Who are we?

We are a growing network of Labour members and supporters across the UK working to better represent Labour on the coast and in the country.  Interested then Contact us.  Our work is overseen by an informal committee, including –

Labour: COAST & COUNTRY’s Committee

Jim Knight, The Rt Hon Lord Knight of Weymouth, is the Chief Education Adviser at TES Global, having successfully developed their teacher training business. He is also a visiting professor at the UCL Knowledge Lab and a member of the House of Lords.

Jim’s main policy interests are education, employment, skills and digital technology. He served as an MP from 2001-2009, during which time he was a minister for rural affairs, schools and then employment, with his final year as a Cabinet minister.
Jim is a co-owner of XRapid Ltd, the first company to be commercially selling disease diagnosis using an iphone app. He is also chair of the Tinder Foundation, operating the network of UK Online Centres, and the main digital inclusion delivery organisation in the UK. He is a member of the Government’s Digital Engagement Council.

Tom Serpell has decades of experience in industry. Grandfather and artist. Erstwhile County Council candidate. Now running a social enterprise promoting inclusivity in Eastbourne, blogging, tweeting [@uckfieldlabour] and hoping to build a social network for isolated lefties.  Increasingly focussed on community activism, now chairing village refugee welcoming group “Village of Sanctuary” and East Hoathly Community Garden CIC, offering access to plots for disabled, mentally ill &/or unwaged members of the community.

Brenda Weston has been a Labour activist since 1981, an elected member of the National Policy Forum, representing South West CLPs, since 1998 and is a former county and district councillor.  She is a social scientist with an Honours degree in Social Policy, and a postgrad Diploma in Social Research Methods from the University of Bristol.

Having spent several years in postgraduate study into rural poverty, with a particular focus on gender and rurality, her working life has since spanned trade union work (regional and national UNISON officer) local government (community care planning) and the voluntary sector (policy and research officer for a South West equalities charity and social policy research for a Citizens Advice-led project in Somerset). She has also lectured in FE and HE environments on topics associated with equalities and rurality.

Sandy Martin is the Leader of Suffolk County Council Labour Group, and a regionally elected member of Labour’s National Policy Forum. Although he now represents a ward in Ipswich, he lived until 1993 in the small market town of Halesworth. Prior to committing full-time to political activity, Sandy worked at the Ipswich Community Resource Centre, a drop-in advice centre for the unemployed, and served as the Coordinator for Ipswich & District Friends of the Earth. In 2014 he stood as Labour’s number three European Parliament candidate for the East of England.

Hywel Lloyd is an independent facilitator, innovator & advisor at Facilitating the Future.  His work seeks to promote local communities through local ownership, energy, food growing and local governance working with a variety of organisations, including ippr, the C40, the IWA and numerous local authorities across England & Wales.

He has had a varied career, from nightclub management to employment programmes, particularly for disabled people; he has worked for the Ministerial teams of Hazel Blears at CLG, and Hilary Benn at Defra, and helped improve a multitude of public services across the UK while at the Office for Public Management.  He has helped plant over 30 community orchards & woods and would like to see Apple Day (21st Oct) as a new Bank Holiday!  While he lives in north London, his family’s roots are rural South West Wales.

He is the first point of contact at Labour: COAST & COUNTRY.

Sally Webber specialises in food and agriculture policy and advises a member of the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Select Committee, and the Shadow Defra frontbench team. She has worked at the RSPB and Defra, where she was Specialist Adviser to the Secretary of State and covered food and agriculture for Hilary Benn. She lives in rural Suffolk with her husband, and their two sons.