Joanna Parry has been a resident of Newport since 2006, and has lived in Uttlesford since 1999. During that time she has served the community in a number of volunteer roles: as Clerk to a Parish Council and Primary School governing body, Governor and Trustee at Newport Free Grammar School, Newport Parish Councillor and District Councillor. She was also the founder of the Save Newport Village campaign against unsustainable development within the village.
Previously Joanna served as an officer in the Royal Air Force for five years before retiring to bring up her three sons – all of whom attended Newport Free Grammar School. After bringing up the boys, she returned to work as an administrator for a national charity. Lately she has been concentrating on her roles as Parish and District Councillor.
Joanna first became involved in local affairs when newspaper reports appeared of huge changes proposed for Newport – rebuilding the school elsewhere, building a supermarket on the site and adding thousands of new houses to pay for it all. This led initially to the founding of the Newport Village residents’ group, which has been successful in trying to make development in the village sustainable, and stop the re-siting of the school. However, she believes that there is still much to do.
Joanna stood and was elected to Uttlesford District Council in the Newport by-election in 2013. She was re-elected in 2015.
As a new District Councillor in 2013 it very quickly became apparent to her that problems similar to those faced by Newport were being faced by communities across Uttlesford. She believes that the current UDC administration is working to edicts passed down from central Government, regardless of the effect on the district. Joanna strongly believes that it is time for residents to take back control of what happens where they live.