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Forest of Dean District Council

Meet the scientists!


Councillor for:

At Parish, District and County Council: 40 years



Council job:

Other committees and organisations I serve are the Licensing Committee and Community Scrutiny and I also attend three Parish Councils




Andrew Gardiner

my CV

Favourite Thing: Enjoying a summer evening in front of a superb view

Me and my council work

I am passionate about the promotion of land for food production and public allotments, and I work to meet the desperate need for in-district employment.

My Ward is surrounded by the Forest of Dean and peripheral woodlands which have long been associated with iron, coal, quarries (aggregate and building stone) and current timber production and an area which remains under constant governmental pressure to sell off land to developers. The pressure to sell such a finite area of the statutory forest, means considerable extra work – because for many interested individuals and organisations, I have become their first point of contact.

I am passionate about the promotion of land for food production and believe that greater importance should be give by developers when summiting planning applications for the provision of a realistic sized garden/ allotments within the District Plan. I write letters to the MP and speak at Council Meetings concerning the Forestry Commission to legislate to lease land (106 agreements), especially where woodland open areas adjoin planning envelopes.

My concerns and letters I write concentrate on the desperate need for in-district employment – this to an extent overrides the need for affordable housing, because this as become a meaningless concept for young and many older people. Those houses which have been built and designated affordable, are invariably purchased by those who already own houses. When we realise the gross waste of ring fencing funds amounting to billions for constructing nuclear submarines, then we may again build council housing for those in need.

My Typical Day

I have busy days working at the District Council on the computer and in meetings, writing letters and making phone calls to help constituents.

Usually following breakfast I log-in to a computer, which is served by the Forest of Dean District Council, and where I often remain until dinner-time, unless there are meetings to attend. There are always letters to reply to and questions to find answers to. The telephone plays a big part with constituents requiring help and information. I often work six days a week and I get involved in lots of things as I feel this important.

I am involved in Wye Navigation, Lower Wye AONB and am a member of the Royal British Legion.

What I'd do as "Youth Engagement Champion"

As a Grandfather of five I try to engage with young people and give them a hope for a future. I’m particularly intersted in issues where priorities are steered towards food, shelter, education and global peace.

I realise that there are many challenges for young people today around employment and housing in particular. I could help to highlight the problems young people face and feel we should raise the profile for children and young people encouraging additional funding in this area. Also we could encourage the subsidising of building plots. Developers should provide sufficient land for allotments and other recreational activities.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Restless, dedicated and fair

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Bill Hayley and Barbara Streisand

What is the most fun thing you've done?

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

Best of health and happiness for my grandchildren, a holiday in Kayoto, win a national giant onion competition

What did you want to be after you left school?


Were you ever in trouble in at school?

I was never in trouble

What's the best thing you've done as a councillor?

On three occassions over the years I’ve taken a lead on oposition to the selling off of Stautory and periferal Forest land.

Tell us a joke.