Community campaigner, parish councillor, festival organiser, radio show host, mother and wife, Peasedown’s Karen Walker is to stand as a candidate in May’s B&NES Council elections.
For the last seven years she has been behind some of Peasedown St John’s biggest campaigns and initiatives. Never afraid to say ‘no’ to a challenge, she has also helped raise almost £70,000 for good causes in the community.
She said: “For me, Peasedown St John has always been a special place. Ever since I moved here as a ten year old girl, I’ve never stopped feeling that great sense of pride and passion for our village.
“It’s this sense of belonging and commitment that drove me to get involved at an active level with community life 7 years ago.
“The more I get involved though, the more I think can be done to make our village an even better place.
“The last ten years, in particular, have seen a lot of initiatives set up, namely by the school, churches and the recent addition of Party in the Park to the annual calendar – all of which have brought people together.”
Over the next ten years, Karen believes that Peasedown must continue to move forward: “We’ll see more community events and activities for residents to get involved with.
“But, at the same time, we must ensure that the voices of local people are heard when we call for more investment in our community.
“The biggest challenge facing our village is to ensure that the ‘powers that be’ recognise Peasedown for what it’s worth and start to give us the investment we deserve.
“It’s because of this that I’ve decided to put my name forward as a candidate in May’s Bath and North East Somerset Council District Elections.
“At a local level, I don’t believe party politics can play much of a positive role in bringing change to a community – in fact, it often gets in the way! Therefore I’ve decided to stand as an Independent – which means the needs of local people will always be my top priority.”
A letter from Karen is currently being delivered to 2,700 homes – detailing her achievements as a creator of Party in the Park, a campaigner, a parish councillor, a fundraiser and a community activist.
The 52-year old is expected to stand alongside long-serving Peasedown councillor Nathan Hartley, who has sat on B&NES Council as an independent since leaving the Lib Dems 12 months ago.
However, Mr Hartley has made no formal announcement as to whether he’ll be re-standing or not.
With the recent rise in support for more Independent candidates, and the expectation that B&NES will be a hung-council after the 7th May local elections, it’s likely that Independent councillors like Karen Walker will hold the balance of power at Bath’s Guildhall when all the votes have been counted.