The Herefordshire Green Party has revealed the 18 candidates that it will have standing in the local elections that will take place on Thursday 4th May.

The Herefordshire Green Party have been in a coalition with Independents for Herefordshire since 2019 and believe that voters will see what’s been achieved and vote green this time round.

Here’s what the Green Party has to say on a ‘fact checker’ on its website.

“We have increased council tax for 2023-24 by 4.99%, just like our neighbouring (Conservative-run) administrations in Shropshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, in order to keep vital services running.

“During 2020-2024 council tax in Herefordshire has increased by 18%. During 2015-2019, under the previous (Conservative) administration, council tax actually went up by more (19%) despite the fact they didn’t face 1-in-400-year floods, Covid or inflation.

“Our coalition is protecting the most vulnerable households. We introduced 100% council tax rebate for the most cash-strapped households in 2021 and have continued this since. We also provide a Hardship Fund, with £1.7M in it this year.

“Council tax supports the most vulnerable in our communities, especially elderly people, children and young people who need extra support.

“Every year the council spends over £300 million of revenue (delivering day to day services, like education, social care and bin collection) and £70-100 million of capital spending (on things like infrastructure and new schools).

“When the coalition came to power in 2019 we rapidly put in place new project management systems to avoid the sorts of cost overruns that had happened with previous projects like Blueschool House.  

“We’ve also had to sort out problems such as the previous Conservative administration’s overspend on the City Link Road.

Hereford bypass

“Most of the £22 million was wasted before 2019, paying consultants for plans that would have been financially ruinous, environmentally disastrous and totally ineffective in fixing Hereford’s congestion.  When the coalition came to power in 2019 it became obvious that the Conservatives didn’t have legal agreements in place, nor the funding.

“A bypass wouldn’t work. Research has shown that only 7% of traffic in Hereford is passing through from one side to out the other (see Hereford Transport Strategy Review for more on this research). 

“The issue is people getting around within Hereford. The coalition administration is shifting this by investing in better buses and more support for walking and cycling, especially through school travel plans.

A bypass would have cost over £200M and taken years to build. 

“The transport strategy review showed that the same congestion reduction could be achieved at one-third the cost by investing in improved public transport and more walking and cycling, so that’s what the coalition administration is doing.


“We are as frustrated as everyone else that there is not enough funding for road maintenance.

“The reality is that government funding for road maintenance has not matched the need for many years. In their most recent annual assessment, our Highways team estimates that to return Herefordshire’s road network to good condition would now cost £315M. This is a reflection of just how much the road budget we receive from central government has been cut over the last 13 years.

“We have a lot of road to deal with – there is over 16 metres of road per person in Herefordshire. In comparison Gloucestershire has only 8m of road per person.

“We need more government funding! Yet the MPs Jesse Norman and Bill Wiggin have repeatedly voted to cut local authority budgets.

Children’s Services

“There was a lack of grip on Herefordshire’s Children’s Services for far too long. Our coalition administration has understood the issues and taken the action that was needed many years ago. 

“The Children’s Commissioner’s report says that the service had been in decline for at least a decade, and recognises that progress is now underway. We have increased investment, reduced social worker caseloads, strengthened recruitment, and improved social work practice. 

“We are very pleased that an independent ‘Listening to Families’ Commission is now established and working with families, and look forward to acting on their recommendations.

“Relationships are central to Green values, and strengthening links with all health, police, charity, school and parish partners around the county is a priority for us as councillors. The wellbeing of Herefordshire’s children is a matter for the whole community, and the local election is not distracting us from pressing forward with progress. We are determined to make this turning point work for children and families across the county – they deserve nothing less.

Better bins

“We are about to see a huge improvement in how our household waste is managed

“Weekly collection of food waste for composting will have huge environmental benefits and make other bins much nicer to deal with

“Weekly collections of recycling or residual bins can be arranged, for example because of nappies or medical waste

“For everyone else, costs will be kept down by collecting less frequently

Restoring our rivers

“Our rivers are in a dreadful state. Latest Environment Agency figures show 74% of the phosphate pollution in the Upper Wye is from rural land use. 

“This is a failure of both the Environment Agency and Natural England to either monitor or enforce the Farming Rules for Water. Herefordshire council has done what it can – no industrial agricultural unit has been granted planning permission since 2019 and wetland planting is underway to strip out pollution naturally.

“Herefordshire Council requested a Water Protection Zone (WPZ) last year to enable better control of pollution and to support the restoration of the Wye. That was sadly turned down by the Minister. We believe the Environment Agency and Natural England are not fulfilling their statutory duties to protect the river, at least partly because they have been underfunded for a decade.  

“A Water Protection Zone is needed to protect nature and all the economic activity that depends upon it – farming, tourism and construction.


“The improvements along the Hereford City Link Road completed in 2022 completed the over-running and over-spent Conservative-run Hereford City Centre Transport project. That original project was meant to build the road and a transport interchange and improve Commercial Road and walking and cycling links. Sadly when we inherited the project in 2019 only the road had been built and there were various uncompleted Compulsory Purchase Orders along the road that still needed to be dealt with. It took time to sort out that mess.To help complete the project we integrated it with the Hereford City Centre Improvements project.

“The project was funded with capital funding from the Local Economic Partnership (LEP) that was specifically allocated to Hereford City; the council was not allowed to spend this money on anything else. Therefore it could not have been spent for example on fixing potholes elsewhere.  

“The only alternative to spending the money as per the original project plan would have been to give it back to central government. 

“As the new city centre planters with benches had proven so popular, the decision was taken to spend the money we had to spend on more planters.

St Owen Street cycle lane

“Originally designed several years ago, funded from the LEP’s Getting Building Fund Grant

“Government guidance on cycle lane design changed in July 2020, so it had to be redesigned

“Redesigned cycle lane was inevitably more expensive due to the new national requirements

“Final design cost more than the £700,000 allocated from the LEP funding (which had to be spent by end March 2023).

“Problem fixed by additionally resurfacing whole of street at the same time, using Local Transport Plan money.

“Cyclists are now able to safely access the city from the eastern side, and drivers have a far better road surface.

Maylords shopping centre

“In 2020 the previous owners of the Maylords shopping centre were threatening to sell it off to a private developer who might not have had the best interests of Herefordshire at heart.  

“The council recognised the opportunity to regenerate Maylords and bought it for £4.5 million.  

“We made a commitment to invest in it to regenerate the area and to generate social value.  And we’ve delivered on this promise – the shops are now buzzing, and we’ve raised £3 million from the Towns Fund to create a new library and learning centre in part of Maylords.  

“We’ve put our social value principles into practice by offering discounted rents for social enterprises and creating opportunities for local start-up businesses.  

“The purchase of Maylords is a great example of the council taking a long-term strategic view of what’s good for the city and the county.  

“The revenue from rents covers the running costs and we’ve protected this part of the city from speculative development.  

“The money used to buy Maylords was capital funding from the Development and Regeneration Fund – it could not have been used for pothole-fixing.

Care and competence

“The council is absolutely in the black. We have reserves of about £77 million, and general reserves of twice the required level.

“Any accusation otherwise is completely untrue.

“All the examples above show that the coalition has been working with care and competence.

“For more information on all the issues raised above including links to all sources of information, please see our full rebuttal of the Conservative Party’s ‘Herefordshire Champion’ here.”

Here are the Green candidates for the Herefordshire elections on 4th May:

Photo of John Whitelegg

John Whitelegg


John has recently moved to Herefordshire after living in Shrewsbury for three years. He is retired after a long and varied career, including being a local government officer, an academic in several universities and a managing director of a transport consultancy company. He was a Green councillor on Lancaster City Council for eight years.

Photo of Toni Fagan

Toni Fagan


Toni has lived locally since 2005 and was elected Herefordshire councillor for Birch in 2019. A hard-working councillor, Toni enjoys standing up for the rural communities she serves. She has a background in journalism and community and economic development and is currently a partner in a small catering business which provides school meals. Toni is passionate about local food and how we make our economy stronger for small businesses whilst looking after the needs of the community.

Photo of Tessa Smith Winnard

Tessa Smith Winnard


Tessa is a professional project manager and has worked in both the public and private sector, from Warwickshire County Council to Reuters. She moved to Herefordshire in 2016 and is fully involved with local community life. Organisations and projects she has assisted include Friends of Leominster Priory, Heritage Open Days, Transition Leominster, SHYPP Garden Project, Cinnamon Trust and the National Trust at Brockhampton Estate.

Photo of Ellie Chowns

Ellie Chowns

Bishops Frome & Cradley

Ellie was elected ward councillor for Bishops Frome and Cradley in November 2017. She  works hard to get action on things that matter to local people, like road safety on the A4103. She holds monthly ward surgeries and does a monthly ‘Sunday Service’ clean-up. As a cabinet member she initiated the Shop Local scheme which gave every Herefordshire household a £15 voucher to spend locally to help Covid recovery. She’s also helped get extra council funding for home insulation and improving school transport.

Photo of Karen Rock

Karen Rock

Bromyard Bringsty

Karen is a community nurse, supporting local people with dementia and mental health issues. She has lived in the Bromyard area since childhood so knows the area inside out. When she sees something that needs doing she just gets on with it. For example Karen set up ‘Two Tins Tuesdays’ when she saw Bromyard Food Bank was struggling to make donations meet rising demand. Karen is a parish councillor and the Parish representative on Bromyard Downs Common Association.

Photo of Catherine Gennard

Catherine Gennard


Catherine lives in Hereford with her family. She works holding big businesses to account on their environmental and social performance. Catherine’s looking forward to bringing those skills and experiences to the Council. Jeremy Milln was elected as Green ward councillor for Central in 2019 and recommends Catherine to everyone who has enjoyed his dedication and care over the last four years. Jeremy is standing for City Council for Central.

Photo of Diana Toynbee

Diana Toynbee


Diana has lived in Herefordshire for 20 years and was first elected as ward councillor for Greyfriars in 2019. Her children attended local schools and Hereford Sixth Form College. She works in bereavement services, though she’s mostly worked in education. Diana is also the City councillor for Greyfriars and is standing again for that role too. As City and ward councillor she has worked to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety on local footpaths.

Helen Heathfield

Helen Heathfield

Hope End

Helen moved to Herefordshire with her family in 2018 and loves it here. She chairs her parish council and is ready to start serving Hope End as ward councillor. Helen’s worked for over twenty years across transport and waste management, building design and environmental performance, picking up plenty of experience of the planning system along the way.

Helen Hamilton

Helen Hamilton


Helen is a parish councillor and works as a planning consultant, advising communities on how to stand up to inappropriate or environmentally-damaging planning proposals. She works with and advises river campaign groups including taking part in legal challenges demanding protection for the River Wye. Helen’s husband still runs the construction company in Kington where she first learnt about the planning system.

Stef Simmons

Stef Simmons

Ledbury South

Stef has lived in Herefordshire for over 15 years after many moves as a military wife. She has raised her family here and alongside her husband started and grew a successful business. She has over 20 years’ experience working in environmental planning and understands the importance of balancing the need for homes, infrastructure, services, agriculture and nature.Stef volunteers with youth teams at Ledbury rugby club and supports work on the Ledbury town trail.

Justine Peberdy

Justine Peberdy

Ledbury West

Justine is Manager at Hellens Manor, and a director of Hellens Garden Festival, through which she supports local schools, producers, businesses, communities, volunteer groups and good causes. She has helped raise funds for Ledbury Food Bank, the refurbishment of the Ledbury Bells and Buses4Us’ successful work on the Daffodil Line. Justine looks after our local environment through regular litter picking and reporting potholes and footpath issues. 

Jenny Bartlett

Jenny Bartlett

Leominster East

Jenny has lived in Leominster since 1997 and is passionate about championing the town. She is a Trustee of the Leominster District Community Centre, a committee member of Leominster Area Polish Society, on the committee for the Friends of Leominster Library and a member of the Leominster Rail User group. Jenny’s been the ward councillor since 2014 and has worked really hard for the town, making sure that we get funding for highways improvements and economic development.

Bryony John

Bryony John

Leominster North & Rural

Bryony has lived in Middleton on the Hill for over 18 years and raised her family there. A former BT marketing manager, she retrained as a teacher and taught at Orleton Primary School for seven years. Bryony has been chair of Orleton preschool and Orleton PTA and has raised thousands of pounds for the school. More recently she worked at Kimbolton Primary. She’s passionate about getting the best deal for our local area. Important issues include employment opportunities and local infrastructure like broadband and transport.

Mark Woodall

Mark Woodall

Leominster South

Mark lives in the south of Leominster with his family and works from home as a customer services manager for an international IT company. As a Leominster town councillor Mark has gained experience working with other councillors on the exciting plans to restore and revitalise Leominster’s town centre and rural areas. Trish Marsh has been the Green ward councillor since 2016 and recommends Mark: “I genuinely cannot think of anyone as qualified to be a great councillor for Leominster … he is part of our community and has so much experience in sorting out complex problems.”

Jill Hanna

Jill Hanna

Leominster West

Jill has got to work as a town councillor so understands the challenges facing the town. If elected she will fight hard for more improvements to Leominster town centre and making a measurable difference to air pollution from traffic congestion. Jill’s professional life has been about international development, environmental policy and negotiations, most recently on health and lead pollution. Felicity Norman is currently ward councillor and is delighted that she can retire safe in the knowledge she has found someone who will lavish the same care and attention that she has for many years.

Callum Coomber

Callum Coomber


Callum has recently moved to Herefordshire from rural Suffolk. A classically trained guitarist and musician, he is committed to working hard and making a difference for local people.

Taylor Whitchurch

Taylor Whitchurch

Sutton Walls

Taylor is Herefordshire born and bred, having grown up just outside Hereford. He went to Hereford Sixth Form College and then away to university to study Medical Sciences, returning to Herefordshire in 2018. He has worked in hospitality, the care sector and, following teacher training, the education sector. Taylor currently works as a tutor and support worker at The Houghton Project, helping people with special and additional needs access rural and agricultural experiences.

Rebecca Tully

Rebecca Tully

Three Crosses

Rebecca is the director of Kids Kitchen Collective, a non-profit company, which has helped over 400 Herefordshire families this year to get healthy local food and have fun making meals. She also coordinates Herefordshire Food Alliance which has connected farmers, growers and community projects to reduce food waste, grow sales of local produce and share the farming methods that will save our rivers and countryside. Rebecca has already been working hard for the residents of Three Crosses by reporting potholes and tackling speeding in villages.