2023 West Berkshire Council elections: a guide to all the candidates

This article provides the names and parties of all the candidates standing in West Berkshire in the elections on 4 May 2023. The basic information was taken from this post. The candidates are arranged here alphabetically by ward and, within that, alphabetically by surname.

  • Those marked * are currently WBC councillors in that ward.
  • Those marked + are currently WBC councillors in another ward.
  • The number in brackets after the ward name shows the number of councillors that this ward will elect.

Penny Post contacted all the main parties with the same five questions and invited them to pass these on to all their candidates. The answers from all those from whom replies have been received are provided below, prefaced by their first and last initials. If any candidates who have not replied wish to do so, please email brian@pennypost.org.uk with your answers to these questions, to same kind of length as those provided below. Penny Post reserves the right to edit these if it’s felt they’re too long.

Aldermaston (1)

  • Dominic Kevin Boeck, Conservative Party *
  • Zdena Burne, Liberal Democrats
  • Phillipa Marie Heath, Labour Party
  • Matthew Thomas James Lowe, Green Party

Basildon (1)

  • Laura Rose Coyle, Liberal Democrats
  • Hazel Elizabeth Preston-Barnes, Conservative Party

Bradfield (1)

  • Richard William Gordon Bucknall, Liberal Democrats
  • Ross Mackinnon, Conservative Party *
  • Michael William Woodward, Labour Party

What are the main occupations that you’ve had, or still have?

RM: I’m a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst. For the last 16 years I have been in professional training, teaching finance and banking qualifications to trainees.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role?

RM: Acting as an interface between residents and WBC, ensuring that concerns and problems relating to council services are dealt with properly.

What would be the one thing that you’d like to be remembered for as a councillor (assuming you’re elected)?

RM: As someone who is approachable and effective at helping residents.

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the district of West Berkshire will face in the next four years?

RM: Continuing to balance the budget in the face of rising demand for social care services, adult care in particular.

Finally, imagine this is Desert Island Discs. What would be your must-have song, your book and your luxury item?

RM: Shake It Off by Taylor Swift; the largest encyclopedia I could find; a computer with Football Manager installed.

Bucklebury (1)

  • Graham Andrew Loader, Green Party
  • Chris Read, Liberal Democrats
  • Georgina Lilias Cheyne Woods, Conservative Party

What are the main occupations that you’ve had, or still have?

GL: Director of a small IT company, and also run a youth football club – this is voluntary but still a big job.
CR: Programme Manager in financial services.
GW: I worked in costumes for theatre and film and now do commission-based work. I am also a school governor and volunteer for the Mary Hare Foundation and Homestart.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role?

GL:To make the council open and accessible to those the councillor represents and truly listen, and respond, to concerns.
CR: Ensuring that all obligations to any local council tax payer are met by the Council and any residents’ concerns are addressed in a timely and fair manner.
GW: Supporting my ward by making sure that residents’ voices are heard and that council resources support the ward as much as possible.

What would be the one thing that you’d like to be remembered for as a councillor (assuming you’re elected)?

GL:A councillor who helped undo the damage caused by the previous administration and helped prevent the planned destruction of the environment.
CR: Maintaining the unique rural character of all the villages and hamlets in Bucklebury ward.
GW: Getting things done

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the district of West Berkshire will face in the next four years?

GL:Managing the outcome of the local plan, which in the current form would result in huge swathes of lost countryside, gridlocked roads, pollution, and stretched local services. Better use will need to be made of the limited budget to prevent a continuation of cuts to public services.
CR: The financial challenge of providing good quality services due to significant under-investment by previous administrations (road condition, healthcare, social care, education, environmental protection, access to public transport).
GW: Education and early years.

Finally, imagine this is Desert Island Discs. What would be your must-have song, your book and your luxury item?

GL: For Tomorrow by Blur; A good guide to the night sky; my cross bike.
CR: Vienna by Ultravox; Where to Go for Wildlife in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxon by the Bucks, Berks and Oxon Wildlife Trust; a solar powered radio.
GW: Shotgun by George Ezra; Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy; an unlimited supply of butter.

Burghfield & Mortimer (3)

  • Graham Henry Bridgman, Conservative Party *
  • Nick Carter, Liberal Democrats
  • Peter John McDonald Gower, Green Party
  • Dave Kilshaw, Conservative Party
  • Amanda Jane Mackinnon, Conservative Party
  • Geoffrey Brian Mayes, Liberal Democrats *
  • Vicky Poole, Liberal Democrats
  • Christian James Brook Savill, Labour Party
  • Sarah Elizabeth Timms, Labour Party

What are the main occupations that you’ve had, or still have?

GB: Solicitor.
NC: Originally a software engineer and later a telecoms Product Marketing Manager. Volunteer work includes founder member of Mortimer Music Live, being a Mortimer parish councillor, presenter at Kennet Radio and ATLANTIS, DJ on Radio Caroline in the ’80s and occasional stand up comedian and compère.
DK: Technical Support Director.
AM: Management accountant, secondary maths teacher and accountancy tutor.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role?

GB: Representing constituents and putting them in touch with the right person at the council to (hopefully) deal with their particular issue.
NC: Signposting parishioners to relevant information, listening to and acting on their issues and being open about what we are doing and, if applicable, what we cannot deliver. Collaborating, embracing technology and working creatively across departments to drive real change and service improvements.
DK: Listening to local residents and presenting these views to the council. Making interfacing with WBC easier by joining the right person within WBC to the resident with an issue.
AM: Being a reliable point of contact for the community to hear and help resolve their day-to-day issues.

What would be the one thing that you’d like to be remembered for as a councillor (assuming you’re elected)?

GB: Delivering the council’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy and reducing health inequalities.
NC: Overcoming obstacles to deliver measurable service improvement or address issue(s) that others had not.
DK: Getting Burghfield and Mortimer on the council radar. We are  a long away from Newbury and feel we are never listened to due to distance.
AM: Being a kind and approachable councillor who has helped the local community.

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the district of West Berkshire will face in the next four years?

GB: Pressure on social care given our ageing demographic.
NC: Getting West Berkshire back on track to become carbon neutral by 2030.
DK: Managing services to an acceptable standard on ever decreasing funding from central government.
AM: Making sure everyone feels heard and supported.

Finally, imagine this is Desert Island Discs. What would be your must-have song, your book and your luxury item?

GB: Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield; The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien; a bean-to-cup coffee machine and an unlimited supply of roasted espresso coffee beans, water and milk.
DK: Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd: a good technical manual; an endless supply of coffee.
NC: Bad Memories by MEDUZA & James Carter; Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell; suitable kit to continue doing my radio shows.
AM: Summer of ’69 by Bryan Adams; any Agatha Christie murder mystery that I haven’t yet read; a comfortable sunlounger.

Chieveley & Cold Ash (2)

  • Heather Carol Codling, Liberal Democrats
  • Paul Gerard Dick, Conservative Party
  • Jill Hoblin, Green Party
  • Tom Mccann, Liberal Democrats
  • Pip Witheridge, Conservative Party

What are the main occupations that you’ve had, or still have?

HC: Currently running a business offering virtual office services and bookkeeping.
PD: I was a teacher since 1977 and was also Headteacher of Kennet School from 1989: it’s still an outstanding school. I also steered another local secondary school and a number of local primary  to success. I’m also involved in community safety and am currently working in a range of charities, including current chair of Reading YMCA. I’m a Senior County football referee and Chairman of Newbury and District Sunday League.
JH: I currently work in product management for a global US telecoms company based in Reading and run a small diverse team that manage the lifecycle of our Collaboration portfolio. I’ve also worked in retail management for a large supermarket and been a buyer, for both a household brand toy manufacturer and a famous perfume company.
PW: Director of Global Cyber Security company. Previously worked with Top4 Global Consulting firm and in the British Army.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role?

HC: The ability to listen to residents, be as responsive as possible, getting things done.
PD: The most important role is responding to the needs and aspirations of those who live in the ward, while contributing to the overall success of every aspect of the West Berkshire community.
JH: I believe that to represent your local constituency properl, you must reside in it, but more importantly have the ability to listen to your constituents’ views. I think you also need to be visible and approachable, reliable, empathetic and determined – always ensuring the best local representation of the community.
PW: “Serve to Lead” – the motto of the British Army training school.

What would be the one thing that you’d like to be remembered for as a councillor (assuming you’re elected)?

HC: Someone who was there for residents.
PD: Making a positive difference, always.
JH: Making a difference.
PW: Doing a good job – listening to the electorate and using my position to ensure their needs are met.

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the district of West Berkshire will face in the next four years?

HC: Making the income cover all the services we need and would like to provide.
PD: Delivering the ambitious plan for the next four years of development.
JH: Ensuring that local communities have access to the services they need whilst we are in the midst of budget cuts and a cost of living crisis. West Berkshire Council must learn to do more with less and focus on the things that will really make a difference to local people.
PW: Balancing the needs of the residents of West Berkshire within the constraints and resulting pressures we will have in the face of local, national and global factors.

Finally, imagine this is Desert Island Discs. What would be your must-have song, your book and your luxury item?

HC: Mr Blue Sky by ELO; The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien: a solar-powered tooth brush.
PD: Nessun Dorma by Puccini; a Thomas Hardy anthology; access to Radio Four.
JH:  Dancing in the Moonlight by Toplpader; To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; a hammock.
PW: Rocking All Over the World by Status Quo; 100 Speeches that Changed the World by Colin Salter; talcum powder.

Downlands (1)

  • John Andrew Boyd, Liberal Democrats
  • Jane Anne Gartshore, Green Party
  • Clive Hooker, Conservative Party *
  • Ian Mckay, Labour Party

What are the main occupations that you’ve had, or still have?

JB: Teacher at Mary Hare School.
CH: I’m retired. Previous occupations included engineering design (nuclear), project management and business development in nuclear decommissioning business.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role?

JB: To serve the people of the ward in a way that truly reflects their needs and benefits the community as a whole.
CH: Representing the residents of and their parish councils and endeavouring to facilitate and deliver the best service and support possible within the framework of West Berkshire Council’s service provision.

What would be the one thing that you’d like to be remembered for as a councillor (assuming you’re elected)?

JB: For being compassionate and caring towards others, caring about the planet and supporting the less fortunate as these were the basic values I lived by whilst conducting my duties to the best of my ability.
CH:For my total commitment and the delivery of the best possible achievable service to my residents.

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the district of West Berkshire will face in the next four years?

JB: To improve the services that have been decimated over the last 18 years whilst rebuilding the trust of the people in our local government during financially difficult times.
CH: The delivery of housing suitable for all ages across the district and the provision of excellent care accommodation for our residents in need.

Finally, imagine this is Desert Island Discs. What would be your must-have song, your book and your luxury item?

JB: Heaven by Emily Sandé; Animal Farm by George Orwell; A Nikon Z9 camera.
CH: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Eric Idle; The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame; fishing rod and line.

Hungerford & Kintbury (3)

  • Dennis Charles Benneyworth, Conservative Party *
  • Denise Anne Gaines, Liberal Democrats
  • Ben Podger, Conservative Party
  • Julian Mark Swift-Hook, Liberal Democrats
  • Peter David Tompkins, Conservative Party
  • Tony Vickers, Liberal Democrats +
  • Trish Whitham, Green Party

What are the main occupations that you’ve had, or still have?

DB: Jockey; and now shipping horses and escorting them on aircraft throughout the world.
DG: Women’s Royal Navy; information technology, mainly accountancy and supporting and training on software.
BP: My full time employment is the manager of Great Grooms Antiques Centre in Hungerford. I also work part-time at a farm with around 2000 sheep and 60 cattle.
JS-H: The steel industry; the mobile communications industry; the broadcasting industry; Director of Greenham Trust; Director/Chair of Trustees of West Berkshire Mencap.
PT: Architect.
TV: Graduate builder for a homebuilder; military survey officer; and managing a research charity and lecturing on aspects of geodata in land and property tax administration.
TW: Technology marketing roles in commercial organisations; communications, fundraising and event management for non-profit organisations.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role?

DB: Helping residents and supporting their respective town/parish councils.
DG: Be present, be proactive, be interested, be representative. These actions in all aspects and activities within the ward not just the council business. Speaking up and ensure that our local voice is heard.
BP: As a conduit between the Council and residents  and businesses of my ward together with the Hungerford Town Council and Town of Manor, and to promote my ward within WBC, ensuring it gets fair representation and funding.
JS-H: To represent constituents first and foremost.
PT:  Representing interests of local people and businesses by ensuring the council functions effectively, is responsive to their needs and capitalises on the opportunities that the council has as a democratic institution.
TV: Representing constituents’ views to the Council and explaining the actions of the Council and its partners to constituents
TW: Knowing what’s happening in all areas of your ward and representing the needs and concerns of all sections of your ward effectively.

What would be the one thing that you’d like to be remembered for as a councillor (assuming you’re elected)?

DB: Being an approachable and effective councillor.
DG: Making a difference. Ensuring our local voice is heard. Our ward, which is unique, and the largest within West Berkshire, has to be considered equally  in all matters along with Newbury and Thatcham. We have challenges as a mainly rural area so we must ensure we are heard. That is the ward councillor’s job.
BP: Supporting my ward and having done a good job.
JS-H: Having made worthwhile improvements in the lives of those living in the ward, and in West Berkshire more widely.
PT: Improving housing.
TV: My character: hard work, honesty and integrity.
TW: S
uccessful collaborations

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the district of West Berkshire will face in the next four years?

DB: With an aging demographic in West Berks it has to be the ever increasing budget pressure of adult social care.
DG: Adult social care – not just the budget constraints, which are a very real concern but the lack of resources in both buildings and people. We also need to do everything possible within our power to encouraging people into these caring professions. Trying to do more locally to achieve this and also lobby government for additional funding.
BP: The funding crisis in adult social care due to the withdrawal of the increase of National Insurance contributions which was intended to fund this shortfall.
JS-H: So many issues…but if I am to choose one, it would be looking after our most vulnerable residents properly.
PT:  The affordability, quality and  sustainability of housing – invest in this and we will improve wellbeing across the board and free up resources for all the other pressing issues.
TV: Tackling the climate change emergency resolutely but fairly without increasing the cost of living crisis for the most vulnerable households and communities
TW: Access to essential services.

Finally, imagine this is Desert Island Discs. What would be your must-have song, your book and your luxury item?

DB: Ain’t No Man by Dina Carroll; The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman; a saxophone.
DG: Anything by Shania Twain; Paradise Lost by John Milton; manual sewing machine and material.
BP: Forever After All by Luke Combs; The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien; my parrot Mango.
JS-H: Supper’s Ready by Genesis; The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien; an exercise bike.
PT: Best of by Radiohead [you’re going to to have to pick just one song from the album – Ed]; Complete works of Shakespeare; paper and pencil to design the instruments of my survival and escape.
TV: Imagine by John Lennon; On Gallows Down by Nicola Chester; everything I need for a long walk in all weathers.
TW: People have the Power by Patti Smith;: The Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture by Rosemary Morrow; a comfortable hammock.

Please also see this separate post in which these seven candidates for Hungerford & Kintbury are asked some more searching questions…

Lambourn (1)

  • Susan Millington, Green Party
  • Diana Jean Pattenden, Liberal Democrats
  • Howard Robert Woollaston, Conservative Party *

What are the main occupations that you’ve had, or still have?

DP: I am a practising sculptor and art teacher, teaching adults in my studio and pupils in a local school, the Chair of Open Studios West Berks & North Hants and the Chair of City Arts Newbury. I have also held posts at Vodafone and in publishing.
SM: I have been involved with caring for the land in an organic way for most of my working life. Training in ecology and agricultural engineering led to a career in organic farming research.  I’ve also worked as a Shiatsu practitioner and now I’m an organic gardener. I am coordinator of Newbury Friends of the Earth,and run the Lockdown Woods covid memorial tree planting project.
HW: I was with Knight Frank, the international property consultants, for 39 years, 32 as a Partner. I was on the commercial property side in the UK, for the last 14 years running KF’s asset managements. I am a chartered surveyor, albeit on the retired list now. The last four years on the Executive of West Berkshire Council has also been a full-time job.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role?

DP: To stand up for local people.
SM: To represent local people’s concerns and needs within the council, getting things done! Plus helping residents to improve the local environment for all our health and wellbeing.
HW: Without question, supporting the community that you represent. My caseload over the last four years has included planning issues, neighbour disputes, speeding, housing problems, sewage, refuse collection and a myriad more. It is so rewarding when you can resolve these by knowing who to contact.

What would be the one thing that you’d like to be remembered for as a councillor (assuming you’re elected)?

DP: As someone approachable and effective.
SM: As a hard working, caring councillor, who got things done.
HW: As a hard working councillor who cascades down information through my newsletters and gets things done.

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the district of West Berkshire will face in the next four years?

DP: It’s not just one thing but a cohesive attention to all the needs of the local people including affordable housing, equal opportunities, physical and mental health needs, care for the elderly and fair pay for teachers and other key workers.
SM: All councils are having to deal with increasing demands at a time of ongoing reducing support from central Government.  So access to essential services will be the greatest challenge.
HW: It’s all down to money by retaining and expanding services to residents whilst constraining council tax increases. Adult and children’s social care takes up nearly 60% of West Berkshire’s c£160m budget and it is a problem that is only going to get worse.

Finally, imagine this is Desert Island Discs. What would be your must-have song, your book and your luxury item?

DP: There Must be an Angel by The Eurythmics; Persuasion by Jane Austen; clay and a kiln.
SM: Us Amazonians by Kirsty McColl; Gene Reeves’ translation of The Lotus Sutra; a china mug with an endless supply of jasmine green tea.
HW: The Planets by Gustav Holst; The Wolf Hall trilogy by Hilary Mantel; an endless supply of good claret with a corkscrew and glass.

Newbury Central (2)

  • Martin Eric Colston, Liberal Democrats
  • Sean Doherty, Conservative Party
  • JC Jardim, Conservative Party
  • Bobby Pop, Green Party
  • Louise Elizabeth Sturgess, Liberal Democrats

What are the main occupations that you’ve had, or still have?

MC: Self-employed market research and strategy consultant (since 2014).
SD:Working for BP then my own consultancy business.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role?

MC: To use influence to ensure decisions of the council are fair, and take into account the needs of the most vulnerable and of the environment.
SD: To represent residents. To work hard, be honest and trustworthy.

What would be the one thing that you’d like to be remembered for as a councillor (assuming you’re elected)?

MC: My approach to the role of councillor: being committed, candid and behaving with integrity.
SD: That I did a great job for the residents of Newbury Central and West Berkshire.

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the district of West Berkshire will face in the next four years?

MC: Being able to improve services and reduce our carbon footprint in the face of high inflation.
SD: Adult social care. We have an ageing population that demands care, support and assistance. I really want to continue in helping the elderly, lonely and vulnerable in our district as I did as a parish councillor.

Finally, imagine this is Desert Island Discs. What would be your must-have song, your book and your luxury item?

MC: Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen; Book; The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck; my bicycle so I can keep fit and explore.
SD: Back to black by AC/DC; One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich; a machete.

Newbury Clay Hill (2)

  • Richard John Almond, Conservative Party
  • Jeanette Clifford, Conservative Party
  • Nigel Peter Foot, Liberal Democrats
  • John Peter Gotelee, Independent
  • Stuart William Gourley, Liberal Democrats
  • David John McMahon, Heritage Party
  • Karen Margaret Swaffield, Green Party

What are the main occupations that you’ve had, or still have?

PB: Currently running a safety advisory business (part time). I previously worked in a nuclear research establishment.
JC: After many happy years in the rail industry I retrained as a teacher (mainly of business subjects). I worked for seven years with The Makaton Charity which supports people with communication challenges and now am a volunteer teacher with a refugee charity, a parish councillor, and a member governor at St Bart’s School.
NF: Retired specialist dentist.
JG: I worked for the old DHSS as a benefits clerk and visiting officer. I have also been an IFA specialising in Mortgages and I am now a hypnotherapist.
SG: Currently I’m a Logistics Director for a medical device company. Prior to that, I have held Operational Project Manager roles focusing on customer services, warehouse and distribution activities.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role?

PB: Being accessible to the electorate 24/7/365 and being prepared to listen and take up constituents’ issues. It’s also important to be transparent on all matters related to being a councillor.
JC: Standing up for and helping the people who elected you, keeping your promises and never losing sight of the long-term future of the district, not just the next four years.
NF: To engage with our local communities to improve their locality and quality of life. This means caring for and enhancing the environment and infrastructure; providing and improving dwellings with a special emphasis on affordable housing; helping local people in all aspects of caring for their neighbourhoods and for their fellow residents.
JG: Looking after the living environment and any resident who needs help.
SG: To be there for all of your ward residents, being available, and doing all you can to represent them.

What would be the one thing that you’d like to be remembered for as a councillor (assuming you’re elected)?

PB: As a councillor who’s attended as many meetings as possible and as one who worked for all the electorate, not just the privileged few.
JC: For being open to new ideas and making innovative, informed decisions. When I was transport lead at West Berkshire, this approach helped West Berkshire establish itself as a leader in in providing infrastructure for electric vehicles and other environmental measures.
NF: Helping to improve the planning system so that affordable dwellings can be provided in a sustainable way, improving infrastructure and travel within the district.
JG: For making people happy, or at least smile.
SG: Solving problems for my ward residents, and helping to deliver real change for residents of my ward, and West Berkshire, and making a difference, big or small.

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the district of West Berkshire will face in the next four years?

PB: I suspect that the budget will be be far less that what will be needed to achieve all the aims and aspirations of the incoming administration.
JC: Finding the balance that’s right for West Berkshire. We need to sustain our strong local economy, provide great services AND protect everything that is lovely about the district. It’s not easy and takes courage – investment too – but our manifesto shows how it can be done.
NF: So many it is hard to choose…if I had to choose just one, it would be delivering services, housing and infrastructure in a very tough economic environment. However, climate change is also ever-present and overarching.
JG: Adult social care will always be a challenge with an aging problem but in the next four years I think the LRIE. Millions has been wasted so far with no one seeming to understand the complexities regarding common Drainage law. Third-party land is needed to store surface run-off water and this will involve buying land downstream. It doesn’t mean its not viable. It just needs the right planning and infrastructure which is sadly missing from previous council plans.
SG: The cost-of-living crisis and climate change and the negative effects both will have on residents.

Finally, imagine this is Desert Island Discs. What would be your must-have song, your book and your luxury item?

PB: Any ABBA song; I Walker the Perimeter by West Berkshire Council’s officers; a traction engine.
JC: Nutbush City Limits by Ike and Tina Turner; A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel; my electric bike (which works even if you won’t let me have a solar charger for it).
NF: Im Abendrot by Richard Strauss by Jesse Norman with Kurt Masur conducting the Gwendhausorchester of Leipzig; The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams; a solar powered, top quality sound system.
JG: Elected by Alice Cooper. Book The Beano Annual; A chocolate-making machine with an endless supply of ingredients;
SG: One Day Like This by Elbow; Project Rainbow – How British Cycling Reached the Top of the World by Rod Ellingworth; my bike.

Newbury Greenham (3)

  • James Andrew Anfield, Reform UK
  • Phil Barnett, Liberal Democrats *
  • Joseph Alvin Clarke, Conservative Party
  • Billy Drummond, Liberal Democrats *
  • Sarah James, Conservative Party
  • Erik Pattenden, Liberal Democrats *
  • Gary Puffett, Labour Party
  • Linda Elizabeth Verner, Conservative Party
  • Michael John Wakelyn-Green, Green Party

What are the main occupations that you’ve had, or still have?

JC: In addition to being the Conservative Agent at the local elections, I also work for our Local MP, Laura Farris where I get to do my favourite thing which is help local residents. Prior to that I worked for a national cancer charity directly supporting patients and their families
BD: Chef followed by running an outdoor catering business.
EP: IT consultant and business owner.
MWG: I’m starting a new role with NHS talking therapies soon, however my most recent role was as a charity sector, Alcohol & Drug Treatment practitioner based in Newbury for West Berks. I liaised with many local services, for the best outcome of my clients.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role?

JC: Listening to local residents and ensuring that their voices are heard at West Berkshire Council. It is all about staying focussed on who our real bosses are (the people who elect us).
BD: To be accessible to everyone, whether they voted for me or not. Also to be seen in my ward and to get as much done for the local community.
EP: Engaging with constituents, representing the views of local people in decision-making that affects them and ensuring the services provided by West Berkshire meet the needs of all residents.
MWG: Being accessible, honest and accountable with the people I’d represent. Although I won’t be able to help with every single issue, it would be my duty to find out who could help. My previous work will be a big asset to this end.

What would be the one thing that you’d like to be remembered for as a councillor (assuming you’re elected)?

JC: Having helped make a difference in local residents lives by ensuring that we continue to provide high quality services with value for money in mind.
BD: I will not be remembered for public speaking, but will be remembered for getting many things done in the Greenham ward.
EP: As someone who worked hard for the benefit of all constituents and residents of West Berkshire, particularly the vulnerable.
MWG: For being “tough on the causes of crime” by championing smart, evidence-based community-orientated policy: also for my strong advocacy for more robust and interconnected preventative public health services.

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the district of West Berkshire will face in the next four years?

JC: Adult social care remains the biggest challenge that we face. Making sure that the districts’ vulnerable residents are empowered to live independent lives whether in a care home or receiving care at home is a moral duty. It’s not something that can be done cheap; since it’s a huge chunk of WBC budget, we have to work to make sure that we have high quality services available for those who need it and that represent value for money.
BD: The state of the finances that we will inherit.
EP: Improving and maintaining services to residents in the face of the cost of living crisis, and reducing funding from central government.
MWG: Housing and infrastructure.

Finally, imagine this is Desert Island Discs. What would be your must-have song, your book and your luxury item?

JC: Spice of Life by Manhattan Transfer; One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez; a bottle of Jicky Extrait by Guerlain.
BD: The Pearl Fishers by Georges Bizet; Herring’s Dictionary of Classical and Modern Cookery; an unlimited supply of cling film.
EP: Wierd Fishes/Arpeggi by Radiohead; An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris; bean-to-cup coffee machine with an endless supply of decaf beans.
MWG: Space Man by Sam Ryder; a massive encyclopaedia; a frisbee.

Newbury Speen (2)

  • Antony Madalairaj Amirtharaj, Liberal Democrats
  • Lynne Doherty, Conservative Party *
  • David Andrew Dudman, Conservative Party
  • Jose Miguel Vieira Ferreira, Reform UK
  • Steve Masters, Green Party *
  • Martha Vickers, Liberal Democrats

What are the main occupations that you’ve had, or still have?

LD: Post-children, I’ve worked in the charity sector and am currently Director of Social Care for SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity.  Prior to this I had a career in business development and marketing for O2, Rank Hovis and Castrol.
DD: Recently retired after nearly 30 years as an RAF pilot.
SM: Aircraft engineer with the RAF, internet start-up investor (Cycling.tv), climate activist, community organiser and carer.
MV: My main occupation was Health Visiting. I trained as a registered nurse, then qualified as a midwife. Later I trained as a Health Visitor, working with young families.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role?

LD: To represent the residents who have elected them and deliver on the promises that you made that gained their confidence in the first place.
DD: Actively listening to residents, gathering the facts and seeking a way forward to address their issues.
SM: Being fully embedded in the local community. I meet, support and listen to dozens of my residents every week. I’m at my most comfortable in this role.
MV: I think the most important aspect is to be aware of the problems and concerns of the residents in my Ward and if possible help to resolve them. I will need to communicate with them regularly in order to do this.

What would be the one thing that you’d like to be remembered for as a councillor (assuming you’re elected)?

LD: Working hard in the best interests of my community.
DD: As someone who listened and did.
SM: As someone who made a positive impact, lightened the load or gave people a hand up rather than punching them down.
MV: I would like to be remembered as someone who tried to assist the vulnerable and the young.

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the district of West Berkshire will face in the next four years?

LD: Housing, having homes for all at all stages of life.
DD: Making sure that the infrastructure is in place to support the additional homes that will come to West Berkshire.
SM: 
Central government funding: the gutting of local government funding has been devastating and impacted the lives of those least able to withstand them. This must be reversed.
MV: I think the Council’s greatest challenge is keeping on track as regards reducing its carbon footprint. We need much more practical action, leading by example and facilitating change in the wider community.

Finally, imagine this is Desert Island Discs. What would be your must-have song, your book and your luxury item?

LD: The Winner Takes It All by ABBA; The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough; moisturiser.
DD: Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin; Chickenhawk by Robert Mason; a radio.
SM: 
If You Tolerate this then Your Children Will Be Next by the Manic Street Preachers; To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; a telescope.
MV: The Fool on the Hill by The Beatles; The Blind Assassin by Margaret Attwood; plenty of paper and pencils with a sharpner.

Newbury Wash Common (3)

  • Adrian Neil Abbs, Liberal Democrats *
  • Patrick James Clark, Liberal Democrats
  • James Jeffrey Leighton Davies, Conservative Party
  • Clive Hunt, Conservative Party
  • Simon James Kirby, Independent
  • David Ralph Marsh, Green Party *
  • Vaughan John Miller, Liberal Democrats
  • Andrea Louise Stephenson, Conservative Party

What are the main occupations that you’ve had, or still have?

AA: Managing Director of several companies, the main one being an IT services business whose HQ is in Newbury.
SK: I started my career as a physicist for the Atomic Weapons Establishment, did a few other bits and bobs, and finished off at the Canal & River Trust as an operations manager on the Kennet & Avon Canal.
DM: I’m a retired journalist. I spent 10 years on local newspapers, 10 years at The Independent, The South China Morning Post and The Financial Times, and finally 20 years as a senior editor at The Guardian. I am also the author of For Who the Bell Tolls: One Man’s Quest for Grammatical Perfection.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role?

AA: Being visible to and representing the people of the ward with what’s important to them.
SK: Providing oversight for public services.
DM: For me, the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role is representing the residents of my ward, and campaigning to protect and enhance the environment both in the ward and more widely across West Berkshire.

What would be the one thing that you’d like to be remembered for as a councillor (assuming you’re elected)?

AA: Helping solve the conundrum between environment and costs by deploying a philosophy of Saving The Environment And Money (STREAM). Being known for ensuring West Berkshire got on top of the generation of clean energy and using the money it generates to pay for the harder to tackle and costly decarbonisation we will need to do. If I can’t do that then helping solve the issues associated with pick time outside schools including safety and pollution.
SK: For me, the councillors that come to mind I remember for their arrogance, so I’d be happy to do a good job unobtrusively and fade from memory.
DM: As a hard-working councillor who fought for safer roads, cleaner air and water, and increased biodiversity in Wash Common and beyond.

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the district of West Berkshire will face in the next four years?

AA: Funding services is our biggest challenge, especially funding the right levels of adult social care and education locally.
SK: Finding decent affordable housing is already a near impossibility for the younger generation and it’s going to be a struggle convincing decision-makers who already have one or more comfortable homes of their own to make house-building easier.
DM: Providing the services rightly expected by council-tax payers when successive governments continue to starve local councils of funding.

Finally, imagine this is Desert Island Discs. What would be your must-have song, your book and your luxury item?

AA: What a Wonderful World by “Iz” (Israel kamakawiwoʻole); The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams; My Nespresso coffee machine with lots of capsules.
SK: Nursery Cryme by Genesis; The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame; wood-working tools.
DM: Turn! Turn! Turn! by The Byrds;  The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald; my dog, Lupin? If not, my son’s cuddly dog toy, Laika.

Pangbourne (1)

  • Mark Johnathan Farrington, Labour Party
  • Tim Hall, Green Party
  • Michael Raymond Male, Conservative Party
  • Matthew James Shakespeare, Liberal Democrats

Ridgeway (1)

  • Carolyne Lindsey Culver, Green Party *
  • Edward Richard Iliffe, Conservative Party
  • Pam Lusby Taylor, Liberal Democrats

What are the main occupations that you’ve had, or still have?

CC: Being an elected councillor is my main occupation. I believe that if you’re going to be elected you need to do the role diligently. I also do some consultancy. At the moment I’m helping to organise an event for financiers about nature-based solutions to climate change. I’ve worked in PR for many years. I’ve also been a journalist, an A level teacher and university associate lecturer.
EI: Chartered Surveyor. I’ve also run small and large businesses ranging from, farming, news organisations and more recently brewing.  I also did a brief stint as Sub Postmaster to ensure the PO’s future whilst a new operator was found.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role?

CC: Visibility. This includes answering phone calls and emails. Actively getting involved in community groups – not waiting for someone to tell you what to do. Attending parish council meetings. Delivering a regular newsletter. Writing for local community magazines. There’s no point being elected and then disappearing for four years.
EI: To be empathetic, to listen and apply common sense and to be available.

What would be the one thing that you’d like to be remembered for as a councillor (assuming you’re elected)?

CC: 100 per-cent commitment.
EI: Commitment and the ability things to get done.

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the district of West Berkshire will face in the next four years?

CC: Providing excellent services to the public while under the cosh of government cuts.
EI: To achieve efficiencies to provide better value to the taxpayer. Housing is probably the single biggest issue.

Finally, imagine this is Desert Island Discs. What would be your must-have song, your book and your luxury item?

CC: Halcyon by Orbital; Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome; an inexhaustible lighter so I could light fires and keep warm.
EI: Sound of Silence by Disturbed; Access to the British Library Newspaper archive; an iPad to view this on.

Thatcham Central (2)

  • Mike Brook, Labour Party
  • Estella Jasmine Rose Collins, Green Party
  • Iain David Cottingham, Liberal Democrats
  • Richard John Crumly, Conservative Party
  • Iain Anthony David Murphy, Conservative Party
  • Stephanie Diane Steevenson, Liberal Democrats

What are the main occupations that you’ve had, or still have?

SS: Secretarial and office admin, short-service commission in the Army, followed by 21 years teaching (now retired) in mainstream Secondary and in Special Educational Needs.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role?

SS: To be in touch with the people they represent and to do the best for them.

What would be the one thing that you’d like to be remembered for as a councillor (assuming you’re elected)?

SS: Being caring, responsive, and responsible.

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the district of West Berkshire will face in the next four years?

SS: Not being able to control the outside factors which buffet local government.

Finally, imagine this is Desert Island Discs. What would be your must-have song, your book and your luxury item?

SS: Moon River by Andy Williams; The History of the World, edited by Esmond Wright; a never-ending supply of marmalade.

Thatcham Colthrop & Crookham (1)

  • Steve Ardagh-Walter, Conservative Party *
  • Owen Edward Jeffery, Liberal Democrats +

What are the main occupations that you’ve had, or still have?

SA-W: Currently an IT consultant.  Previously, sales and marketing in the IT and telecoms industries and an army officer.
OJ: Sales Manager in Data Communications industry; then ran my own sole trader business creating qualified sales appointments for 15 years;  then 10 years as a gas/electricity meter reader. Now retired. I was also Chairman of The Cot Death Society charity for several years. President, Junior Rates Mess, London Division RNR, 1981-82.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role?

SA-W: Acting as a representative and advocate for the local community into council decisions.  As part of this, helping resolve issues and problems affecting residents, keeping the community updated regarded council decisions and initiatives which affect them.
OJ: Striking the fine balance between making the right decisions for West Berkshire and properly representing the specific needs in your ward and of those needing help.

What would be the one thing that you’d like to be remembered for as a councillor (assuming you’re elected)?

SA-W: Being an effective and reliable ward member.
OJ: Making Thatcham on both sides of the railway genuinely integrated; and a purpose-designed, purpose-built, brand new Kennet School for Thatcham’s youngsters.

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the district of West Berkshire will face in the next four years?

SA-W: High housing costs, in particular for young people and many key workers.
OJ: Government underfunding of all our services but especially of adult social care.

Finally, imagine this is Desert Island Discs. What would be your must-have song, your book and your luxury item?

SA-W: Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival; Reamde by Neal Stephenson; a coffee maker.
OJ: Hearts of Oak by the band of His Majesty’s Royal Marines; Professor Nevil Coghill’s translation of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales; a fabulous, accurate, massively large scale, multi volume world atlas of both land and sea for me to sink into and at last to really understand.

Thatcham North East (2)

  • Simon Matthew Carr, Conservative Party
  • Jeremy Richard Cottam, Liberal Democrats *
  • Lee Raymond James Dillon, Liberal Democrats *
  • Kath Hodgson, Green Party
  • Dominic John Parry, Conservative Party

Thatcham West (2)

  • Sarah Anne Berrington, Labour Party
  • Jeff Brooks, Liberal Democrats *
  • Jason Paul Collis, Conservative Party
  • Nick East, Labour Party
  • Gary Edward Johnson, UK Independence Party
  • Elizabeth Jane Parsloe, Green Party
  • Jonathan Charles Pearson, Conservative Party
  • Justin Alexander Pemberton, Liberal Democrats

What are the main occupations that you’ve had, or still have?

JB: IT in the 1970s and early ’80s; recruitment since then, building up businesses and selling them and advising over 150 recruitment companies in the last 18 years; now a local businessman.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role?

JB:Listening to people and their needs and frustrations and challenging old practises and entrenched behaviour at the Council.

What would be the one thing that you’d like to be remembered for as a councillor (assuming you’re elected)?

JB: Getting things done – including money for Newbury Library in 1998, Thatcham Swimming Pool and changing people’s lives as part of the Adoption Panel.

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the district of West Berkshire will face in the next four years?

JB: Changing thinking – being more ambitious to do well and a little less risk averse. The staff and management have been ground down by years of financial pressures and we need to look at doing things differently.

Finally, imagine this is Desert Island Discs. What would be your must-have song, your book and your luxury item?

JB: Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin; anything by Charles Dickens; a never-ending bottle of wine.

Theale (1)

  • Suzie Ferguson, Labour Party
  • Alan Michael Macro, Liberal Democrats *
  • Thomas Alexander Parkhill, Conservative Party

What are the main occupations that you’ve had, or still have?

AM: I am now retired. I spent my working life working as a software engineer, then project leader and finally senior manager for computer hardware and software companies.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role?

AM: To represent the residents in the ward and to work to get the best for them

What would be the one thing that you’d like to be remembered for as a councillor (assuming you’re elected)?

AM: Doing my best for Theale.

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the district of West Berkshire will face in the next four years?

SS: The constraints on finance and the council achieving net zero by 2030.

Finally, imagine this is Desert Island Discs. What would be your must-have song, your book and your luxury item?

SS: Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty; Britannica Concise Encyclopaedia; a pair of binoculars to view the wildlife.

Tilehurst & Purley (3)

  • Simon Billows, Liberal Democrats
  • Paul Christopher Stephen Kander, Conservative Party
  • Jane Monica Langford, Conservative Party
  • Janine Lewis, Liberal Democrats
  • Thomas Joseph Marino, Conservative Party *
  • Gary Arthur Norman, Liberal Democrats
  • Jacqueline Paynter, Green Party
  • James Christopher Warren, Labour Party

What are the main occupations that you’ve had, or still have?

PK: I am currently a Customer Team Head for Nokia, based in Theale, looking after Virgin Media/o2 as a customer.  I have been in general management, sales management, and engineering for my entire career for many blue chip UK and international companies.
JW: I previously worked as a lecturer at the University of Reading in Politics and International Relations, specifically Russian Government and Politics. I have been a volunteer for Versus Arthritis for a number of years taking on a variety of roles and I’m also involved in the music industry.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role?

PK: To credibly and honestly represent the residents who would have elected them, carry out due diligence on council business and ensure the best services and value for money are delivered.
JW: Acting as conduit for the people of West Berkshire – working in their interests and reflecting their views. Working with other councillors while staying committed to my personal beliefs.

What would be the one thing that you’d like to be remembered for as a councillor (assuming you’re elected)?

PK: Listening and acting on issues.  The role of a councillor is wide and varied and has the potential to create a benefit for many if not all West Berkshire constituents, so also making sure that the responsibility is taken seriously.
JW: As someone who was open and who listened, making a difference to the lives of those who need it most and whose voices are often unheard.

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the district of West Berkshire will face in the next four years?

PK: Housing and education. Housing needs to be made available and affordable, whilst also ensuring that the infrastructure is there to support developments.  Education because the speed of progress means that all sorts of education both academic and technical/practical need to keep pace.
JW: The rising cost of adult social care. This already accounts for a large proportion of council finances and it is only set to increase.

Finally, imagine this is Desert Island Discs. What would be your must-have song, your book and your luxury item?

PK: Ain’t No Stopping Us by MacFadden and Whitehead; A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens; shower gel.
JW:  Pearl’s Girl by Underworld; Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell; plenty of Twinings Assam Tea Bags.

Tilehurst Birch Copse (2)

  • Ceinwen Delia Lally, Liberal Democrats
  • Anthony Nicholas Linden, Conservative Party *
  • Andy Moore, Liberal Democrats *
  • Jo Stewart, Conservative Party *
  • Clive Taylor, Labour Party

What are the main occupations that you’ve had, or still have?

CL: Retired business development and marketing manager.
CT: I run a small business trading in rare and collectable records (vinyl). Prior to that I worked for over 30 years in IT and Telecoms in various roles including project and operations management.
JS: Currently I’m the Community Fundraiser for Berkshire-based charity called Daisy’s Dream which supports children and young people who have been bereaved or where there is a life limiting illness in the family. Prior to that I worked for many years at Prudential (now M&G) and also at Cancer Research UK.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role?

CL: Listening to local residents and working to influence the decisions at the council to improve the lives of the most vulnerable and protect the environment.
CT: Representing as best you can the residents of your ward and ensuring they receive the high quality, cost effective services that they need.
JS: For me it has to be working for your residents and the local community in the ward where you’ve been elected. And that means both for those who voted for you and for those who didn’t. Everyone deserves to be heard and represented by their ward member. We may not always be able to resolve issues to everyone’s satisfaction but we must listen and do our best for our community wherever possible.

What would be the one thing that you’d like to be remembered for as a councillor (assuming you’re elected)?

CL: Being hard-working, approachable and able to improve the quality of life for people in the ward.
CT: As someone who got things done.
JS: As ensuring that the Health and Social Care reforms, which have been promised for quite a while now, are implemented well and improve how the services are accessed by our residents in West Berkshire.

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the district of West Berkshire will face in the next four years?

CL: Being able to improve services whilst tackling climate change during challenging financial times.
CT: Finding the right balance in providing affordable housing for all v protecting green space.
JS: I think we will still be recovering from the effects of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the economic crisis for several years. Mental health has been affected for so many, the impact on our economy is huge and many families are struggling both emotionally and financially. Also, we know that we have an increasingly ageing population in West Berks, so we must continue to plan for how we help our residents to age well and live well as they grow older.

Finally, imagine this is Desert Island Discs. What would be your must-have song, your book and your luxury item?

CL: Let’s Dance by David Bowie; War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy;  an endless supply of cheese and biscuits.
CT: Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones; When Reading Really Rocked by Adrian Moulton; a wind-up radio.
JS: American Trilogy by Elvis Presley; Little Women by Louisa May Alcott; a decent pillow,

Tilehurst & South Holybrook (2)

  • Liz Bell, Labour Party
  • Andre Anthony Browne, Liberal Democrats
  • Charles Spalding Croal, Labour Party
  • John Berkeley Grout, Liberal Democrats
  • Biyi Oloko, Conservative Party *
  • Richard James Somner, Conservative Party *

What are the main occupations that you’ve had, or still have?

LB: For much of my early career I was a civil servant and then a British diplomat serving in Russia for five years. For my last decade or so of full time work I was head of policy and external affairs for various organisations in the research, education and innovation sector. Now semi-retired, I still do various sorts of consultancy work for universities, colleges and international development organisations. I’ve also been a parish councillor, am on my second stint of being a primary school governor.
CC: Financial services and local government.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a district councillor’s role?

LB: To represent and stick up for the community. To be accessible, interested and engaged on vital issues affecting ward residents.
CC: Working with local residents to ensure that they get fair treatment by their local authorities.

What would be the one thing that you’d like to be remembered for as a councillor (assuming you’re elected)?

LB: As one of the first Labour councillors on West Berkshire Council bringing a fresh and balanced perspective to a traditionally Conservative dominated Council, challenging what needs challenging in a constructive way, and working well with fellow councillors from all political parties to the real benefit of all residents. And of course to be an important contact on the Council, and advocate for West Berkshire, for when Labour takes over Number 10.
CC: Putting Holybrook on the map and saving Linear Park as a Community Asset to protect it from development.

What do you think is the greatest challenge that the district of West Berkshire will face in the next four years?

LB: Funding, or the lack of it. Increasing need for Council services by residents facing cost of living and other crises. And how to provide all the housing and associated infrastructure that will be needed, without destroying our outstanding AONB rural environment and green spaces close to homes that residents need to live and breathe.
CC: Helping residents facing rising living costs and providing a decent standard of adult social care

Finally, imagine this is Desert Island Discs. What would be your must-have song, your book and your luxury item?

LB: My Oh My by Sad Café; The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien; loads of good red wine.
CC: 500 Miles by The Proclaimers; any book in the Rebus series by Ian Rankine; a limitless supply of Tunnocks Caramel Logs.

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