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About Christina Coleman – Councillor for Danehill and Fletching Ward

Christina Coleman is the Green Party candidate for the new constituency of East Grinstead & Uckfield in the forthcoming General Election.

Christina was elected Councillor for Danehill & Fletching ward on Wealden District Council in May 2023. She was appointed Chair of Council by the Green-LibDem Alliance for Wealden, which took over administration of the council following the election. Christina stood down as chair in January 2024 to begin campaigning in the forthcoming General Election as the Green MP candidate for the new constituency of East Grinstead and Uckfield.

With a background in advertising, fundraising and teaching, Christina is a passionate advocate for action on climate change and protection of nature. She has a Master’s Degree from the University of Sussex in Environment, Development and Policy – and has been an independent member of a policy discussion group advising the Ministry for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on housing. She says she is “determined to do all I can to protect this irreplaceable part of the country for future generations”.

Q: Why does this part of Sussex matter to you? 

I have lived in the Ward of Danehill and Fletching with my family for over twenty years and we have brought up our three children here. It’s a wonderful community that I’m very proud to be part of, not least in my work in local schools as a dance teacher. 

I am passionate about this corner of rural Sussex but even in this beautiful place nature is depleted and threatened, and that drives me to do as much as I can to protect it for future generations.

Q: Tell us about your working life – what skills do you bring from it to your role as Councillor? 

I have had what is best described as a portfolio career. After volunteering in Zambia and Romania I began a career in advertising and fundraising for social enterprises and charities. Later, I moved to a more senior commercial position managing TV, online, radio, press and poster campaigns.

After we moved to Sussex and started a family, I trained as a dance teacher and choreographer. I have taught every age group from nursery kids to teenagers and I have choreographed more than 30 musical theatre productions. 

When Covid hit, I had a reset moment and returned to study. Since completing my Masters in Environment, Development and Policy, I have been involved in research projects with the University of Sussex and SOAS, and been an Environmental Advisor at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. I’m part of a new research partnership with the University of Sussex, Ripple Effect, carrying out citizen science on the river Medway - we hope to find out how to encourage more people to get involved in protecting our damaged rivers.

In terms of what skills I bring to my role as councillor, I would say hard work, persistence, attention to detail and rigour – as well as passion and enthusiasm. I am not a career politician, I am a local person who wants to make a difference in the area where I live. Since being elected as a councillor, I have given up my teaching job so I can focus on delivering for my residents..

Q: What kind of Councillor are you trying to be?

I am a good listener, and I want to hear what people say about the place we all live in. To reach as many people as possible, I hold regular community forums in all the areas I represent, where residents can discuss issues and I can understand what matters most to them, allowing me to speak better on their behalf at council. I am working hard too for the residents that approach me for help with their issues - it’s so rewarding to be able to help.

Q: What are your top priorities as a Councillor?

1) To do everything in my power to prevent large and inappropriate development.

2) To protect and restore our green spaces and natural environment, including our waterways. 

3) To address the crisis in inequality which is leaving too many people struggling, while a minority continue to accumulate ever increasing amounts of wealth. 

4) To support local food economies and promote regenerative farming techniques. 

5) To promote better public transport and safer active travel routes. 

6) To bring greater transparency to the process of governance. 

In my role as Chair of Wealden District Council, I worked hard to raise awareness of the climate and biodiversity crisis – which was the theme of my period of office. I regularly gave talks in local schools and colleges because I passionately believe that we need to educate younger generations about the importance of nature recovery, environmental justice and political change. This is something I will continue to do as a Green councillor and candidate in the General Election.