General election: Thornbury & Yate candidates in their own words

IF you live in Frampton Cotterell, Coalpit Heath or Iron Acton you will be voting in the Thornbury & Yate constituency in Thursday’s general election.

The Voice has contacted the candidates standing to be the constituency’s next MP, offering them up to 250 words to tell you something about themselves and their priorities if they are elected.

And all five of them responded.

They appear here in the order they will be on the ballot paper on Thursday:

Andy Banwell (Reform UK)

MY name is Andy Banwell, and I am honoured to stand as the Reform UK candidate for Thornbury and Yate. With a career spanning various roles including bus driver, lorry driver, and IT engineer, I’ve gained a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the challenges faced by everyday working people.

As a long-serving parish councillor for Dyrham and Hinton Parish Council, I’ve been committed to serving our local community, working tirelessly to address issues that matter to residents. My dedication to public service is rooted in my belief that effective representation starts with listening to the needs and concerns of the community.

If elected, my priorities will focus on strengthening our local economy, enhancing public services, and ensuring a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren. I am passionate about supporting local businesses, improving transportation infrastructure, and ensuring access to high-quality healthcare and education.

I also believe in the importance of preserving our beautiful countryside and promoting sustainable development that respects our environment. As a family man with two grown-up daughters and three grandchildren, I am committed to building a future that provides opportunities and security for all generations.

I am determined to bring a fresh, common-sense approach to politics, advocating for policies that are practical, fair, and focused on improving the quality of life for everyone in Thornbury and Yate. I look forward to the opportunity to represent you and work together to make our community an even better place to live.

Thank you for your support.

Luke Hall (Conservative)

I HAVE lived in South Gloucestershire all my life. I grew up here, I am raising my own family here, and I want to make sure we keep delivering for our community.

We’ve got a lot done in the last few years, but I know there is more to do. Together, we managed to defeat the unsustainable proposals to build thousands of houses at Chipping Sodbury and Buckover, but now we need the fight the plans to overdevelop our towns and villages, and make sure Bristol take a fair share of housing too.

We are opening a new Special Educational Needs and Disabilities school, and now we need to refurbish rural schools and ensure we have strong mental health support in local schools.

We’ve made progress on transport, introducing half hourly train services, opening the park and ride, and scrapping the Severn Bridge Tolls. Now we need to go further, by reopening Charfield Station and securing better bus services.

We supported businesses through Covid, but now we need to open ‘Banking Hubs’ and defeat the Council’s plans to introduce car parking charges.

We are tackling crime. There are over 500 extra police officers in Avon and Somerset, but I am fighting to see more of them on the beat in South Gloucestershire.

On Health, we have secured the money to rebuild Thornbury Health Centre, and expanded services at Yate MIU. Now I want to see more services delivered at Frenchay, and crucially, get the rebuild of Thornbury Health Centre done.

Alexandra Jenner-Fust (Green)

WE’VE just had the hottest month since records began, and climate change is the biggest challenge facing humankind – but to read the news you’d sometimes be hard pressed to know there was a problem. I feel let down by the main political parties and their failure to address this issue, which is the main reason I’m standing for the Green Party in this election. 

The Greens are passionate about protecting more than just our environment. We are focussed on delivering a fairer deal for everyone in society. We want to restore the health of the NHS, ensure affordable, quality housing is built in the right places and to enable everyone to have a decent quality of life. 

I’ve grown up near Thornbury and raised my family here. I work in a local school and also as a gardener, and I volunteer with Homestart, helping families with young children. This gives me a wealth of experience of some of the challenges we all face. I’m already working hard in public service and as a volunteer to help others, and I’m ready to take this further as your member of Parliament. 

We are so lucky to live in a beautiful part of the country, where we have a great opportunity to make things even better. I’m ready to serve the people of Thornbury and Yate and help your voice get heard where it matters. For real hope and real change, vote Green.

Read more about the Green Party in our manifesto:

Rob Logan (Labour)

THE country is looking for change – to move forward after fourteen years of division, low growth, high prices, high taxes and poor public services. 

To take just one example, people are waiting too long for NHS treatment, while the current government is content to blames doctors and nurses for delays, rather than providing the support that the healthcare system needs and which the British public have a right to expect.
Labour is offering a positive choice – a choice of economic competence, shorter NHS waiting times, green energy, investment in schools and better policing. This is the change that the country needs. 

Thornbury and Yate is a fantastic community, and somewhere personally important to me. My wife’s side of the family is based just outside Thornbury, and this is why we moved to the West of England when our first daughter was born, 17 years ago. We’d never leave now. 
Thornbury & Yate needs a parliamentary champion who will contribute to this positive vision, and who will stand up for the local area. Yate and Thornbury can be vibrant, bustling town centres that are simple to travel to and full of life, but sadly previous politicians have not stood up for the things that matter to the local area, while our town centres have fallen behind. Re-opening Thornbury High Street as a popular destination has to be the first step.  

We can change this. Labour can change this. 

I hope you choose Labour.

Claire Young (Liberal Democrats)

WHATEVER your political views I think we can all agree something has to change.  

We can’t carry on with an NHS that can’t treat people in A&E for 24 hours or offer doctors’ appointments for weeks. 

We can’t leave family carers to cope with a care system that doesn’t work for them.

We can’t keep dumping sewage into our rivers and we can’t afford high food and energy bills.  

I’ve lived in this community for 25 years, and I have fought against the impact of government policy on our local towns and villages.

I am standing to be your MP because, alongside other Lib Dem MPs, I want to take that fight to Parliament.

For example, the Liberal Democrats have costed plans to invest in 8,000 more GPs and to fine the water companies for sewage discharges.  

I’ve been a councillor here for 17 years and am now Council Leader. I’ve introduced measures to tackle the changing climate and fought to protect our beautiful countryside. I’ve helped businesses get support and been there for residents when times have been tough. I’ve helped many of you over the years. I know I can make an even bigger difference as your MP. 

The national polls show Labour in the lead. Here in this seat the situation is different. Labour have never won this seat, and it’s a close race between myself and the Conservatives.

So if you think it’s time for a fresh start, please support me on July 4.

About Thornbury & Yate

Conservative Luke Hall is defending a majority of 12,369 from the 2019 general election.

He won the seat in 2015 from Liberal Democrat Steve Webb, who held it and its predecessor Northavon from 1997 until 2015.

The seat is a top target for the Lib Dems.

Their candidate, Claire Young, was second in 2017 and 2019, and is the current leader of South Gloucestershire Council.

In last year’s council elections the Lib Dems topped the poll in every ward in the constituency.

In May’s Police & Crime Commissioner elections the Tories were first and Labour second across all of South Gloucestershire.

The constituency’s boundaries have changed since the last general election, as part of a nationwide revamp.

It includes the following council wards: Pilning & Severn Beach, Severn Vale, Thornbury, Charfield, Frampton Cotterell, Yate North, Yate Central, Dodington, Chipping Sodbury & Cotswold Edge and Boyd Valley.


Voting will take place from 7am until 10pm on July 4, with the votes being counted immediately afterwards and results expected to be declared early on July 5.

This will be the first general election where voters are required to present photo ID at polling stations.

Voters can use passports, driving licences, Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) cards, blue badges, Defence Identity Cards and some concessionary travel cards as proof – for a full list visit the Electoral Commission website.