Newly elected district councillor Martin Baxendale hopes to protect Slad Valley from future development

Newly elected district councillor Martin Baxendale said the threat to the Slad Valley in the form of Baxter’s Field inspired him to stand

Newly elected district councillor Martin Baxendale said the threat to the Slad Valley in the form of Baxter’s Field inspired him to stand

First published in News
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Stroud News and Journal: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

NEWLY elected district councillor Martin Baxendale is hoping he can continue to protect the Slad Valley from future development in his new role.

Cllr Baxendale (Green) was elected to represent the Valley ward at Stroud District Council on Thursday with 291 votes.

Just beating Labour candidate James Heslop who gained 230 votes.

The seat at the district council remains Green after MEP Molly Scott Cato stood down following her election to the European Parliament in May.

UKIP’s candidate Stuart Francis-Love received 76 votes, the Conservative candidate Stephen Davies came in fourth with 67 and Lucille Roderina Christina Roberts from Trade Unionists and Socialists against Cuts received 16 votes.

Cllr Baxendale, who lives in Bisley Road, Stroud, said he was not that surprised that the race was so close between the Greens and Labour but was confident of the support for the party in the ward.

“The seat has been Green for 11 years so we were confident that we had the support in the ward – we just hoped we could get them to go out and vote,” said Cllr Baxendale, a grandfather of two.

This is his second election to the district council.

He was first elected to represent Rodborough almost 20 years ago serving four years on the council.

Cllr Baxendale also spent some time sitting on Stroud Town Council and was at one point the town’s deputy mayor under fellow district councillor John Marjoram.

“At first I will be directly replacing Molly and taking her seat on the Audit committee. However, my real interest is planning,” said Cllr Baxendale, who runs his own cartoon humour book publishing business, SBD Publications, with his wife Ivi.

“The last time I was a member of the district council I spent some time as chairman of the planning committee and at the time we were very influential in saving a number of beach trees in Stratford Park from being cut down for the Tesco store.

“I was also part of the campaign to stop hundreds of houses being built on the Painswick Valley when the council first began working on its local plan.

“Now I am ready to keep up the fight to save the Slad Valley from any future development.”

Plans to build 112 houses on Baxter’s Field was one of the main reasons Cllr Baxendale decided to stand for election.

“At the time we were still unsure whether the developers would win the appeal and even though the Valley has been saved for now it is such an important part of the district and needs long-term protection,” said Cllr Baxendale, whose father Leo was also a cartoonist and the creator of the classic Beano strips Little Plum, Minnie the Minx, The Bash Street Kids and The Three Bears.

“I am interested in [protecting] the valley’s character.”

Comments (5)

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9:33pm Thu 14 Aug 14

joyus1uk says...

So Councillor Baxendale will fight to save the Slad valley from development. I think they are brave words but I fear with the NPPF in place he will have a very hard fight on his hands. His approach is very naive. Perhaps he needs to read the article in this paper entitled "Planning row erupts in Stroud". He will see his fellow Green councillor Simon Pickerings statement. But then how many green councillors listen to and take note from other green councillors. Me thinks he should change his name to Canute who was well aware of the frailties of making preposterous promises. It is only with the return of a Labour national government in 2015 that we have a hope of saving places like Slad valley from the developers. Councillor Baxendale should stop making promises he cannot keep and concentrate on the vast quantities of ward work that the Labour team picked up when out canvassing in the ward. Seems few even knew the name of the last councillor and even more had been able to get their problems solved. But do not worry Labours Jim Heslop has taken it upon himself to use his contacts with other Labour councillors to take up the problems found and try to get them sorted. Ward work is the key to a good councillor not debating on the head of a pin about national policy. Local district councillors are there to solve local ward problems, whilst explaining and carrying out the local and national parties policies. Jim will be there in May 2015 and will be happy to put your promises to the test.
So Councillor Baxendale will fight to save the Slad valley from development. I think they are brave words but I fear with the NPPF in place he will have a very hard fight on his hands. His approach is very naive. Perhaps he needs to read the article in this paper entitled "Planning row erupts in Stroud". He will see his fellow Green councillor Simon Pickerings statement. But then how many green councillors listen to and take note from other green councillors. Me thinks he should change his name to Canute who was well aware of the frailties of making preposterous promises. It is only with the return of a Labour national government in 2015 that we have a hope of saving places like Slad valley from the developers. Councillor Baxendale should stop making promises he cannot keep and concentrate on the vast quantities of ward work that the Labour team picked up when out canvassing in the ward. Seems few even knew the name of the last councillor and even more had been able to get their problems solved. But do not worry Labours Jim Heslop has taken it upon himself to use his contacts with other Labour councillors to take up the problems found and try to get them sorted. Ward work is the key to a good councillor not debating on the head of a pin about national policy. Local district councillors are there to solve local ward problems, whilst explaining and carrying out the local and national parties policies. Jim will be there in May 2015 and will be happy to put your promises to the test. joyus1uk
  • Score: 1

5:41pm Fri 15 Aug 14

K D Cranston says...

Sadly a change of Government will not lead to the end of the NPPF. Even David Drew has been heard to say that he supports Neighbourhood Plans, admittedly that was at the meeting of Stroud Town Council when the majority was in favour of creating such a plan. But then maybe like most Labour politicians he just says what he thinks the audience want to hear?
Sadly a change of Government will not lead to the end of the NPPF. Even David Drew has been heard to say that he supports Neighbourhood Plans, admittedly that was at the meeting of Stroud Town Council when the majority was in favour of creating such a plan. But then maybe like most Labour politicians he just says what he thinks the audience want to hear? K D Cranston
  • Score: -4

7:32pm Fri 15 Aug 14

TigerTigerBurningBright says...

Neighbourhood Plans - a Developers Charter, divide and rule: pass the buck down to smaller councils that have little expertise and no professional back-up. It's probably why Carmichael wants N. Plans so much - all those Tory cronies that stand to gain from uncontrolled development.
Neighbourhood Plans - a Developers Charter, divide and rule: pass the buck down to smaller councils that have little expertise and no professional back-up. It's probably why Carmichael wants N. Plans so much - all those Tory cronies that stand to gain from uncontrolled development. TigerTigerBurningBright
  • Score: 1

10:31am Mon 18 Aug 14

K D Cranston says...

Tiger, if that is why N Carmichael supports N Plans, why does D Drew?
Tiger, if that is why N Carmichael supports N Plans, why does D Drew? K D Cranston
  • Score: -1

12:55pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Reasonable_Person says...

"joyus1uk". Thanks for your absolutely shameless electioneering post. Almost made me fall off my seat laughing.
Keep drinking the Labour Kool-Aid. Might make you blind to the absolute shambles that bunch of idiots left us in!
"joyus1uk". Thanks for your absolutely shameless electioneering post. Almost made me fall off my seat laughing. Keep drinking the Labour Kool-Aid. Might make you blind to the absolute shambles that bunch of idiots left us in! Reasonable_Person
  • Score: 1

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