Beautiful woodland along the Strawberry Line

District Council candidates backing the Strawberry Line

Burnham North

Bev Milner-Simonds (Liberal Democrats)

I am standing Burnham North, quite a way from the 'line but as a enthusiastic walker and promoter of enjoying whats on your doorstep you have my backing (via Facebook)

Cheddar & Shipham

Peter Downing (Conservatives)

There are many benefits and many hurdles involved in bringing such a proposal into reality and I support your efforts in exploring these. Much of it has already been established in Cheddar, although there are still some important issues to be resolved. A Steering Group could well be helpful and its composition, accountability and authority would be crucial in commanding the credibility and influence to achieve the desired outcomes. (via Email)

Suzanne Green (Liberal Democrats)

if elected I would support a Strawberry Line Steering Group to discuss moving the project forward. I have long felt that overall this was a well worthwhile project that would only bring benefits to the local area in terms of safety, health and tourism. (via Email)

Dawn Hill (Conservatives)

There are many benefits and many hurdles involved in bringing such a proposal into reality and I support your efforts in exploring these. Much of it has already been established in Cheddar, although there are still some important issues to be resolved. A Steering Group could well be helpful and its composition, accountability and authority would be crucial in commanding the credibility and influence to achieve the desired outcomes. (Letter)

Jeff Savage (Conservatives)

On a number of occasions, over many years I have been involved with various attempts to push this project forward but, as you well know, with very little success. I strongly believe that a safe off-road route between Cheddar and Wells should be available and I have always been keen to support this initiative.

I would very much welcome the opportunity to assist in the future, regardless of the fact that I may not be successful at next week's election, so please count me in. (via Email)

Norma Scanlon (Labour)

Extending the Strawberry Line is a great idea, and I can't understand why Somerset County Council are not being co-operative and supportive. I hope that you are soon able to make progress, and the Strawberry Line path extension becomes a much appreciated asset for all the communities involved. (Letter)

Evercreech

Robert Reed (Liberal Democrats)

Although I note that you haven't included Evercreech candidates, I am writing to confirm my unequivocal support, not just to take the line to Shepton Mallet, but to continue to Evercreech to provide both access to Shepton facilities for Evercreech residents, and access to the employment providers in Evercreech for Shepton residents without having to negotiate the increasingly busy and dangerous hill at Prestleigh.

Safe travel and traffic reduction is a win-win situation, and I support it wholeheartedly. (via Email)

Rodney and Westbury Ward

Errol Chandler (Ukip)

To assist the local Strawberry Line group I subsidised the restoration work on the old Winscombe station platform by creating exact copy moulds of the massive original GWR station platform massive edging slabs, and supplying over 200 of them to the restoration team, all donated as a gift to our heritage, at a cost in excess of £2000.

If I were to be elected to the Mendip District Council I will immediately make it my priority to knock heads together, root out and expose the obstacles that are blocking the line because of narrow vested political interests. I believe that in the face of entrenched politically motivated opposition a move to the expropriation of the needed land and access points will be the fastest way to progress the project.

The Strawberry Line is something that far transcends party politics and the intertwined interests of a select few that finance the politics of a group at Somerset County and Mendip District councils. They have bogged the project down to protect the interests of their paymasters, a group operating below the public radar. (via Email)

Rachel Thompson (Conservatives)

I understand the challenges posed to vulnerable users of narrow roads and increasing traffic, particularly on the A371. Being from a farming family I also understand the concerns and needs of farmers and landowners.

As many people will be aware, for over thirty years I have worked with landowners and others in the community to provide better countryside access for everyone through my work for The Trails Trust. As the author of the definitive guide for creating multi user paths (supported by Government and used by community groupos accessing funding from the Paths for Communities Fund), I consider that I have the experience and skills to help progress the multi-user path project.

If I am elected on May 7th as the Mendip District Ward Councillor for Draycott, Rodney Stoke and Draycott, I will be very happy to work with all parties - including users, communities, farmers, landowners and the local authorities - to form partnerships to help progress the project. I would therefore support a Steering Group comprised of community and local authority representatives. (Letter)

Ros Wyke (Liberal Democrats)

As you can see I was the among the first to sign the petition and would be delighted to be part of any steering group to move the project forward if I was to be elected. I have been an active and committed parish councillor for 16 years advocating measures to address the A371 road safety. I chaired for a number of years the combined parishes traffic forum, pushed in my community for additional footpaths and other safety measures.

In addition I have contributed to Strawberry Line Association steering group for over ten years and seen both the Draycott to Rodney and the Wells to Haybridge sections completed, together with the detailed planning application and the business case. The Somerset Circle including the Strawberry line is part of my election literature and I will continue to advocating for this project.

The path will be good for local business, local tourism, safe routes to school, access to the countryside for Wells and Cheddar residents and will get cars off the A371 as the village residents have an alternative... what's not to support about It? (via Email)

Shepton East

Deborah Losey (Liberal Democrats)

A truly worthwhile project to support – something to bring our whole county and community together. Look forward to getting much further involved. (via Email)

Shepton West

Chris Inchley (Labour)

It is an election commitment for myself and Matt Drew in shepton (via Facebook)

John Parham (Conservatives)

As Chairman of the Shepton Mallet Neighbourhood Plan I can confirm that the Strawberry Line is one of the priorities for the future that we will be pursuing subject of course to the plan being approved by the people of Shepton Mallet in a referendum. You have my personal support. (via Facebook)

Robin Scott (Liberal Democrats)

I am very happy to give my support for any proposal to create and run a joint Councillor and activist Group with the aim of getting the "S" Line built, whether or not I succeed again in the local elections. (via Email)

St Cuthbert Out North

David Gamon (Liberal Democrats)

I'll certainly do what I can if elected – or even if not. (via Email)

Wells Central

John North (Conservatives)

I have visited your web site and feel this is a very worthwhile project and offers an alternative form of leisure activity for all ages. As you may know, I am currently the Chair of the Bishops Barn and Recreation ground trust which in itself is a major project within my Ward.

However, should I be re-elected on May 7th , I would of course lend support to the Strawberry line Association - It's vision for tourism and leisure within Somerset. I have already pledged to keeping open spaces within wells and I hope others can make a similar commitment across their Wards, where the Somerset Circle passes. I wish you every success. (via Email)

Wells St Cuthbert's

Norman Kennedy (Liberal Democrats)

I support the greenway fully and have done for many years as city councillor. I will continue to do so if elected to Mendip District Council.

Colin Price (Labour)

I have supported the Strawberry Line for some time, both from a City Council and a cyclist point of view. I think it is vital that the missing link is completed both for the cyclist/walker and the tourist industry which is even more important these days. I will do what ever I can to move this project forward. And that will start directly after the election whether I am elected or not. (via Email)

Wells St Thomas Ward

Celia Wride (Conservatives)

if I was elected I would totally support this initiative as it is right 'down my alley' sorry about the pun! Cycling and enjoying the outdoors and protecting our local environment is so very important.

Yes you can call upon me to fully support you, should I be elected to the council. My daughter and I are keen cyclists and it helps keep Mr. Arthur Ritus at bay with myself so any support I can give – just approach! (via Email)

Wookey and St Cuthbert Out West

Stephen Harrison (Liberal Democrats)

I got involved in the Strawberry line project when I was the Councillor for Westbury, Easton and Wookey and then as Leader of the District Council. My view was always that this is a very worthwhile project adding to the Districts tourism appeal as well as being very important for health, safety and leisure reasons. Later as Chair of Mendip Primary Care Trust (the local NHS commissioning body) I encouraged our Public Health officials to try and facilitate progress especially as we were responsible for the Priory Health Park in Wells possibly part of a cycle route.

I am exceedingly disappointed that progress has been so slow but hope that your efforts to form a collaborative steering group are successful and if elected I would be happy to help where I could. (via Email)

Nigel Taylor (Conservatives)

As a keen fell walker and rambler for over 45 years, I fully appreciate the ideas and strength of feeling behind the Strawberry Line plans to expand the Strawberry line footpath.

As long as Landowners and existing owners are adequately compensated for any land required, and that a full and proper business plan is put forward, then should I be fortunate enough to be re-elected to Mendip District Council in the forthcoming elections, - then subject to the rules of predetermination,- I would have a pre-inclination to fully support the extension.

Rachael Wood (Green Party)

I am very happy to work with the Strawberry Line Association with the aim to provide an off road path in Somerset. I think that it is a wonderful idea and something that my family and I would very much enjoy using. My concern with the project and proposed route, is largely based on homeowners and businesses that would be affected with loss of gardens and land. However, I would work wholeheartedly to help take the project forward - and help to ensure mutually satisfactory arrangements could be reached. (via Email)