Cllr Louise Pepper

Louise has a finance background. However her real passion is our natural environment. She’s on the Stop Easton Park committee and wants to make sure our varied habitat and wildlife are protected. In her spare time around raising her family she volunteers for community initiatives.

“Our historical market town of Great Dunmow is the heart of our local community and its unique character and rural setting is integral to its intrinsic identity. Over development in this region will cause serious harm to its special heritage, environment, local population and wildlife.” Louise Pepper

Louse is one of R4U’s councillors for the Uttlesford District Council Great Dunmow North Ward. The ward has two councillors, the other being R4U’s Cllr Alex Armstrong.

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Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Member: Governance, Audit and Performance Committee (UDC), Portfolio Holder: Environment and Green Issues (UDC), Portfolio Holder: Equalities (UDC)

Louise Pepper’s background is in accounting. She is an active campaigner on environment issues and R4U’s spokesperson on Climate Change. For the last 12 years she and her family have lived in the Dunmow area.

Her role on the Stop Easton Park Steering Group committee has given her much stronger connection to this region’s rich past, natural habitat and varied wildlife.

UDC’s proposed new town of 10,000 houses at historic Easton Park would effectively join Great Dunmow, Little Easton and Takeley. By comparison Great Dunmow currently has 4,000 households and Takeley 1,400.

Her commitment to preserving the local area’s important historical landscape, is very important to her.

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Cllr Vere Isham

Vere Isham has lived in the area with his family for more than 25 years. He is both an Uttlesford District Councillor for Takeley and a Broxted Parish Councillor.

He is a local business owner that believes UDC should be doing more to grow local jobs. His background in design and architecture gives him great insight into how the district council could be planning for better, more affordable homes and building modern communities that are properly integrated with facilities and transport. He also believes that the airport needs to be a better neighbour to the local area.

“The residents of Takeley are being taken for granted. National Party politics must not be allowed to override local needs, as they do today. We need new representation at Uttlesford District Council get things done for residents. I see Residents for Uttlesford as a way for local people to have a greater say in local issues.” Vere Isham

WardRolesAbout/BioContact
Councillor at Broxted Parish Council, Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Member: Governance, Audit and Performance Committee (UDC), Member: Licensing and Environmental Health Committee (UDC), Vice Chair: Licensing and Environmental Health Committee (UDC)

Vere Isham has lived in the area for more than 25 years. He and wife live in Broxted in the Takeley Ward and his sons attended the Rose Acres Primary School and local secondary schools. He is active in the local community and serves as a Broxted Parish Councillor.

He says “I see Residents for Uttlesford as a way for local people to have a greater say in local issues and to overcome many of the difficulties in dealing with the district and county councils. National Party politics must not be allowed to override local needs, as they do today.

A background in design and architecture has given Vere key insights to many of the issues relating to local housing and the wider infrastructural impacts. He believes that smart design can play a huge role making homes more affordable, cutting both the building and running costs. He wishes to see improvements at the district council to force developers to build better, truly affordable homes.

Vere believes that new local housing must be designed to be integrated with public transport and facilities right from the start. He doesn’t support the district council’s policy of letting developers build new housing estates in what are basically isolated and remote fields without any infrastructure. He says “Relying only on vehicle access to shops, schools, doctors, and employment is unsustainable and is just poor design and planning. It also creates traffic and speed issues through villages, making them less livable.” Vere says that ‘infrastructure before homes’, proper transport integration, and safer roads are all important policy priorities for him.

After a career of design freelancing, Vere is now a part owner in a local business. He believes that more should be done to support and grow local jobs and businesses. He says “In Uttlesford we have a well-educated and mobile workforce. We need to keep people here contributing to the local economy. He says “I want to see business parks, workshops and startup hubs included in the local planning policies. Affordable rental spaces are also a vital part of encouraging new business to develop. And expanding ultra-fast broadband right into our most rural areas is a fundamental part of growing and retaining local businesses.

Vere says he also cares passionately about the local environment. He says “Maintaining the local footpath networks to encourage access to our countryside and neighborhoods is important. We live in a relatively flat part of the country, and so cycle paths should also be encouraged and integrated into new and existing developments. Cambridge is very progressive and investing in cycle paths right to the borders of Uttlesford. Why isn’t our council doing anything?” He also cares deeply about the local environment. Vere says “Litter that accumulates around Takeley and the airport road access just keeps increasing. I want is to find solutions to stop this and if elected will work to have this cleared more regularly.

He also understands the environmental and local impacts of the airport itself. Vere says “The airport is an important part of our area and a big employer, but it needs to be a good neighbour. Living under the Stansted flight path, I understand the noise issues. I have supported the work of Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) both as an individual and in my work as a parish councillor. Importantly there is legislation that the Uttlesford District Council could use to lower the causes of aircraft noise, and it should. The district council can also make big improvements to limit airport-parting in our villages, so why hasn’t it? The residents of Takeley are being taken for granted. We need new representation at Uttlesford District Council get things done for residents.

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Cllr Maggie Sutton

With long and strong ties to Takeley, Maggie is an experienced and active campaigner on many issues which directly affect residents and the quality of living in Uttlesford. She’s on the executive committee of Stop Stansted Expansion and Stop Easton Park, the proposed new town of 10,000 homes that will connect Dunmow and Takeley.

“I am truly passionate about this area. Having been embedded in Takeley life for years, know the importance of community. We need to care for the specialness of our history and archaeology, the uniqueness of our countryside, and we need strong residents’ representation to make sure proper strategic plans are created for our future.” Maggie Sutton

WardRolesAbout/BioContact
Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Member: Governance, Audit and Performance Committee (UDC), Member: Planning Committee (UDC)

Maggie Sutton is an experienced and active campaigner on local issues. She believes that to make a difference people have to get up and get involved.

Maggie knows the importance of community. She knows that Takeley has a strong active community, good schools and nursery, along with many clubs and associations at its heart. She served as a Governor at Takeley Roseacres School for during the period its move to the new site.

She is also passionate about the local area, its history, archaeology, and countryside.

Maggie has been a member of the executive committee of Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) since its inception in 2002, working out of the office at The Old School in Takeley for much of that time. She says that being part of SSE has “given me a massive opportunity to become familiar with every part Takeley where I have attended and helped organise many consultation, campaign, outreach and fundraising events. Through that I have association with many Parish council representatives and many, many people who live in the area.”

Of the airport, she says “I am very aware what being a neighbour to Stansted Airport means for Takeley residents. Clearly there are jobs, but also major concerns about noise, light and air pollution, and major traffic and parking issues.”

Maggie serves on the committee of campaign group Stop Easton Park. Easton Park is Uttlesford District Council’s proposed new town of 10,000 homes that will in-effect connect Dunmow and Takeley across the A120. She believes that the siting of the new town will be extremely detrimental to the area of historic area of Easton Park and beyond. She believes that strategic planning must be undertaken and proper controls put in place to protect the uniqueness of our countryside as our district expands.

Maggie realised she needed to take the next step to represent residents.

She said “As I attend UDC council meetings on matters such as housing and the airport I become very concerned and anxious. I saw that those elected to represent us here simply take their lead from the party they represent in parliament. It seems evident that local people do not matter to them. Putting my name forward as a Residents candidate to represent Takeley and the communities of Broxted, Chickney, and Little Canfield is not something I take lightly. I know I must give you a 100percent commitment. I truly believe, Residents for Uttlesford provide the ONLY platform we have to be properly represented at in the district council.”

Maggie Sutton has strong family and community ties to the Takeley ward. She lived in Boxted for many years while her children were growing up. She has five grown up children, all which live in Uttlesford. She currently lives in Lindsell with her family.

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Cllr Alex Armstrong

Alex Armstrong is committed to the future of Dunmow. He is a Dunmow town and district councillor. He was Chair of the Dunmow Town Team for 2 years, whose aim is to create a more vibrant and dynamic High St in the town. Previously he served on the Havering Chamber of Commerce for 10 years.

“I do not want Dunmow to become either a dormitory town or a concrete jungle – any development must be in tune with the desire of the local residents.” Alex Armstrong

Professionally Alex runs a local print consultancy after previously being managing directors of both private and public companies in the printing industry.

WardRolesAbout/BioContact
Councillor at Great Dunmow Town Council, Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Member: Governance, Audit and Performance Committee (UDC), Portfolio Holder: Sports and Leisure (UDC)

Alex Armstrong is committed to creating successful business, and knows that a joined-up approach it the best way to take the district forward.  He is a Great Dunmow Town Councillor. He was Chair of the Dunmow Town Team for 2 years, has served on the Havering Chamber of Commerce and Industry for 10 years, where he was the chairman for 4 years.

In Havering he volunteered as a work experience mentor for the Borough, helping Havering College with apprenticeships. He also served on various committees including Safety and Community Partnerships, Town Centre Partnerships and Business forums and served for 10 years on the Havering Business Awards panel.

Professionally Alex has been Managing Director of both private and public companies in the printing industry. He now runs a local print consultancy.

Alex moved from the built up East End of London to Havering, which was then in Essex, only to see it become a London Borough and in his words a ‘concrete jungle’. He moved again to Great Dunmow and  fell in love with the town, the open spaces, and warm and friendly people. Alex says he doesn’t want Dunmow to become either a dormitory town or a concrete jungle itself, and so any development must be in tune with the desire of the local residents.

He has been married for over 40 years and has a son in Florida and daughter in Canada. His hobbies are golf, theatre, walking and Chelsea Football Club.

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Cllr Neil Hargreaves

Chartered Accountant Neil Hargreaves has lived with his family in Newport for 26 years, where he is a very active member of the community. Neil’s accountancy background makes him an invaluable member of the R4U team, particularly when it comes to Council finances and its major investments.

“I am working to implement better policies to enhance and develop our district, to make the best of the mistakes already made, and support our local communities.” Neil Hargreaves

WardRolesAbout/BioContact
Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Portfolio Holder: Finance and Budget (UDC), Vice Chair: Governance, Audit and Performance Committee (UDC)

Originally from Lancashire, Neil Hargreaves has lived in Newport for 26 years and his three children went to both Newport schools. He has used his accountancy skills to serve the community in various roles including Treasurer of the Friends of St Mary’s Church and Treasurer of the Newport Scouts. He is a regular contributor to the award winning Newport News village magazine, and is an administrator of the popular Newport Newsline Facebook group. He is chair of the steering group for the Newport, Quendon & Rickling Neighbourhood Plan and is active on planning and local community concerns.

After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, Neil moved with his wife to Kenya, where their son was born. After returning to London he worked for a large accountancy firm and then in the insurance industry. He managed a large accounts department, IT projects, and outsourcing contracts, and was Treasurer of a reinsurance broker. After moving to Chelmsford and then Newport, Neil commuted to London and to Norwich. During this time his wife worked as an Occupational Therapist and in a dispensary in Saffron Walden and Addenbrookes. Now retired, Neil’s final accountancy position was with a US balloon manufacturer in Bishops Stortford.

Neil is a keen photographer, is a member of CPRE, and is out every day walking his Beagle around the villages in the ward.

Where we live is rightly shown in surveys as being one of the best places in the country. He believes that development, both commercial and housing, can enhance the district if well planned and coordinated with good infrastructure and the services needed to support a larger population.

But he considers that the lack of a Local Plan, which should have been in place in 2011, has caused serious damage to our towns, villages and rural areas.

Residents’ strenuous efforts to reform these decisions had some success, but the Westminster party politically driven system remains unchanged as do the small core of councillors who run it. Neil therefore stood for election as a district councillor for the Newport ward in 2015, and was elected as one of the 2 ward councillors. He immediately set to work to sort out issues raised on the doorstep and has been able to implement a new speed sign, a major road sign project to stop the frequent bridge strikes in Newport. An extension to a 30 limit, to protect a new housing estate, has also been agreed.

Neil and fellow councillor Anthony Gerard hold weekly councillors’ surgeries in Dorringtons in Newport, are active on the local Facebook groups, and attend the parish council meetings in the three villages in the Ward

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Cllr Petrina Lees

A proven champion of her community and local causes, Petrina Lees previously served on the Elsenham Parish Council for 17 years, including 3 as chair; enjoyed a 30 year career in nursing; and has been part of the leadership team of Save Our Villages for 9 years. Petrina stood for district council as an Independent in 2015 and was elected as an R4U councillor for the Uttlesford District Elsenham and Henham ward in 2017.

“I’m passionate about fairness and regularly jump in to volunteer to create a better community. I don’t seek an easy life – I’m not afraid to challenge the norm, roll up my sleeves and get things done. People who know me know I work tirelessly for local residents and their causes and will have seen that since I was elected I have done so.” Petrina Lees

 

WardRolesAbout/BioContact
Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Deputy Leader of the Council (UDC), Member: Governance, Audit and Performance Committee (UDC), Portfolio Holder: Health and Wellbeing (UDC), Portfolio Holder: Housing (UDC)

Petrina Lees is a very active member of her community. She has lived in Elsenham for over 20 years with her husband, and their family. She cooks for the Lunch Club, runs the Elsenham Rainbow Guides and manages the village rounders team.

She is also well qualified as a councillor. She served on Elsenham parish council for 17 years including 3 years as chair. Petrina has been part of the leadership team of Save Our Villages for 9 years, helping secure last year’s planning rejection of ‘Hellsenham’ by the Secretary of State. She is also a member of the Joint Parishes Council Steering Group.

Outside of the home she enjoyed a career in nursing of more than 30 years, most recently caring for the terminally ill, but left the NHS a couple of years ago to concentrate on her family and community activities.

Petrina stood as an Independent in 2015 and was elected as an R4U councillor for the Uttlesford District Elsenham and Henham ward in 2017.

Petrina said “The first thing we addressed after being elected was the appalling state of the road outside the local shops in Elsenham.  For over 15 years there have been numerous complaints. As Parish Councillors we were always told by District Councillors that they were ‘unable to help or fix it because it was the responsibility of the county council’. That’s as may be, but it is shirking and rubbish, and that attitude holds no truck with me. People don’t care what council you are elected to. As a district councillors part of your job is to advocate for local people and hold those responsible to account, even at other authorities. Within 6 months of being elected we facilitated and contributed to the road being resurfaced. My motto is ‘never give up’ – there is always a way, you just have to think outside the box sometimes.”

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