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Introducing Karen Lawrence

Your Liberal Democrat candidate for BUXTON ward (including Frettenham, Lammas, Brampton, Badersfield and Hautbois)

Karen LawrenceI have lived with my family here first in Brampton in 2003 when they ran the stables and taxis and then in Buxton since 2013 to ensure their retirement gave them the quality of life they deserved. It's the place I love to come back to, the sunset over the misty Bure valley marshes, and the peace of this rural community. The people have always been lovely, so friendly. I never expected to be able to give something back to here as I have worked for years in the non-profit sector. My work has taken me abroad from the Philippines, to Brazil but always supporting rural communities in their connection with their lands, their environment whether through better livelihood, and small businesses based on the wise use and protection of nature.

After seeing first hand the destruction of oil palm plantations in Indonesia has had on the rainforest and local communities, I have changed track and now work for a social enterprise - business with a heart - where we are working with companies to transform their supply chains through innovation so the things we buy and eat cause less damage to nature and climate. Based here in my recently converted garage I am amazed to be able to connect local Buxton, to the global community with the help of a decent internet connection. This makes flexible working a reality.

For me it has always been important to use and apply research so it is accountable and people are part of the solution. So when there was a chance to try to make a difference here I started volunteering with the neighbourhood plan so I could start to understand what some of the local concerns and issues were. And to see if any of my skills could be useful. I have been surprised to learn that the reasons I choose to live here were very similar to how others feel, a way of life less intense, access to nature and where you can meet lovely friendly people

My family and sense of rootedness come from this ward. Its future matters to me, I don´t have kids, that's my choice, but it matters to me that your children have a future worth living, but we have to work for that as there are many pressures that could make that future uncertain. It matters to me that local people have a voice, that they are listened to. That development reflects our

values and is appropriate so it does not destroy our rural community that we have all chosen. I wanted to make a stand, to step up and give you a choice.

WHY AM I STANDING FOR the District Council ?

I want to see Greener developments and more affordable housing

I have started working with the Lammas and Buxton Neighbourhood Plan and I am excited by the level of engagement that people have had by commenting on the areas put forward in the GNLP and suggesting better more appropriate sites. I want to ensure this vision is carried through by the BDC. It is too easy to see local views steamrollered and it has to stop.

GNLP proposals would bring too many houses or suggest those in the wrong place so they not only increase the potential for flooding, but already congested streets could be even worse.

I would bring expert environmental and sustainability knowledge to the deliberations of the council

I am solution orientated but balance this with an experience of listening to local communities, ensuring their voices are represented