On the 5th May, a byelection will be held to fill a vacancy in the Chase Ward. There are two candidates standing for election and both have provided a short statement:
I grew up in Malvern and went to school at the Chase. As a family, we walked the commons or Malvern Hills every day. I moved away for University in 2002, where I studied Applied Geography covering topics ranging from Geology, Ecology, Environmental Law and natural hazards. I recently moved back to Malvern having lived and worked in Surrey and London. I am the Chief Executive of a Social Enterprise that supports the Public Sector, NHS and large organisations with emergency planning and business resilience. We have responded to major floods, fires, terrorism and of course COVID-19. In my spare time I love to walk my two dogs (usually on the Malvern Hills), podcasts, swimming and cooking.
The Malvern Hills will always have a very special place in my heart. Management of them is a complex and hugely important task and it would be an honour to support the Trust in doing so, were I to be elected.
I love the Malvern Hills and Commons, and know them well, continually walking the length of them from my home of 35 years in Lower Wyche Road.
My mother was sent from the East End of London to convalesce in Malvern. She later moved here. My sons grew up cycling and sledging on the Hills: one is an ecologist, the other a lawyer who now lives in Chase Ward. The Hills and their surrounds are part of who we are, as they are for so many residents in Malvern.
The Trust is legally required to preserve the natural aspect of the Hills, protect and manage the trees and plants, prevent unlawful building and quarrying, and keep the Hills open for the enjoyment of the public. It is also required to conserve and enhance biodiversity, sites of Special Scientific Interest, and Scheduled Ancient Monuments on all the land in its jurisdiction.
These requirements present challenges in balancing everyone’s needs. This is especially challenging given the climate and ecological crises combined with increasing visitor numbers to the Hills. Despite these challenges, my passion lies in preserving the unique ecology of the land in the Trust’s care.
As a social worker and then a psychotherapist in both the public and private sectors, I understand the importance of making collective and balanced decisions, of listening to everyone involved, and of upholding high standards in public service.
The formal notices for the election can be viewed on our Election page.