Candidate statements for target wards and constituencies in York

8 January 2016

Candidate statement

Here are the candidate statements for selection for candidates for four target seats and the two parliamentary constituencies.




Candidate: John Cossham

Seat: Hull Road (City Council)

I am a 50 year old, white, cis-male person who has been totally committed to the Green Party since my early 20s. I live an unconventional and very low carbon lifestyle, working as an entertainer but passionate about volunteering, community development, social justice and ensuring I continue to live a 'one planet' lifestyle.  I have stood many times in local elections and would love to help run the City of York, my adopted home since 1987.  I have the support of Gill my wife and my teenage sons, and have recently helped start Hull Road Ward Green Team to work on actively becoming a Councillor in 2019, following a very good result in 2015.

I believe I'd make a good Councillor as I enjoy participating in meetings and am used to reading documents and writing reports.  I don't think my work as an entertainer and climate change activist would get in the way or conflict with being a Councillor, although I imagine there might be some jokes made about my unusual lifestyle.... with a compost toilet, heating the house just with wood, not running a car or flying, riding a unicycle to earn money, or riding a bike naked to protest about cyclist safety, and being openly polyamorous as my relationship orientation.   However I'm law-abiding and ethical, and more than capable of explaining my actions and beliefs, as I'm an experienced public speaker and have spoken at Council meetings, on television programmes and on various platforms and stages. 

The Council-related subject areas I'm most interested in are energy use/generation, carbon and climate change, cycling and non-car transport, feminism and discrimination, waste reduction and recycling, and to a lesser extent food, biodiversity, education, poverty, democracy and health.  There are areas where I feel I'm less confident, and these would include budgets and money, legal stuff, planning, promoting businesses and jobs, tourism and heritage.

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Candidate: Bethan Vincent

Seats: York Outer (Parliamentary), Guildhall (City Council)

I am a passionate and committed business woman who moved to York to attend York University back in 2010.

Since then, I have fallen in love with the city and decided very early on in my university career, that I wanted to make it my permanent home.

I now run two businesses here in the city centre, Bright Ethics and Coffee Yard Media. Bright Ethics provides independent ethical certification to UK organisations. We have just signed up Hiscox and The University of York to be part of our city launch. Our ambition is to make York a flagship city for ethical business.

My second company, CYM, provides PR and communications advice to Yorkshire businesses. We specifically love working within the food industry and run popular local food website, York on a Fork.

In all my business ventures, I pride myself on operating transparently and fairly. I fundamentally believe that one must put people and planet first when pursing profit.

I am also the current Master of The Guild of Entrepreneurs (2016/17), a Guild which I helped to co-found in order to help support and promote entrepreneurs in our city.

I am deeply committed to Green issues and believe that the Green Party offers a real and egalitarian alternative within British politics. I want to help create a society which will create “a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security."

I believe my passion for creating a democratic and compassionate society, coupled with my leadership experience and love of public speaking would make me an ideal candidate for the Green Party.

I also feel that my collaborative and inclusive approach to my work would also lend myself well to working with others in the party.

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Candidate: June Tranmer

Seat: Guildhall (City Council)

I have been a member of the Green Party since 2007 but was a local supporter for many years before (about 1996) I have lived in York for most of my life (since 1972) and have strong family ties to the city, in particular Guildhall and Micklegate wards. I believe strongly that the Green Party is the only party that offers a sensible vision for the future of our country and our city. I think there are a lot of people who are disillusioned with politics and politicians, and we can show them they don't have to give up hope. Show them that we care about local issues as well as national and international ones. And that we are willing to get stuck in and help when and where things need doing. We stand up for Equality and Diversity - increasingly needed in these times of scapegoating and suspicion of those who are different.

I am an enthusiastic networker; a member of York Environment Forum, Mental Health Forum, Mental Health Action York, One Planet York, and The Carers Forum, among others. My business has been healthcare for the past 30 years and I am passionate about making complementary healthcare (genuinely preventive healthcare) accessible to all of York's citizens, working alongside the NHS medical services, which need protecting and safeguarding for everyone's future health. I am an innovative social entrepreneur, providing a launchpad for many practitioners to start their own business under the umbrella of The Healing Clinic, and a meeting space for local groups in Briar House Resources, while also linking up with other social enterprises and voluntary organisations in York. Living just on the edge of Guildhall (in Fishergate), my business is in Guildhall, and my grandfather was born in Guildhall. So, I have a lot of affection for this area of York in particular.

It would be a privilege to be able to represent the people of York on City of York Council, bringing more of the Green perspective to the discussions and debates. It would be good to work as collaboratively as possible with members from the other parties, as I know they care about York as well. However much the other parties try to look Green though, only the Green Party is genuinely Green. 

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Candidate: Denise Craghill

Seat Guildhall (City Council)

I am currently a Green Party councillor for Guildhall ward, having been elected in May 2015. I hope I will have a good chance of being re-elected in the 2019 local elections – although this is my no means a foregone conclusion!
I stood as a target candidate for Guildhall ward in the 2011 local elections and worked for around 2 years beforehand to build up my profile, successfully moving the Green Party up from a fairly distant third to a much closer second place. I then campaigned in the ward over the next four years on a target to win basis.

This is traditionally a pretty solid Labour ward and Labour are/will be working very hard to get this seat back – and of course to prevent us from taking more of the 3 seats in 2019. I am working cooperatively (mostly) with my two Labour colleagues but generally with the aim of showing that things have been better since there was a Green councillor – and could progress more quickly and easily if there were 3 of them!

Guildhall isn’t an easy ward, although it is by far the most interesting! It has two quite large council estates, significant levels of deprivation, large areas of private rented terraced housing, increasing numbers of students and a large transient population. It also includes most of the city centre, lots of new (and often controversial) developments and a wide spectrum of residents from public sector workers to retired heritage buffs! I really hope this selection process will result in a refreshed campaign team for Guildhall ward as we have a lot to do from now onwards.

I have been a member of the Green Party for rather a long time. For the moment I am focussing on my councillor work. I am qualified as a librarian and in the past I have worked in local government -  in economic development and in voluntary sector liaison. Until quite recently I worked for Yorkshire CND as a fundraiser. I have one grown up daughter and was quite involved with the Steiner School. I was also an LEA governor at Fulford School for 4 years. On the Council, I am a member of Area Planning and Health & Social Care committees and this year I am chair of Learning & Culture committee.

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Candidate: Tom Franklin

Seats: York Central (Parliamentary), Micklegate (City Council)

I have been a member of the Green Party for four years, originally motivated by the importance of climate change, but the more I have seen the more I have liked the Party and its policies.  I have been local chair and agent in London and am vice-chair in York and Treasurer of the regional Party.

I moved to York a year ago (but lived here four years ago as well), and am now committed to York, and helping to make it a dynamic and fair City.

I believe that I have the time, commitment and ability to make a good Councillor and to raise the profile of the party by being a parliamentary candidate.  I would like to see the Council make good on its promises under One Planet York and ensure that the Council supports all members of the community – especially those least able to stand-up for themselves.

I also have a particular interest in cycling and was active in the London Cycling Campaign, and would like to see us promoting some of the ideas learnt there.

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Candidate: Andy D'Agorne

Seats: York Central (Parliamentary), Fishergate (City Council)

I have represented Fishergate ward since 2003 when we made the breakthrough to elect our first Green Party councillors in York. I live in the ward and enjoy representing the concerns of local people as well as taking a wider responsibility for promoting the policies of the party across the city. I hope you agree that the achievements to date are a credit to the local party and indicate clearly our aspirations for a more sustainable future which we can build on across the city.

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Candidate: Dave Taylor

Seat: Fishergate (City Council)

I’ve lived in the target Fishergate Ward since 1993 taking an active role in the community and first elected as a Councillor there in 2007.

Since then I’ve enjoyed a good working relationship with Councillor D’Agorne, representing the Greens in the City of York Council on:-

  • Learning & Culture Committee (as Chair)
  • Gambling & Licensing Acts Committee 
  • Standards Committee 

... as well as ad hoc Scrutiny Committees on the night-time economy, Newgate Market, and the museums task force.  I was pleased to be the first Green Party Councillor in York to chair a Committee (in 2008/9) examining the proposal for a 'Cultural Quarter' for York, and in 2016/7 to become the first Lord Mayor of York appointed by York Green Party.  It has been an incredible year as Lord Mayor and I hope I have stepped up to this ceremonial position in a way which makes the Greens appear sensible and competent in a high-profile role, while keeping a sense of humour and maintaining my own character.

As a life member of York Civic Trust I was delighted to serve as York’s first ‘Heritage Champion’ – an English Heritage scheme intended to have a spokesperson for heritage issues in every Council.  It is disappointing that Labour axed these unpaid ‘Champion’ roles in York – seemingly unwilling to hear any voices which might not chime with their own.

I remain deeply concerned about global issues of war and terror and the UK Government’s response of pouring petrol on the fires of extremism.  Government austerity cuts to local services remain the most serious issue in York, but setting a Local Plan to provide housing expansion within sustainable limits with the required transportation services remains an immediate priority which is likely to impinge on many voters.  We have to get this right for the city for many years to come.

I hope you consider me to be a suitable candidate to represent York Green Party in one of the seats in Fishergate in the 2019 election alongside Andy D’Agorne as the other candidate.

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Candidate: Rosie Baker

Seat: Micklegate (City Council)

I would like to be a local councillor because I’m a motivated as a caring, pro-social and energetic person always seeking roles supporting a diversity of people, particularly some of the most vulnerable in society whom I’ve supported, campaigned alongside and stood up for their rights. My career in these areas includes communication and Special Educational Needs support, disability employment support work, Looked After Children monitoring & advocacy services, youth justice reparation work and counselling.
I would like to be a local councillor for the Green Party because I’ve proven my interest, beliefs and campaigning experience within local politics originally for the Reform Jersey Party on issues of 0-hours contracts, equal marriage, disability transport; with Oxfam as a Constituency Campaigner on climate change and Trident and for York Green Party on the EU, children’s issues, sustainable housing, TTIP and my most fervent issue - fair, inclusive education policy.

I’ve the professional capabilities, growing knowledge-base and aptitude for being a local councillor because of studies in social / public policy and researching social life. My career in these areas includes operations at a social security department, data collection at Qa Research and Green Party officer. The recent training day I attended “Could you be a Young Green councillor” was inspiring and extremely beneficial to this role.

I’m equally capable of working independently and in a team.  Since leaving my last permanent job in a school I’ve been distance learning for an MSc and working from home in voluntary roles but team-working  again is fast becoming something I crave the most: I’m good at joint-planning, sharing responsibility, building team morale and want to get out there working in teams of colleagues and the people!

In the past I’ve worked for organisations requiring a good degree of impartiality so my inherently non-judgmental, approachable-to-everyone demeanour will be carried through to working with my constituents. However, I’ve learnt that being impartial and nonaligned does not wholly suit someone who has strong views about championing  policies for a sustainable society, consistently standing up for social and economic justice and creating a safe, positive future for our children. It is these beliefs convincing me that the chance to stand to represent the people, from an ethically Green standpoint and as a young, female Green, I can contribute to progressive, left-wing politics essential to our time. 

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