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South-East Northumberland Branch

The SE Northumberland Branch covers the Parliamentary constituencies of Wansbeck and Blyth Valley and includes the towns of Ashington, Blyth, Cramlington and Morpeth.


All our Blyth Valley candidates can be contacted on bvlibdems@msn.com.

Councillor Jeff Reid has represented Plessey division on the County Council since 2008 and on Blyth Town Council since 2013. He was the first Leader of the Unitary Authority and oversaw the political dimension of its formation.
Jeff has a solid reputation as a local councillor who communicates regularly with residents, responds promptly to requests for help and reports back on issues raised with him. He is standing for election again to both the Town and County Councils. Jeff currently leads the Liberal Democrat group on the County Council. Jeff can be contacted on 07711 389196.
Cllr Jeff Reid
Alisdair Gibbs-Barton is standing for election to the County and Town council for South Blyth division. A former Blyth Valley Borough Councillor for the area, Alisdair was the second Mayor of Blyth, following the creation of Blyth Town Council.
Alisdair owns a small business in Blyth town centre and is well aware of the problems that Covid restrictions have imposed on small businesses.
Alistair Gibbs-Barton
Anita Romer is standing for election to the County Council in Hartley division, Seaton Valley; she is a former County Councillor and was the Cabinet member for public health.
Anita lives in the division and is engaged in many aspects of community life there. She is a medical herbalist and has a special interest in complementary medicine.
Anita Romer
Sandra Stanger is standing for election in the Kitty Brewster division in Blyth. Sandra is a retired nursing sister and a former captain of Blyth Golf Club. She is also standing for re-election to Blyth Town Council in Plessey division, alongside Jeff Reid,which she has represented since 2017.
Sandra has lived in Blyth all her life and is committed to working to improve the town for all its residents.
Sandra Stanger
David Sumner is standing for election to the County Council in Wensleydale division, alongside Alisdair Gibbs-Barton, and for the Town council in the next-door division of South Blyth. David and his wife retired to Blyth two years ago. He is an experienced local councillor having sat on Stockport council for many years. He is a former resident of Seaton Sluice, where he lived for 13 years before moving to Stockport for work. David Sumner


Alison Byard represents Morpeth Stobhill at Morpeth Town Council and has been selected by the Liberal Democrats to stand for election to Northumberland County Council in the 2021 local elections.

Alison says "Originally from Northern Ireland, I have loved living in Stobhill for the last 30 years. I am married and worked as a Customer Services Manager in a large pharmaceutical firm before becoming a full-time Mum. My two children attended Morpeth schools and are now in further education.

I first stood for election in 2013 because I wanted to give back to the town where we have enjoyed such a good quality of life. I have now been a Morpeth Town Councillor for 8 years and have earned my reputation as an experienced, hardworking and approachable community councillor, with a special interest in Morpeth's heritage.

I have been honoured to serve as Mayor of Morpeth twice and raised £35,000 for Northumbria Blood Bikes. I am involved with many community groups, including the Air Cadets, Friends of Morpeth's Floral Clock and St Aidan's Senior Citizens' Cuppa Club, am a trustee of Morpeth's oldest charity, the Hollon Trust, and served as a Community Support volunteer during lockdown.

I love living in Morpeth and would like to keep it an attractive and successful town, whilst retaining all of its history and character".

Alison can be contacted on:

01670 515391
07963 306549


Alison Byard (Copyright Neil Brinsdon Photography)

Andy Cochrane, Liberal Democrat Candidate for Morpeth Town Council & Northumberland County Council for Kirkhill Ward 2021

I am a loyal Northumbrian and long term Morpeth resident. I left school without any qualifications, but made a great life for myself in the Army, coming top of my intake at RMA Sandhurst in 1991, leaving the Army in 2008 with the birth of my 2 children as a Captain. Before I left the Army I gained a BA in History with the Open University and then a Masters in HR Management at Northumbria University. A successful career in Operational and HR management followed. I am a single parent of 2 teenagers, so I am very familiar with many of life's challenges, navigating work, the housing market and benefits system in the 21st century. COVID and home schooling have been an added challenge. I enjoy swimming, cycling, the outdoors in our beautiful county, good food and a cheeky craft ale.

As a Liberal Democrat I am convinced we need to reject the destructive opposition politics of the two main parties. It appears at national and local levels they would rather see the County and Country fail, as long as their opponents don't succeed ! We must instead follow a path of sound, grown up, centrist politics, where people and progress come before any political party.

I've always been passionate about an inclusive caring society, where everyone is given the opportunity, skills and encouragement to follow their dreams. A society should be judged on how it looks after its people, not on how rich its wealthiest members are. COVID has only strengthened those beliefs. It has shown the cost of years of austerity, highlighting shortcomings in social care, access to well being and mental health services and almost broke the NHS. Britain's national and local service have been starved of funding and as a result, millions have suffered, not just during COVID but for years. We have some fantastic public services, we and they deserve better!

A strong 3rd Party forces greater transparency, accountability and responsive governance, or risk losing voters and influence. A far cry from the current cosy existence for the Tories and Labour of either being in power, or in opposition. For the good of everyone, we need to break their stranglehold. There is an alternative that brings more choice and better governance and I urge you all to consider taking an active role in politics, becoming a party member and voting Liberal Democrat.

Andy Cochrane (Copyright Neil Brinsdon Photography)