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Your Wells Independents Councillors

Everyone in the UK has a local council and you vote to elect who you feel most represents you and your needs. But whilst you have just one MP for your constituency, when it comes to local council there are 16 Councillors responsible for Wells across 3 'wards' - four in the Central Ward, six in St Thomas' Ward (East and North Wells) and also six in St Cuthbert's Ward (West Wells).  

On 5 May 2022, you voted for those whom you want to represent you. We are of course delighted that you chose all nine of the WIN candidates, three in each ward.   Although, sadly, one WIN councillor has since had to stand down for personal reasons.

Our vision continues to be to have a truly Independent Wells, free from party politics.

Wells Cathedral and river, Wells, Somerset

Wells Independents Councillors 
in Central Ward

Philip Welch, Wells Independents

Philip Welch

I am honoured to have served the city as Mayor of Wells 2020-2022.


My voluntary work includes: co-founder of the Wells Coronavirus Network which attracted 570 volunteers; Trustee at Heads Up, Wells Almshouses and Wells Civic Society for whom we installed nine Blue Plaques around the city and a series of indoor plaques to support long-standing family businesses; Chair of the steering group organising June’s free Platinum Jubilee celebrations in Wells; Editor of the weekly Wells Community Network free newsletter; Ambassador to the Wells Girl Guiding movement; Fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Support; and Editor of the Wells Journal and four other weekly Somerset newspapers from 1997-2013.  I am married with four children and five grandchildren.

Sarah Powell, Wells Independents

Sarah Powell

I came to Wells just over 26 years ago to start a family and to be closer to the family business, Basil Powell Shoes. 

It was a privilege to be newly elected to the City Council in May 2021. I enjoy being a councillor and find the work both interesting and engaging. I have joined the Planning and Open Spaces committees and been involved in helping and enabling a project to redevelop the skatepark.


I am particularly interested in helping the City Council’s net zero by 2030 target after it declared a climate emergency in 2019. I am always happy to hear from residents and visitors about ideas to improve the City of Wells.

Louis Agabani, Wells Independents

Louis Agabani

I have been a Wells City Councillor since 2018. It has been demanding and at times challenging, but I do feel the achievements have been worth it. I first moved to Wells in 2001. Wells is now firmly my home and the place I plan to be for the next few decades. My children were born and educated in Wells – it is even more their home. 

As a councillor, in 2019 I was elected to chair the Finance committee. I now also chair the Open Spaces committee. Working with other councillors, Town Hall staff and residents, there have been many successes including: securing the future of the Tourist Information Shop in the Town Hall; establishing not one but two Post Office counters for Wells; the long-term organisation of the single largest acquisition by Wells City Council, the Portway Annexe; and I am also working to secure the redevelopment of the Skatepark in Wells.

Central Ward
Philp Welch
Sarah Powell
Isa VM

Wells Independents Councillors 
in St Thomas' Ward 

Denise Denis, Wells Independents

Denise Denis

After 23 years running a care home, I retired and moved to Wells 7 years ago, as I have family here.


I came to know the community through volunteering in various organisations (Wells Coronavirus Network, The Bishop’s Palace, Wells U3A, Wells Art Contemporary, Wells Dementia Action Alliance, Wells Neighbourhood Watch and Somerset Sight) and I was elected councillor at the end of last year. 

It has been a valuable and enjoyable experience working for constituents, serving on the Outside Spaces Committee and working on the draft Wells Neighbourhood Plan. I have also worked hard to restore the Wells in Bloom Competitions and am involved with volunteers and the Council in the setting up of a wildflower project.


It has been an honour to serve the constituents of St Thomas’ Ward and if elected I will continue to represent you wherever I can.

Isa_Von_Mensenkampff, Wells Independents

Isa von Mensenkampff

I have a passion for life and care about people. Wells and our community are close to my heart. That is why I am standing as an Wells Independent Councillor to give my support to help this city and everyone here.


I have been involved in local politics since my early teens in Germany and  have a thorough understanding of UK local government from living in the Midlands for many years.


I have lots of experience of volunteering with charities for dementia and teenage mothers. Now Wells is my home and I hope to help Wells do more for families, for the elderly and for people exposed to domestic violence

Deborah Orrett, Wells Independents

Deborah Orrett

Having lived in Wells for over 30 years I am committed to this unique city and its active community. My 41 years working as a Speech and Language Therapist for the NHS have taught me the value of communication and how to get the best out of people.

When my children were at school locally, I chaired several Parent Teacher Associations and am now proud to lead a team of 60 dedicated litter pickers who take pride in caring for the city’s environment. As a Wells Ambassador, I welcome and guide visitors. I have also stewarded for the Wells Coronavirus Network.

Having recently retired I have more time to offer!  My love of Wells, my experience and my availability make me a good choice to support the City at this crucial stage as the new Unitary Authority looms in April 2023.


Listening to the concerns of residents, I’m keen to address local public transport networks, to assess parking provision and to support the richly varied and primarily independent High Street. I would be delighted to serve as a Wells Independent councillor, putting people before politics.

St Thomas Ward
Deborah O

Wells Independents Councillors 
in St Cuthbert's Ward 

Stewart Cursley, Wells Independents

Stewart Cursley

I was born and bred in Wells, and I am extremely honoured to hold two important roles on Wells City Council (WCC), as Mayor and Chair of Finance and Council Matters.

As chair I am proud to have been involved, along with other councillors, in the purchase of the Portway Annexe and the transfer of the Bishop’s Barn from Mendip District Council (MDC), together with the adjoining recreation ground and the children’s playground.

WCC has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to liaise with the new Somerset Council unitary authority and MDC for the return of other assets and services, for example the Market Place and weekly markets, which were transferred from Wells to Mendip and Somerset in 1974.


I am also a member of the small team of Wells councillors working on the shape of Wells City Council, following the creation of the new Somerset Council.


My primary role as councillor is to continue to represent the residents of St Cuthbert’s ward, a duty I take very seriously and will continue to perform as the historic and great City of Wells determines its own future.

Shirley Eden, Wells Independents

Shirley Eden

I moved to Wells in 2020 having previously lived in Cheddar. I retired from Avon and Somerset Police, at the rank of Chief Inspector, in 2018 after 30 years’ service. I have a wealth of experience, from working with diverse communities during my police career, that would transfer to serving the people of Wells as an independent councillor.


I would be grateful for the opportunity to act upon residents’ concerns and suggestions to ensure that our small, but great, City continues to develop and provide services and opportunities for everyone. 

St Cuthbert
Shirley Eden

With eight Wells Independents councillors representing the people of Wells, our historic and great city now has the opportunity to determine its own future.

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