hold our MPs to account when their votes in parliament do not always correspond with their public statements.

On Wednesday morning, a number of South Cambridgeshire members took to social media and email to challenge Heidi Allen directly to vote in favour of Labour’s amendment in line with the very public statements she has made in support of ending the public sector pay freeze.  Unfortunately on this occasion she shared the lobby with the 10 members of the DUP and the rest of her party in voting against Labour’s proposal. Putting her seemingly in favour of the government position recently clarified by number 10 after an apparent U turn that nothing has changed and the pay freeze is not in fact under review.

This was Heidi Allen’s first opportunity in the new parliament for her voting record to match her apparent personal stance. It was an opportunity she chose not to take, expressing in an interview that the amendment was “too partisan”, and that removing the pay freeze might see a “blanket pay rise” including higher paid public sector workers which she could not support. We will wait patiently to see if, when the next budget comes, she votes against measures to continue the freeze on public sector pay if they remain in place.

As local labour supporters we must take every opportunity to hold Heidi Allen’s voting record up to scrutiny in public and I would urge members to exercise their democratic right to contact Heidi and in a spirit of respect and collegiate discussion, request that she votes with her conscience on issues she has supported in public, and question her actions following votes in which it appears she has not done so.

Holding Heidi Allen to account

On Tuesday 27th June, the Conservative MP for South Cambridgeshire, warming to her role as one of the newly reformed “listening” Tories tweeted this:

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