Dr Ellie Chowns

for North Herefordshire

Dr Ellie Chowns

for North Herefordshire

Ellie's Campaign Updates

Below you’ll find all of Ellie’s campaign update emails since September 2023. If you’re not already signed up head over here. If you love what Ellie’s doing, please do share this page with friends and family members who you think would also like to see all that Ellie’s been up to!

March 2024

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I hope you’ve all had a wonderful Easter, with a chance to enjoy the sunshine and birdsong and blossom! The longer days and warmer weather mean that campaigning is even more of a pleasure than in the winter, and I’ve been enjoying a busy month and many fascinating visits. This campaign update covers the month of March. 

Out in the community

I welcomed two very special guests to Herefordshire this month! Jonathon Porritt, the eminent writer and campaigner on sustainability, joined me campaigning in Breinton and Credenhill. And Baroness Jenny Jones, one of the two Green members of the House of Lords, came doorknocking with me in Whitbourne and Ledbury. Jenny in fact has strong Herefordshire roots – she lived in Weobley Marsh for many years. Both Jonathon and Jenny also gave inspiring talks to members and volunteers, and joined me at fundraising events. 

I’ve also been out and about all over the constituency as usual. Here’s a selection of highlights: 

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I popped into the regular coffee morning at Bromyard’s Conquest Theatre, and was delighted to be given a behind-the-scenes tour of the theatre. 

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I visited Monkland Cheese Dairy to learn about their wonderful artisanal cheese-making and discuss the issues facing small businesses. 

I had ‘coffee with a cop’ (actually, two of them) in Ledbury. 

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I visited Bill Quan, former Herefordshire NFU chair, on his farm to take part in ‘Lambing Live’, where he hosts visits from local schools at lambing time.

I took my mum for afternoon tea at St Michael’s Hospice as part of the hospice’s 40th birthday celebrations.

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I met with Kate Speke-Adams of Herefordshire Rural Hub to discuss the challenges facing farmers.

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I visited Ben Andrews, an organic farmer near Leominster, to learn about his business and discuss nature-friendly farming.

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I spent a morning at Ed Godsall’s farm, discussing farming with more than a dozen NFU membersa very positive and constructive conversation. 

And I also spoke at Hereford Cathedral School's politics enrichment day as part of a cross-party panel, and with students at Hereford tech college. 

 

It’s an immense privilege to be able to meet so many diverse people from all over the constituency; I always enjoy these visits and conversations! 

Village Hall Tour

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My 6-month Village Hall Tour concluded with two very well-attended meetings in Leominster and Fownhope in mid-March. Altogether many hundreds of people have attended these events; more than half then signed up to join this email list, and many dozens have volunteered to deliver leaflets, host posterboards, and donate to support the campaign. Wonderful! The village hall tour has been a brilliant opportunity to hear from people in every corner of the constituency about their priorities. People have told me time and again how much they appreciate the fact that our campaign is making the effort to do this – getting out to meet people where they are, listening to them, and giving straight answers to their questions. If elected as MP, this is absolutely something I will continue to do. 

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I’m now focusing on going out to meet people at existing events, such as community coffee mornings. If you know of a group that would like to invite me to visit, please do let me know! 

Leaflets

We now have over 250 volunteers delivering our campaign literature, with more volunteers and more delivery routes being added all the time. Thank you to everyone involved! In March, the team delivered our ‘We Love Herefordshire’ magazine to well over 30,000 homes by hand, with the more outlying homes receiving it by post. The response from residents has been just brilliant – each time I go door-knocking, residents tell me how much they appreciate our literature and welcome the fact that we are working so hard to reach out and communicate.

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Door knocking

During March we knocked on doors in Kington, Bromyard, Lugwardine, Bartestree, Fownhope, Withington, Credenhill, Breinton, Kings Acre, Stretton Sugwas, Stoke Prior, Holmer, Hope under Dinmore, Whitbourne and Ledbury. Phew! We have now knocked on nearly 20,000 doors and spoken to many thousands of local residents. The response is fantastic. For example, I went doorknocking in Ledbury the other day: 60% of the people I spoke to said they were definitely voting for me, they all offered to host a poster at election time, and several have offered to deliver leaflets. The momentum is building all the time! 

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In the media

I was interviewed on BBC Hereford & Worcester’s breakfast show on 21 March re the council’s proposed new roads strategy, and emphasised the need to invest right now in the much cheaper and quicker measures that would be more effective in tackling congestion – like free school buses. On 12 March, the Hereford Times reported on my motion to Herefordshire Council which criticised the government’s proposal to axe the Household Support Fund. I was pleased to be able to persuade colleagues across all parties to support this motion, so that it passed unanimously. Also this month, the Ross Gazette reported on our door-knocking data, showing that I am neck and neck with the Conservative incumbent. 

Fundraising

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You received this email because you signed up to Ellie’s mailing list on her website, took a campaign action, or gave us your address at an event. Published and promoted by Helen Heathfield on behalf of Ellie Chowns (Green Party), c/o 2 Canon Frome Court, HR8 2TD.

February 2024

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I’ve been out with my wonderful campaign volunteers in all weathers, including snow, constantly stepping up our campaign in this very winnable seat. My day is always brightened by everyone I meet on the campaign trail. This month I’ve been campaigning with the inspirational Green MP Caroline Lucas.

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Here’s a quick update on some of the highlights of the past month ... 

Out in the community

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I’ve enjoyed a wide range of visits to businesses, community groups and others all across the county. 

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I met with Natalie Amos, Transport Manager at Sargeants Bros bus company, to discuss vital bus services and what needs to be done to support and expand them. 

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I visited David Harding at MIND Herefordshire to hear all about the fantastic support they provide to local residents struggling with mental health issues. 

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I visited the Herefordshire Skills Show and spoke to dozens of organisations showcasing their training opportunities for local young people. 

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I visited Halo’s Feel Good for Life session, which provides an opportunity for people living with dementia and their carers, and others struggling e.g. with loneliness, to come together for a couple of hours of exercise, fun and relaxation! The Halo team provide a range of exercise options including ‘circuits’ and use of the toning suite, and there’s always a talk, a quiz, and of course tea and biscuits. The atmosphere is wonderfully warm and friendly - the organisers know everyone individually, and there’s a team of lovely volunteers helping out too. I spoke to several of the people who’d come along to the session and they were all incredibly warm and enthusiastic about the benefits for their physical and mental health. This sort of provision is clearly so important to help people stay fit and healthy and active for as long as possible. 

 

And there’s more: I also visited the Leintwardine First Saturday coffee morning; Ledbury Evergreens; History on Broad Street in Bromyard; Ledbury Business Women; and took part in the River Wye ceremony at Herefordshire Council on 9 Feb... 

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And of course – I welcomed Caroline Lucas MP to Herefordshire! Caroline gave an inspiring talk to a large audience at the Left Bank on the Friday night, then joined us door-knocking in the constituency on the Saturday.

Village Hall Tour

The village hall tour continues at pace! In February we held 7 events: in Credenhill, Bodenham, Wigmore, Burghill, Wellington, Sutton St Nicholas and Holmer. As always there were lots of great questions and many new people signing up to get involved in the campaign – a warm welcome to all! 

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Herefordshire Matters

In February my brilliant team of over 200 volunteers hand-delivered tens of thousands of copies of my newsletter, Herefordshire Matters, which focused on celebrating local small businesses. We also delivered a copy by post to everyone that we’re not yet able to reach with hand delivery. On the doorstep, people are telling us they really appreciate our literature! 

 

And now we're delivering a magazine, We Love Herefordshire!

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Thousands of doorsteps

In the past month I’ve been out doorknocking in Tupsley, Lugwardine, Bartestree, Wellington, Leominster, Monkland, Kington, Ledbury, Holmer, and Sutton St Nicholas. 

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We've now knocked on many thousands of doors across the whole constituency, and spoken to well over 5000 people about their voting history and 2024 voting intentions. This has given us real ground-level insight into how people are planning to vote in the general election this year. The data (see below) shows that we are neck and neck with the Conservatives! This seat really is winnable for the Greens. People locally are fed up of the old parties and want to see political change. They are impressed by the energy and positivity of our campaign and are telling us that this year they will vote Green! This is brilliant news. This year really is the moment for change and we need all hands on deck, everyone involved, so if you have been wondering about whether to get more involved, now is the time! Please drop me a line, or contact us via the website, to let us know how you’d like to help. 

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If you’re not able to contribute time, could you consider chipping in to help cover the campaign costs?

  • £40 could pay to boost one of my social media videos for a day
  • £1500 could pay for printing 46,000 leaflets 
  • £5000 could pay to post a leaflet to 9000 houses that we can’t deliver to by hand

In the media

I was interviewed for Sunshine Radio on 8 Feb about the River Action court case against the Environment Agency regarding protection for the River Wye. And I was interviewed live on BBC Hereford and Worcester on 26 Feb about transport.

Coming up

In March we’ve got the two final village hall tour events, in Leominster and Fownhope. We’ve got nine (9!) big campaign action days planned this month, plus extra door-knocking days during the week. The magazine will be delivered to every household, and we’re getting ready with other literature in case an election is announced for May. I’ve got lots more community visits lined up – and please do continue to send me your suggestions of new places I should go. In short, the campaign is going from strength to strength, thanks to the teamwork of everyone involved. However you are contributing, thank you all very much indeed! 

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You received this email because you signed up to Ellie’s mailing list on her website, took a campaign action, or gave us your address at an event. Published and promoted by Helen Heathfield on behalf of Ellie Chowns (Green Party), c/o 2 Canon Frome Court, HR8 2TD.

January 2024

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Spring is coming!  The snowdrops are out in force across Herefordshire, which always lifts my heart!  I hope that, like me, you are enjoying the lengthening days and growing warmth. 

 

Here’s a quick update on my campaign activities in January... 

Through the letterbox...

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My amazing team of leaflet delivery volunteers delivered a total of 31,000 ‘Happy New Year’ cards and letters to residents across the constituency in the first few days of January.  It’s been just lovely to get so many emails, calls and letters thanking me for the card – and on the doorstep, people say how much they appreciated it, too. 

On the doorstep...

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In the village halls...

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My village hall tour has continued, with January events held in Pembridge, Orleton, Dilwyn, Upton Bishop and Much Marcle.  As a result, the campaign recruited 17 new volunteers!  We’ve got seven more village hall events coming up in February: Credenhill, Bodenham, Wigmore, Burghill, Wellington, Sutton St Nicholas and Holmer. 

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In the media...

In last week’s Hereford Times you’ll have seen my latest Talking Point column, plus my letter responding to recent polling which puts the Conservative vote share in Herefordshire down to 35%. Since we’re finding on the doorstep that over a third of people plan to vote Green at the next General Election, this underscores how close a contest it is in North Herefordshire!   

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In the schools and colleges...

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I’ve been reaching out to the next generation of voters, too, with events at Hereford Sixth Form College, at NMITE (Hereford’s new University) and at Hereford Cathedral School.  The students at all three places asked excellent questions and shared their own views on the need to change politics for the better. I've got more such events planned for February. 

All around the county...

I’ve continued to visit wonderful organisations all over the constituency, learning more about their excellent work.

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Building the team...

Talking of increasing engagement with politics 😊 it’s brilliant that our campaign team is growing all the time, thanks to the groundswell of support from across the countyIn fact, just the other day, someone stopped me in the street in Ledbury and offered to volunteer As I always say, politics is a team game – we simply couldn’t run this campaign without this amazing bunch of people who give their time, energy, and money so generouslyIt’s wonderful to be part of such a team – and there’s always room for moreSo if you’d like to get involved in some way, please click the links belowPlease do also share this newsletter, and my social media posts, with others who might be interestedTogether we have a real chance to create genuine and much-needed positive change in North Herefordshire! 

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You received this email because you signed up to Ellie’s mailing list on her website, took a campaign action, or gave us your address at an event. Published and promoted by Helen Heathfield on behalf of Ellie Chowns (Green Party), c/o 2 Canon Frome Court, HR8 2TD.

December 2023

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Happy New Year! I hope you’ve had a wonderful, restful and relaxing Christmas and New Year. I switched off the laptop for an entire week 😊 and am now feeling refreshed and ready for an exciting 2024! 

 

Here’s a quick update on what I got up to in December... 

The Village Hall Tour has been on a Christmas break (we re-start on 18th Jan) and so in December I started a new ‘tour’, aiming to visit all of the Talk Community Hubs in the constituency over the coming months. I had a wonderful time meeting and chatting with volunteers at a wide range of hubs – the sort of places that create the ‘community glue’ that helps makes Herefordshire so strong! And I mixed in a few business visits too... 😊 

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Bosbury Brew is a weekly volunteer-run cafe in Bosbury church. I had a delicious lunch there and a lovely chat with volunteers about how valuable the project is in providing space and support for people feeling a bit lonely or isolated. 

 

 

I spent a morning with the horticultural therapy project Growing Point in Credenhill, where they especially appreciated me taking a tray of my homemade chocolate brownie for the tea break – gardening can be hungry work! 

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The ECHO AGM was definitely the most fun AGM I’ve ever been to! ECHO is a brilliant local disability charity, and I’ve been volunteering there since 2017 as an ‘animator’ at the monthly disco 😊. It’s always an absolute highlight of my month, and the AGM was similarly fun and celebratory! 

 

Kathy and David and other volunteers from Leominster Food Bank told me all about their vital work supporting some of the most vulnerable members of the community. It’s a brilliant project with an amazing team of volunteers! 

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I visited not one but TWO Leominster businesses that have both won national awards in 2023: Drapers Lane Deli, and Oldfields Garage. Many congratulations to them both! I also visited Steatite, a Leominster-based high-tech business, and discussed skills training. 

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In Kington I had a tour of the exciting community-run ‘Open Arms’ project that is bringing new life to the old Oxford Arms pubI also visited the Talk Community Hub at the Lion Cafe, and chatted with members of the Veterans Support Group. 

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I met with two excellent organisations that help support local charities: Herefordshire Community Foundation, and Herefordshire Voluntary Organisations Support Service (HVOSS). 

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I went doorknocking in Holmer, Almeley and Staunton-on Wye, and met lots more lovely residents (and dogs)! 

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Last but not least, I got properly into the Christmas spirit! I popped in to visit the Ledbury Business Women’s Christmas Expo; sang Handel’s Messiah with the Hereford Choral Society in the cathedral; I won an elf in a raffle held by a local care home; and I did the Hereford Santa Run in aid of St Michael’s Hospice! Many thanks to everyone who sponsored me. Doing the event gave me the push I needed to revisit the brilliant NHS ‘Couch to 5k’ app, and I’ve kept going with it since...wish me luck in getting to the end! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My column in the Hereford Times on 28 December focused on celebrating all the wonderful people and organisations that make up the Herefordshire community. 

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After a lovely restful Christmas with family, I saw in the New Year in the traditional way, with a party with neighbours on New Year’s Eve, then a refreshingly windy walk on the Malvern Hills with some of my oldest friends on New Year’s Day. 

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Seeing this most recent update of the visualisation of how fast our world is warming has brought home to me once again how urgently we need change. The only way we can do that is together and I look forward to working with all of you to make that change happen in 2024! 

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You received this email because you signed up to Ellie’s mailing list on her website, took a campaign action, or gave us your address at an event. Published and promoted by Helen Heathfield on behalf of Ellie Chowns (Green Party), c/o 2 Canon Frome Court, HR8 2TD.

November 2023

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Hello everyone and welcome to my monthly campaign update, reporting on what I got up to in November. A warm welcome to everyone who signed up to the newsletter in the past month - it's great to have your support, thank you!

Out and about

I’ve been on lots of fascinating visits this month to a range of local businesses. You might have seen my social media posts last week in the run-up to Small Business Saturday, the annual celebration of how important small businesses are to the local economy and society in general. Visits included the wonderful Wye Valley Brewery, where the MD Vernon has taken lots of steps to make things more sustainable, including installing a much more efficient system to generate heat for brewing and then recapture it; lots of PV panels; and things like creating a pond to improve biodiversity.

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Later in the month I visited another business that is literally just next door to the brewery: WCM&A. They aren’t a household name because they focus on selling to other businesses – they specialise in making awards and badges. I absolutely loved having a tour around the factory and chatting to the staff – I even got to have a go on one of the badge-making machines! WCM&A’s owners are also very committed to sustainability and have made big efforts to ensure that their materials are ethically sourced – FSC timber, steel from south Wales, etc. 

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I also visited Border Oak, where Creative Director Merry and Head of Purchasing and Sustainability Steve talked me through their own efforts to ensure that their timber is sustainably sourced, and to cut their carbon footprint. It’s so impressive to hear about the care and thought that businesses like these put into thinking about the ethics and effects of what they do.

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I also visited the award-winning Peter Cooks Bread (Baker of the Year 2022!) to have a chat with Peter. I love the bread from this bakery – in fact I coordinate a weekly Peter Cooks Bread order for my neighbours! 

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But it wasn’t all business visits last month. I also attended the New Build Construction Innovation Exhibition in Hereford, the Rural Business Advice Day, the Herefordshire Means Business conference, and the Herefordshire Community Partnership meeting. I visited Garnstone Farm near Weobley, and had a long chat with Steve Klenk, co-chair of Farm Herefordshire. I also attended the Hellens Sustainability Café event with Rupert Read and spoke about my Herefordshire campaign. 

 

If you know of a group, organisation, charity, business, club etc that would welcome a visit from me, please let me know! 

Village Hall Tour

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I’m now more than half way through my Village Hall Tour! I’ve done 17 events so far, with 14 more coming up in January-March. In November I went to Bartestree, Kington, Marden, Leintwardine, Weobley and Tarrington. Each event is slightly different, because it’s all about the questions that people ask – but there is a common thread of lots of really positive feedback, plus lots of new people volunteering to join the campaign. Many thanks to every one of those new volunteers! 

 

I’m taking a short break from village hall events for the next 6 weeks (since people tend to have other things on in December). The tour re-starts on 18 January in Pembridge.

In the media

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Leaflet deliveries

My latest leaflet was delivered via Royal Mail to every household (42,000) in Herefordshire – the first time our campaign has done this. I’ve had lots of really positive feedback on the leaflet, including emails and phone calls from local residents. However it seems there have been one or two glitches with the Royal Mail delivery, meaning that a few people mysteriously didn’t receive their leaflet – if this was the case for you, please do let me know, thank you. 

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Campaign action days

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I’ve also been doorknocking during the week in Wellington, Staunton on Wye, and Edwyn Ralph... and of course one of the highlights is meeting so many friendly dogs! In fact I used to be scared of dogs, but I’ve come to love them – I meet so many out campaigning that I had to overcome my fear and now I even dream of having my own cocker spaniel! 😊 

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Christmas is coming!

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You received this email because you signed up to Ellie’s mailing list on her website, took a campaign action, or gave us your address at an event. Published and promoted by Helen Heathfield on behalf of Ellie Chowns (Green Party), c/o 2 Canon Frome Court, HR8 2TD.

October 2023

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Hello everyone and welcome to my latest campaign update email! Many thanks to all those who have signed up in the past month – my mailing list is growing exponentially 😊.

Village Hall Tour

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Many people have signed up to this update after attending one of my #VillageHallTour meetings. I’ve given 13 so far, and they are going really well! Audience sizes range widely, but one thing is common – attendees are really enjoying them. I’ve received many lovely comments on the feedback sheets. People tell me I’ve given them a real sense of hope and many new volunteers have joined the campaign. The picture above is from the recent #VillageHallTour event in Ledbury. 

Constituency Visits

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I’ve been on a wide range of visits over the past month, from the Trumpet Ploughing Match (where my flapjack and chocolate brownie won prizes in the Domestic Section!) to the Hereford and Worcester Group Training Association where I met an inspiring bunch of young apprentices full of enthusiasm... I also visited Herefordshire and North Shropshire College technology faculty and had a sneak preview of their new Low Carbon Technology Training Centre; helped out at the first Growing Local community volunteer day; visited two local eco architecture companies, Architype and Arbor Architects; helped out at the Leominster Apple Fair; took part in the Herefordshire Food Network’s Harvest Breakfast, learned about soil testing and the sustainable farming incentive from Farm Herefordshire, and much more besides! I met the Chief Fire Officer for Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and attended a fascinating briefing with the Chair and Managing Director of Herefordshire General Practice. Photos of some of these events and meetings are above. All these events are deepening my understanding of Herefordshire’s challenges and opportunities. And it’s simply wonderful to meet so many people who are working so hard for the good of the county! 

Action Days

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We held two very successful campaign Action Days in Bodenham and in Hampton Bishop. In Bodenham I even bumped into my son’s former class tutor from John Masefield High School! As usual we had a fantastic team of volunteers helping at each action day, and the feedback on the doorstep has continued to be incredibly positive. People really appreciate the effort we are making to reach out - they are crying out for change, and are delighted that the Greens are offering it in North Herefordshire!

Media

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Earlier in the month I was delighted to be endorsed by local resident Kevin McCloud of Grand Designs, when he was discussing politics with Jane Garvey and Fi Glover! 

 

And I was chuffed to catch up with the wonderful Saku (of the Great British Bake-Off fame, and also a Herefordshire Council employee) at a recent council briefing – and yes of course I took a selfie😊. It’s been brilliant to see how well she has done in the competition! 

 

I was honoured to represent the Green Party at the recording of the first Reith Lecture of 2023. Professor Ben Ansell is giving this year’s lectures on the theme of ‘Our Democratic Future’. In the Q&A, I asked Prof Ansell to elaborate on how we can achieve a fairer voting system. The lecture will be broadcast on Friday 29th November. 

 

I’m delighted that Dom Johnson has joined my staff team as my Comms Officer – it's brilliant to have him on board. And a special thanks to some of my comms volunteers - Simon who is helping me with social media, and to Jon for taking some stunning photos! 

Coming up...

Now that the clocks have gone back, the days are shorter – but there is still plenty of daylight for campaigning! We have action days coming up in Moreton-On-Lugg and in Bartestree – please sign up below if you’d like to join us.

Also coming up in November are more Village Hall Tour events, lots more constituency visits, and my next leaflet which will be delivered to every house in the constituency. The campaign is going from strength to strength, and it’s thanks to all of you! Thank you so much for your support; it is enormously appreciated. 

With very best wishes,
Ellie

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You received this email because you signed up to Ellie’s mailing list on her website, took a campaign action, or gave us your address at an event. Published and promoted by Helen Heathfield on behalf of Ellie Chowns (Green Party), c/o 2 Canon Frome Court, HR8 2TD.

September 2023

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Hello

 

Welcome to my monthly supporter newsletter and campaign update. Thanks so much for signing up to keep in touch. The campaign has certainly hit the ground running this month! Read on to find out more about:

  • Constituency visits 
  • In Westminster 
  • On TV 
  • Village Hall Tour 
  • Campaign Action Days 
  • Amazing volunteers 
  • Celebrating Herefordshire
  • And more!

Constituency visits

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I’ve been out and about visiting lots of people and places over the past month, including Healthwatch Herefordshire, Growing Local, NMITE, Ledbury Community Hospital, Hereford Hospital Patient Engagement Team, the Age UK ‘Living Well’ event at Burley Gate village hall, Bishops Frome’s Macmillan Coffee morning, and much more!

In Westminster

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I went to Westminster to film the Green Party’s next Party Political Broadcast, which will be shown on TV on Friday 6th October. The short film features Caroline Lucas MP plus four key target candidates including myself - i.e the next generation of Green MPs. We were blessed with good weather which was a relief since it was all filmed outside!

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I also attended the NFU’s ‘Back British Farming’ reception in the Houses of Parliament.

On TV

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Village Hall Tour

I launched my Village Hall Tour in mid-September, with the very first event held on my ‘home patch’ in Bishops Frome. Events were also held in Bosbury and Eardisley, and there are another eight coming up in October.

 

Altogether I’ll be speaking at 31 Village & Town Halls in North Herefordshire over the coming few months. I think it’s vital that politicians reach out to meet, talk with and listen to local residents and I have really enjoyed each of these events so far! Big thanks to the wonderful team of volunteers that’s helping to run these events - especially Marion who has done all the organising, and Carole who is single-handedly delivering all the flyers!

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Campaign action days

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We held two campaign action days this month (fondly known as ‘Big Days Out’) - in Ledbury on 9th September and in Bromyard on 23rd September - big thank you to everyone who came to join in. We knocked on doors to chat with voters, and delivered leaflets too. And of course we shared a delicious lunch – and my home-made flapjack helped fuel us as we worked on increasing our step count! 😊

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I’ve started a new photo series and hashtag on my social media channels – #DogsOnDoorsteps – I keep meeting lovely dogs when I am out and about knocking on doors!

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Amazing volunteers - delivery teams are go!

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Celebrating Herefordshire

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Thank you again!

 

With very best wishes,
Ellie

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You received this email because you signed up to Ellie’s mailing list on her website, took a campaign action, or gave us your address at an event. Published and promoted by Helen Heathfield on behalf of Ellie Chowns, c/o 2 Canon Frome Court, HR8 2TD.