Press Room

Latest and archived press releases and statements from Zac Arnold.

Timeline established for the handling of data security and access concerns at Lydney Town Council | Zac Arnold

In a letter to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Lydney and the Town Clerk of Lydney Town Council on 10 July 2021, Zac outlined the timeline he plans to work to with regards to severe concerns about the handling, security and lawful right of access to data the Council holds: “I’m writing further toContinue reading “Timeline established for the handling of data security and access concerns at Lydney Town Council | Zac Arnold”

A year on from BLM Lydney, we need a proper Healing History Plan | Zac Arnold

A year ago, this week Lydney was divided over the Black Lives Matter demonstration in Lydney. The community remains divided and lessons remain unlearned. Lydney Town Council and its Trusts have a duty to heal these divides, acknowledge our history and promote strong community values going forward. In this light, a year on from theContinue reading “A year on from BLM Lydney, we need a proper Healing History Plan | Zac Arnold”

One year on: the BLM event that divided a Gloucestershire town | The Observer

In May 2021, Zac was interviewed exclusively by the The Observer about his thoughts on the aftermath of Lydney’s BLM demonstration and the impact it had in tackling racism in the Forest of Dean. The full un-edited interview reads: ‘I wouldn’t say I was surprised by the reaction to the BLM protest in Lydney. IContinue reading “One year on: the BLM event that divided a Gloucestershire town | The Observer”

Complaint lodged about alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct by the Lydney Town Council Finance Chief | Zac Arnold

Today, I lodged a complaint with the Monitoring Officer of Forest of Dean District Council outlining a number of alleged breaches of the members’ Code of Conduct by the Chairman of the Lydney Town Council Finance and Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Roger Holmes. The complaint consists of 3 pages with 7 pages of supplementary evidence andContinue reading “Complaint lodged about alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct by the Lydney Town Council Finance Chief | Zac Arnold”

Complaint lodged about alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct by the Mayor of Lydney | Zac Arnold

Today, I lodged a complaint with the Monitoring Officer of Forest of Dean District Council outlining a number of alleged breaches of the members’ Code of Conduct by the Mayor of Lydney, Cllr Walter Leach. The complaint consists of 7 pages with 72 pages of supplementary evidence and the allegations are summarised as follows: InContinue reading “Complaint lodged about alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct by the Mayor of Lydney | Zac Arnold”

Vote for a future where the people of Lydney are put first on May 6 | Zac Arnold

The past decade has been tough for the Lydney community, and residents had been shut out by a closed shop that didn’t listen to you and did not deal in transparency. At this election, you can make a choice to go back to the way things were by re-electing members of the last administration, orContinue reading “Vote for a future where the people of Lydney are put first on May 6 | Zac Arnold”

The priorities of Lydney Town Council are still not the priorities of the people | Zac Arnold

The decision by Lydney Town Council to award their employees a £500 bonus each is abhorrent as small businesses and the poorest in society suffer the most as a result of this pandemic.These employees who have been working from home, now believed to be on full pay, are already not experiencing the level of sufferingContinue reading “The priorities of Lydney Town Council are still not the priorities of the people | Zac Arnold”

The moral turmoil of the Deputy Mayor cannot be a distraction from the real issue | Zac Arnold

It doesn’t matter whether we are scared, human rights cannot be allowed to be trampled over by people in positions of authority who feel like they can do as they please. Too many times now, the leadership of the Mayor of Lydney has seemed, although good intentioned, often autocratic. The way in which this issueContinue reading “The moral turmoil of the Deputy Mayor cannot be a distraction from the real issue | Zac Arnold”

Lydney Town Council set to backtrack on withdrawal of support for BLM Lydney | Zac Arnold

Today, the Police have confirmed that for Lydney Town Council to prevent the BLM protest in Lydney this Saturday would be a breach of Article 11 of the Human Rights Act and would result in potential ‘legal ramifications against the Council. It is clear, both the decision of the Mayor to interfere with the enactmentContinue reading “Lydney Town Council set to backtrack on withdrawal of support for BLM Lydney | Zac Arnold”

He couldn’t breathe. We couldn’t speak. My resignation from Lydney Town Council | Cllr Zac Arnold

“In January 2019, I was unlawfully arrested for breach of the peace at Lydney Town Council for refusing to allow those in control of our town to escape scrutiny – simply by asking questions. On 14 January 2019, my human right to peacefully protest was ripped away by Lydney Town Council and Gloucestershire Constabulary. ThisContinue reading “He couldn’t breathe. We couldn’t speak. My resignation from Lydney Town Council | Cllr Zac Arnold”

Rooftop Housing Group, you are the master of your own destiny | Cllr Zac Arnold

This morning, I met with the Assistant Team Leader of Rooftop Housing Group’s Young Peoples’ Service in relation to a series of ongoing and unresolved issues that cause concern at the company’s supported accommodation project on Albert Streetin Lydney. Concerns about services: ✓ Increased anti-social behaviour and criminal damage to property;✓ A failure to actContinue reading “Rooftop Housing Group, you are the master of your own destiny | Cllr Zac Arnold”

Why I am resigning from the Labour Party and becoming an Independent | Cllr Zac Arnold

It is with the deepest of regret that I am writing this letter to you this morning, however I have come to the conclusion over an extended period of time that this is both the right and the necessary thing to do. Please accept this letter as formal notification of my resignation, with immediate effect,Continue reading “Why I am resigning from the Labour Party and becoming an Independent | Cllr Zac Arnold”

Pointless Lydney cycle-way improvements are risking lives and property | Cllr Zac Arnold

“The recent roadworks being completed across Lydney as part of the cycle way improvement scheme is a welcome consideration by HM Government and Gloucestershire County Council in attempting to increase the number of both residents and tourists cycling around our market town. Whilst the thought process behind this scheme shows a halfhearted and asphalt friendlyContinue reading “Pointless Lydney cycle-way improvements are risking lives and property | Cllr Zac Arnold”

Lydney Town Council need a full and independent public inquiry | Cllr Zac Arnold

I am pleased that the Independent Complaints Process that investigates Code of Conduct complaints regarding members has found that there is no case to answer regarding a malicious complaint lodged by the former Mayor of Lydney against myself. I would like to unequivocally deny allegations that I have conducted any campaign of harassment against anyContinue reading “Lydney Town Council need a full and independent public inquiry | Cllr Zac Arnold”

Statement regarding the resignation of the Mayor of Lydney | Cllr Zac Arnold

Unfortunately, last week, the Mayor of Lydney made the decision to resign from Lydney Town Council. This morning, in the local press, the former Mayor made comments that in my opinion must be addressed. In May, I was elected to Lydney Town Council with a mandate to create the real change necessary to undo theContinue reading “Statement regarding the resignation of the Mayor of Lydney | Cllr Zac Arnold”

Lydney’s challenging issues set to be tackled | Cllr Zac Arnold & Cllr Brian Pearman

‘On Monday 8 July 2019, Lydney Town Council laid the foundations to tackle two of the most serious and challenging immediate problems that Lydney faces. These being the lack of provision of services for young people aged up to 25 and the ever-increasing risk of imminent climate catastrophe across the globe. ‘At its Full CouncilContinue reading “Lydney’s challenging issues set to be tackled | Cllr Zac Arnold & Cllr Brian Pearman”

No hesitation in working to fulfil our promises to voters | Cllr Zac Arnold

Since my election in last month’s local elections, myself and our Labour Group have been working on radical and innovative proposals to rebuild Lydney into the thriving market town and gateway to the Forest of Dean that it once was. Lydney needs action to follow up on our words in order to ride the waveContinue reading “No hesitation in working to fulfil our promises to voters | Cllr Zac Arnold”

Thank you for lending me your vote for Lydney Town Council | Zac Arnold

“I am humbled by the level of support the voters of Lydney East gave me in the local elections, unfortunately we didn’t quite manage to grasp hold of a district council seat but we are making real progress and I think that is because Labour are the only party offering real change both nationally andContinue reading “Thank you for lending me your vote for Lydney Town Council | Zac Arnold”

Who is Zac and what are his commitments in today’s Town and District Council elections? | Zac Arnold

Zac has lived in Lydney his whole life and is a member of thecore group of the campaign to protect our hospitals and hasbeen standing up for Lydney on issues such as youthprovision and council spending. Our Environment. Fight to defend our climate from imminent catastrophe and pledge to protect the public forest estate fromContinue reading “Who is Zac and what are his commitments in today’s Town and District Council elections? | Zac Arnold”

We need an enhanced, powerful and far-reaching effort to protect the lives of our generation | Zac Arnold

Zac Arnold, Labour’s Candidate for Lydney East in tomorrow’s Forest of Dean District Council elections, is to call for a more “enhanced, powerful and far-reaching” effort to “protect the livesof a generation”. The proposals come in light of the death of well-loved Gloucestershire teen Callum Paskin who is believed to have passed away as aContinue reading “We need an enhanced, powerful and far-reaching effort to protect the lives of our generation | Zac Arnold”

Zac’s Town and District Council election campaign suspended for 24 hours | Zac Arnold

For the next 24 hours I will cease campaigning in memory of a friend Callum Paskin and fellow candidate David Humphreys (Green Party, Newent) both have sadly passed away in recent days. Solidarity and love to the families and friends of Callum and David. Both will be remembered for decades to come. Campaigning will resumeContinue reading “Zac’s Town and District Council election campaign suspended for 24 hours | Zac Arnold”

The Oakdale bus link and the messiah, Alan Preest | Zac Arnold

I write in response to the letter by Lydney Town Councillor Claire Vaughan in Vol 42 No 9 regarding the classification of the Oakdale Bus Link by Cllr Alan Preest as “sorted.” I find this letter amusing to say the least. The isolation of the Oakdale Estate, amongst various other issues within the development, hasContinue reading “The Oakdale bus link and the messiah, Alan Preest | Zac Arnold”

Letter to the CEO of Lydney Town Council regarding continued personal data disclosure | Zac Arnold

In a letter to Ms Jayne Smailes, CEO of Lydney Town Council, Zac said: I am appalled by the decision taken by Lydney Town Council to re-publish the press pack previously published on Thursday 21 February 2019. You have at least made the effort to remove the personal email addresses of some individuals, however someContinue reading “Letter to the CEO of Lydney Town Council regarding continued personal data disclosure | Zac Arnold”

Response to the removal of the press pack released by Lydney Town Council | Zac Arnold

In a letter to the CEO of Lydney Town Council, Zac said: Firstly, I would like to thank you for the removal of the press pack published on your website on Thursday 21 February 2019 containing confidential and personal data as a result of my letter to yourself earlier today. Unfortunately, the swift removal ofContinue reading “Response to the removal of the press pack released by Lydney Town Council | Zac Arnold”

Concerns about the disclosure of personal data by Lydney Town Council | Zac Arnold

In a letter to Ms Jayne Smailes, CEO of Lydney Town Council, Zac said: I am writing to you with regards to a selection of documents released to the press and public on Thursday 21 February 2019 by Lydney Town Council. These documents including a series of confidential emails, screenshots from social media platforms andContinue reading “Concerns about the disclosure of personal data by Lydney Town Council | Zac Arnold”

Response to Lydney Town Council’s press pack detailing complaints against me | Zac Arnold

This morning (Thursday 21 February 2019) Lydney Town Council released apress pack in response to recent events regarding the Clerk to the Council, Jayne Smailes, likening myself; another member of the public and an elected member of the council to the far-right terrorist responsible for the tragic murder of Jo Cox MP in an emailContinue reading “Response to Lydney Town Council’s press pack detailing complaints against me | Zac Arnold”

Response to the resignation of Councillor Kevin Greening | Zac Arnold

In response to a letter in a local newspaper by former Councillor, Kevin Greening, post his resignation from Lydney Town Council, Zac said: “I found the letter published in last week’s edition from the former Lydney Town councillor Kevin Greening regarding my “negative views” rather amusing to say the least. Firstly, I would like toContinue reading “Response to the resignation of Councillor Kevin Greening | Zac Arnold”

Forest of Dean Labour Chair responds to backlash over Parliamentary All Women Shortlist decision | Cllr Bernie O’Neill

Zac formatted and distributed the following press release on behalf of Bernie O’Neill, Chairman of Forest of Dean Labour Party. Bernie O’Neill, Chair of the FoD CLP, states: “I think it is important to put the record straight on the issue of the AWS, which the National party has decided we in the Forest ofContinue reading “Forest of Dean Labour Chair responds to backlash over Parliamentary All Women Shortlist decision | Cllr Bernie O’Neill”

The next Labour MP for the Forest of Dean will be a woman | Forest of Dean Labour Party

Zac formatted and distributed the following press release on behalf of the Forest of Dean Labour Party. “The next UK General Election will offer voters in the Forest of Dean a female Labour Candidate. Following a consultation exercise involving all four branches in the district and a decision by the party’s National Executive Committee it’sContinue reading “The next Labour MP for the Forest of Dean will be a woman | Forest of Dean Labour Party”

Lydney Town Council back down on threat to skatepark due to pressure | Zac Arnold & Cllr Roger Holmes

This evening (Monday 28 January 2019) Lydney Town Council’s Recreation Trust backed down on their consideration to demolish Lydney Skate Park due to a reluctant and active campaign led by our Youth Officer, Zac Arnold and Labour’s only current town councillor, Cllr Roger Holmes. “This is great news for the young people of Lydney whoContinue reading “Lydney Town Council back down on threat to skatepark due to pressure | Zac Arnold & Cllr Roger Holmes”

We must all condemn the actions of the few, and work to improve things for the many | Zac Arnold

Zac Arnold, Youth Officer for Forest of Dean Constituency Labour Party, said: “Yesterday (Friday 25 January), it was reported that the newly refurbished bridge across Dean Forest Railway from Lydney Boating Lake to St. Mary’s Church had been hit by an arson attack suspected to have been committed by young people. This is the latestContinue reading “We must all condemn the actions of the few, and work to improve things for the many | Zac Arnold”

Chris Williamson MP joins Forest of Dean Labour on the doorsteps of Lydney West | Zac Arnold

Throughout today Forest of Dean Labour Party have held a day of action across Lydney ahead of May’s local authority elections. This included a morning street stall and Councillor meet and greet followed by canvassing in Lydney West for Steve Stockham’s Town and District election campaign and a community meeting on a swathe of issuesContinue reading “Chris Williamson MP joins Forest of Dean Labour on the doorsteps of Lydney West | Zac Arnold”

Heading for Extinction and what to do about it: a free talk | Zac Arnold

‘Our climate is at crisis point and we must act now. We see theclimate changing rapidly. We see the extinction of over 200 species aday. We face huge threats to our lives and the lives of our childrenand our grandchildren. But what can we do about it? ‘Extinction Rebellion Forest of Dean is the organisationContinue reading “Heading for Extinction and what to do about it: a free talk | Zac Arnold”

Chris Williamson MP to visit Lydney in January 2019 | Zac Arnold & Cllr Bernie O’Neill

The Forest of Dean Constituency Labour Party is excited to announce that Chris Williamson MP for Derby North, former Shadow Minister for Fire and Emergency Services and former Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government will be coming to Lydney as part of a day of action being held on Saturday 19th January 2019. TheContinue reading “Chris Williamson MP to visit Lydney in January 2019 | Zac Arnold & Cllr Bernie O’Neill”

The Tories want the Forest to fail | Zac Arnold & Cllr Di Martin

On November 5 a meeting of the Forest Economic Partnership was held at the new Gloucestershire College Campus on Cinderford’s Northern Quarter. The FEP is a coalition of councils and other organisations working cross-border in both England and Wales to build a strong economy for the region and increase regeneration. The County Council’s representative isContinue reading “The Tories want the Forest to fail | Zac Arnold & Cllr Di Martin”

No money for a Youth Worker but £491.39 for a flag | Zac Arnold

On Monday evening I attended the Lydney Town Council meeting and note with great concern that decision by the council to purchase a flag with the town council crest to fly outside the council chamber at a cost of £491.39. In a time of continued austerity, where out high street is on the brink ofContinue reading “No money for a Youth Worker but £491.39 for a flag | Zac Arnold”

They said it was a consultation not a referendum… | Zac Arnold to iNews

The full edited interview after Zac spoke to Paul Gallagher for iNews read as follows: “We’ve had two consultations from the CCG and Gloucestershire care services – the first on whether we wanted to close the two hospitals and have a new single, smaller one: 46 per cent said no, 43 per cent said yes.Continue reading “They said it was a consultation not a referendum… | Zac Arnold to iNews”

HOLD Campaign urges NHS to drop closure proposals, or face court battle | Zac Arnold

Speaking on behalf of the HOLD Campaign as Press Liaison, Zac said: The Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust will face a Judicial Review, funded and supported by the community of the Forest of Dean, when they make the decision to close Lydney and Dilke Memorial Hospitals. Or they could justContinue reading “HOLD Campaign urges NHS to drop closure proposals, or face court battle | Zac Arnold”

HOLD On The Road raises £526 for the hospital judicial review fund | Owen Adams & Zac Arnold

“Thanks everyone who came and played at the HOLD On The Road legal fundraiser last night at Westbury Hall, and thanks also to the Hall and Bar staff, as well as everyone who donated raffle prizes. We raised an impressive £526. We still need more and have less than a week to raise about £900?Continue reading “HOLD On The Road raises £526 for the hospital judicial review fund | Owen Adams & Zac Arnold”

Less than little support from Coleford for single hospital plan in Forest of Dean | Zac Arnold

“Great morning out petitioning at the Coleford Carnival of Transport. Only 2 people we stopped were for the plans to close Lydney and Dilke hospitals and replace them with a single, smaller, new facility. This is becoming a pattern now. Visit https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/holdourhospitals/ to donate and share… can we get another £60 today so we reach one-third ofContinue reading “Less than little support from Coleford for single hospital plan in Forest of Dean | Zac Arnold”

HOLD Campaign rockets towards a Judicial Review | Zac Arnold

HOLD (Hands Off Lydney and Dilke Hospitals) Community Campaign Group has now commenced proceedings towards a Judicial Review to challenge the lawfulness of the Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) decision of 25 January 2018 to close both hospitals, replacing them with a newly built single site of unspecified location. Following an initial CCG’s proposal in 2017Continue reading “HOLD Campaign rockets towards a Judicial Review | Zac Arnold”

The decision to close.. is of great concern to me as a county resident, ex NHS employee and a Councillor in Gloucester | Cllr Deborah Smith

“The decision to close two of our local Community Hospitals, Dilke and Lydney in the Forest of Dean and replace with one smaller one has recently been made by Gloucestershire Care Services and the local Clinical Commissioning Group. It is of great concern to me as a county resident, ex NHS employee and a CouncillorContinue reading “The decision to close.. is of great concern to me as a county resident, ex NHS employee and a Councillor in Gloucester | Cllr Deborah Smith”

A definitely not public consultation | Zac Arnold

On Saturday 17th February the HOLD campaign launched their series of #PetitionStorm Events in Cinderford East. Since then, the campaign has hosted two more similar sessions at Wyedean Sixth Form Centre and,  most recently,  in Lydney East on Saturday 17th March. Zac Arnold, Press Liaison for the HOLD Campaign said: “The launch of our #PetitionStormContinue reading “A definitely not public consultation | Zac Arnold”

Launch of HOLD #PetitionStorm gets 450 signatures and 9 in 10 people backing two hospitals | Zac Arnold

“Thanks to everyone who helped with our #PetitionStorm today in Cinderford. We estimate between us all going door to door, outside the Co-op and in the street, we got approximately 450 signatures (exact figure to be confirmed), 9 out of 10 people were eager to sign and many expressed how much they were against the closures andContinue reading “Launch of HOLD #PetitionStorm gets 450 signatures and 9 in 10 people backing two hospitals | Zac Arnold”

A Valentines for our Community Hospitals | Zac Arnold & Louise Penny

Supporters of the HOLD (Hands Off Lydney & Dilke hospitals) campaign have delivered Valentine’s cards to the Dilke and Lydney Hospitals on behalf of all those who do not support the proposal by the Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust and Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group to close them – 58% in the recent consultation (46% no,Continue reading “A Valentines for our Community Hospitals | Zac Arnold & Louise Penny”

Deputy Chair breaks Cinderford Council ranks to back the HOLD Campaign | Zac Arnold & Cllr Andrew Knight

Zac Arnold, HOLD press liaison, said: “It’s great to have Councillor Knight on board” Cllr Andrew Knight, Deputy Chair of Cinderford Town Council, said: “My worry is that we will lose two vital community hospitals within the Forest and ultimately lose out. For this reason, I support the HOLD campaign as reinvestment in existing hospitalsContinue reading “Deputy Chair breaks Cinderford Council ranks to back the HOLD Campaign | Zac Arnold & Cllr Andrew Knight”

It’s a cost cutting exercise, one that could easily cost lives | Cllr Jake Lewis & Zac Arnold

Zac Arnold, Press Liaison for the HOLD Campaign, said: “Another Councillor has joined our ranks of supporters. Thanks to Cllr Jake Lewis of Tidenham Parish Council for backing the HOLD Campaign. It’s important that we fight to save our much-valued and much-needed hospitals in the Forest.” Cllr Jake Lewis, Tidenham Parish Councillor, said: “It’s becomingContinue reading “It’s a cost cutting exercise, one that could easily cost lives | Cllr Jake Lewis & Zac Arnold”

HOLD announce plans for legal battle against confirmed closure of Forest Hospitals | Zac Arnold

Yesterday (Thursday 25th January 2018) the NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust held two back to back meetings in Coleford in the Forest of Dean to discuss and decide whether the proposal to close the two community hospitals in the Forest of Dean would go ahead despite the proposal receivingContinue reading “HOLD announce plans for legal battle against confirmed closure of Forest Hospitals | Zac Arnold”

I fully support HOLD… the people want to keep the Dilke and Lydney hospitals | Cllr Jackie Fraser

Forest of Dean District Councillor, Jackie Fraser, said: “I fully support the HOLD Campaign. Our two community hospitals offer excellent services and 47 beds. GCS proposes one new hospital with half the number of beds and no inkling as to what services would be provided. “With the projected new housing to be built across theContinue reading “I fully support HOLD… the people want to keep the Dilke and Lydney hospitals | Cllr Jackie Fraser”

Backlash against Cinderford Labour Council over decision to back hospital closures | Zac Arnold

On Tuesday 9th January 2018 protesters gathered in the car park of the Belle Vue Centre in Cinderford in a display of anger and upset at the decision of Cinderford Town Council to support the ‘preferred option’ of the NHS to close Lydney and District Hospital and the Dilke Memorial Hospital and replace them withContinue reading “Backlash against Cinderford Labour Council over decision to back hospital closures | Zac Arnold”

Campaigners demand that the NHS scraps plans to close hospitals | Zac Arnold & Owen Adams

On Tuesday 9th January 2018 campaigners took to the steps of Shire Hall in Gloucester to demand that NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust scrap their plans to close two community hospitals and replace them with one single, smaller, new hospital after 46% of consultation responses oppose the “preferred option”Continue reading “Campaigners demand that the NHS scraps plans to close hospitals | Zac Arnold & Owen Adams”

‘I felt elated that I’d done something’: first-time activists on a year of protest | The Guardian

In December 2017, Zac was interviewed exclusively by the Guardian about his introduction to the Labour Party, community activism and politics. The full edited interview reads: ‘Zac Arnold is 17 and studying for his A-levels. He is also part of the committee to save the Dilke and Lydney hospitals in the Forest of Dean. HeContinue reading “‘I felt elated that I’d done something’: first-time activists on a year of protest | The Guardian”

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