Candidates for two vacant Melton seats

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Campaigns are in full swing for the candidates competing for the two vacant seats on Melton Council.

By-elections will be staged on May 4 to decide the new representatives for Melton Sysonby Ward and Melton Egerton Ward.

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The Sysonby seat is available after the death of Valerie Manderson in February.

Egerton has a vacancy following the resignation of Tina Culley, due to the demands of personal commitments.

These are the candidates, starting with Melton Sysonby Ward:

Alison Freer-Jones

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Alison is keen to pay tribute to former Sysonby ward member Valerie Manderson, who died in February, as ‘a very conscientious and caring councillor who I am sure will be sadly missed’.

Alison is a mother, wife, head of English, maths and ICT at a Leicestershire SEND school, charity trustee and a Rotarian. She has dedicated herself over more than 12 years to the Melton town and borough in a variety of projects.

If elected, she will listen to people’s issues, always be on hand to help, and support projects which affect Melton, especially those in the Sysonby Ward.

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Alison says she is passionate about an updated road system, a clean and healthy environment, education, a vibrant town centre through supporting local businesses and attracting new viable businesses, assisted independent living and 24-hour care, plus family and youth activities.

Vanessa Jackson (Labour)

Vanessa has lived in Melton Mowbray from childhood. She is a stay-at-home mum and lives in the north of the town with her husband and three children. Vanessa is a volunteer at the Melton Community Allotment at the country park. She enjoys helping others and would work hard, ensuring the views of the residents of Sysonby ward are heard.

She said: “The Conservative’s original Local Plan put most of the housing in the north of the town. This was rejected by the independent inquiry, costing well over a million pounds. The new Local Plan still has hundreds of houses in the north and an eastern by-pass which will do little for the residents of Sysonby.”

She added: “I love our wonderful town, but more needs to be done to attract shops and businesses to the town centre and for more sports and leisure facilities in the north rather than just the south.”

Candidates for Melton Egerton Ward:

Mike Brown (Labour)

Originally from Leicester, Mike moved with his family to Melton 14 years ago.

Now retired, he previously worked as a Regional Organiser for UNISON and before that in local government housing and finance.

He is an active member of St Mary’s Church in Melton, and vice-chair of governors at St Mary’s Primary School.

Mike is particularly concerned that too many jobs in Melton are low paid, often minimum wage or zero hours contracts. This means that hardworking families struggle to make ends meet, and young people often leave to find work elsewhere.

Melton’s future depends on attracting businesses offering better paid work.

He wants to see the council doing more to achieve this, including campaigning for better transport infrastructure and a real bypass.

Mike believes that Melton Council desperately needs alternative voices to represent Egerton and the town and would work hard to listen to and speak for residents.

Peter Faulkner


Peter has lived in the borough for most of his life.

He is married to Elaine and works as the office manager for a taxi firm.

Peter was involved in Scouting for many years as a Cub Scout leader, Group Scout leader, a member of the district executive and chairman of the Scout Fellowship.

Peter was also a football referee serving on all local leagues from the juniors to the senior league.

He spent seven years as a parent governor at John Ferneley College. Peter is an active member of the Melton Mowbray Taxi Drivers Association.

If elected to serve the Egerton Ward, Peter would take on board all issues raised by residents and try his hardest to resolve them with the council.

He has a particular interest in planning, licensing, housing and road infrastructure, with a particular interest in the local plan and its effects on the whole borough.

Peter welcomes the massive improvements taking place at the cattle market.

He is aware of issues affecting the ward, such as dog fouling, anti social behaviour, irresponsible car parking, drug dealing and abuse and he would be looking for ways to improve these situations.