Cllr John Evans

Combining his local knowledge and skills as a solicitor, John chairs the Stebbing Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group. He’s lived in Uttlesford since 1982. He is particularly interested in protecting our many heritage assets and landscape, believing it must be fully respected. He is one of the two R4U Uttlesford District Councillors for the Felsted and Stebbing ward.

“Our villages are facing unprecedented change with the risk of Stebbing and Felsted effectively becoming part of Braintree as it expands west under UDC’s “Garden Community” proposal. My running mate Sandi and I believe residents should have a greater say. We don’t have a national party agenda – we will listen to what concerns YOU and promote only residents interests, whether it relates to the proposed new town, airport, affordable housing, traffic, broadband or anything else.” John Evans

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Find about roles and responsibilities by reading the councillor profiles, declarations of interest, portfolio ownership and committee membership on specific council websites

Combining his local knowledge and skills as a solicitor, John chairs the Stebbing Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group. He’s lived in Uttlesford since 1982. He is particularly interested in protecting our many heritage assets and landscape, believing it must be fully respected.

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    Cllr Neil Reeve

    Neil Reeve is a highly experienced chartered engineer with 40+ years’ experience. He was previously chair of an industry division of ISO, the prestigious international standard-setting body. His experience will be invaluable in helping the council solve its infrastructure deficits. He is a councillor at High Easter Parish Council and at Uttlesford District Council. In his spare time he volunteers for nature conservancy causes.

    “It’s very straightforward. I’ve become increasingly frustrated by the current district council. They are driven by Westminster policy. I stood because I believed that it is time for a change. It’s very important that residents are listened to. We need local residents’ views, local decisions, and more local infrastructure.” Neil Reeve

    WardRolesAbout/BioContact

    Find about roles and responsibilities by reading the councillor profiles, declarations of interest, portfolio ownership and committee membership on specific council websites

    Where you live and how long you’ve lived in the area?

    I live in High Easter with my wife, Loes. We’ve were lucky to buy our home in High Easter about 20 years ago. Since my retirement in 2012 I have become increasingly involved in village, parish and local issues. Prior to this we lived and worked all over the world, including Malaysia, South Korea, Denmark, New Zealand and The Netherlands.

    Our three children each have their own families (giving us 5 grandchildren in total) and lead diverse lives. One lives in Kent and works for Kent County Council. One lives in Holland and works in the University of Utrecht Library. One is currently working for Oxfam in Myanmar.

    Any councillor or political experience you may have?

    I am a member of the High Easter Parish Council. In this respect I have been putting energy into the Stansted Airport issues, village affordable housing and local broadband. I have learned that local infrastructure issues must not be ignored.

    Any work details that you may want to highlight that add to your experience?

    I am a Chartered Engineer with approximately 40 years of international experience. I worked with Royal Dutch Shell until I retired from them in 2012. For the first third of my career I worked as a Structural Engineer designing, building and maintaining offshore platforms. Thereafter I developed Shell’s system of specifications and standards for all their operations worldwide. In this capacity, I became chair of the committee in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) responsible for international standards the oil and gas industry. I still have this role till mid-2019. I have learned how to listen to very diverse groups and lead the parties to an agreement (a consensus standard).

    Are you involved in any community or residents’ groups, boards, charities, or volunteering?

    I’m a director, trustee and treasurer of the East of England Apples and Orchards Project (EEAOP). This is a charity, with a trading arm (i.e. under Charities Commission and Companies House), whose aim is the collect and conserve the region’s heritage fruit trees; and get these (re-)planted throughout the region.

    I am also a treasurer, and committee member of the Essex Beekeepers Association (EBKA) (Braintree Division).

    What would you like to achieve as a councillor?

    It’s very straightforward. I’ve become increasingly frustrated by the current district council. They are driven by Westminster policy. I believe that it is time for a change. I’ve got the energy to put into this. It’s very important that we listen to residents, and I’ll be going out of my way to listen to get their views. We need local residents’ views, local decisions, and more local infrastructure.

    I am new to district council politics, but I am a parish councillor. Following the development of the UDC Local Plan and the application for the expansion of Stansted Airport, it has become apparent to me that the current administration doesn’t properly address essential infrastructure issues. I want to see this behaviour reversed.

    During my working life, I used a motto “Cooperation not Competition”. I think that this can also apply in local politics.

    Why did you stand for Residents for Uttlesford?

    I have been impressed that in a short time Residents for Uttlesford has made an impact: not only in Saffron Walden, but also at Uttlesford District Council. In order to make a larger impact, R4U needs to control the UDC. I hope therefore that with the support of residents, who are not happy with some of the recent decision-making, R4U can win sufficient councillors to gain that control.

    The key point is that R4U is a party for local issues, not national ones. It can therefore be more agile to steer the district council in a direction that residents in the Uttlesford want, rather than as directed by a Westminster-based party.

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      Cllr Sandi Merifield

      Sandi Merifield is very active in Stebbing and has served on Stebbing Parish Council for 12 years. She is volunteers in the village store and is the local coordinator of the Poppy Appeal Collection. She is one of the 2 R4U Uttlesford District Councillors for the Felsted and Stebbing ward, and chairs the UDC Planning Committee.

      “I believe in listening and working with the community, fighting for the rights of residents and aiming to find the balance between protecting our communities and enhancing our children’s future.” Sandi Merifield

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      Find about roles and responsibilities by reading the councillor profiles, declarations of interest, portfolio ownership and committee membership on specific council websites

      Sandi says:

      I live in Stebbing with my husband Peter, our two dog and two cats. We moved here nearly 25years ago with our three children and have counted ourselves lucky ever since to be part of this community.

      I have served on Stebbing Parish Councillor for over 12 years including on most of its committees. I have spent a number of years working on local planning issues, including representing the local community for the proposed West of Braintree Garden Community. I have also worked collaboratively and successfully on gaining an ‘Asset of Community Value’ for Andrewsfield. At UDC I chair the Planning Committee.

      Stebbing has the community run Village Stores where I volunteer once a week enjoying meeting members of our community and passing customers. I coordinate the Poppy Appeal Collection annually in Stebbing and am a member of the Stebbing Fete organising committee. Having had a career in Education in both secondary schools and colleges I am now a governor at a local Nursery & Primary school.

      We all love and appreciate living in this area and whilst I do accept the need for new homes and change, I truly feel that the communities of Felsted and Stebbing are not being listened to with regard to what communities want.

      I believe in listening and working with the community, fighting for the rights of residents and aiming to find the balance between protecting our communities and enhancing our children’s future.

      I have long believed that National party politics should not play a part in local democracy. Local issues need to be addressed by a locally focussed party that understands and supports local interests. I believe that R4U is, by reorganising how UDC is structured and using the best skills available. By working together with our communities we will achieve this.

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        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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        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 James de Vries

          An Uttlesford resident since 1985, James has a background in aviation, has worked closely with Stansted Airport and specialises in commercial IT. He has spearheaded local business networking initiatives and runs a small sports club in his spare time.

          “It is important that we retain the natural beauty and heritage of our communities. I’m concerned about the impacts of large housing developments, rural broadband, policing, traffic, and local school places. I’m also keen to tackle the smaller issues that affect quality of life, such as speeding, fly-tipping, travellers, potholes and recycling.“ James de Vries

          James is a councillor for both the Uttlesford District Ashdon Ward and Saffron Walden Town Council.

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          Find about roles and responsibilities by reading the councillor profiles, declarations of interest, portfolio ownership and committee membership on specific council websites

          James de Vries has been an Uttlesford resident since 1985.

          For work he specialises in commercial IT and has a background in aviation working closely with Stansted Airport. In the local community he has spearheaded local business networking initiatives and runs a small sports club in his spare time.

          James says “It is important that we retain the natural beauty and heritage of our communities. I’m concerned about the impacts of large housing developments, rural broadband, policing, traffic, and local school places. I’m also keen to tackle the smaller issues that affect quality of life, such as speeding, fly-tipping, travellers, potholes and recycling.“

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            Cllr Deryk Eke

            Deryk is a Chartered Civil Engineer who has lived in the area for more than 17 years. During his career he has delivered many major £billon infrastructure projects worldwide. His experience is an asset to Uttlesford District Council, helping it solve the major infrastructure issues we face.

            “The council must be prepared to stand up for the residents and demand developers give back to the community. I believe with my experience and passion for delivering successful projects I can help hold them to account, whilst improving our quality of life across Uttlesford.” Deryk Eke

            WardRolesAbout/BioContact

            Find about roles and responsibilities by reading the councillor profiles, declarations of interest, portfolio ownership and committee membership on specific council websites

            Deryk Eke is a recently retired Chartered Civil Engineer with over 40 years’ experience of delivering major national infrastructure projects worldwide including in America, Europe, South East Asia and back home in the UK.

            He was raised in Lower Sheering and schooled nearby in Sawbridgeworth and Harlow. He has been married for nearly 40 years and lived in and around the Saffron Walden area for more than 30 years.

            In 1994 he and his wife returned from a major project in Hong Kong. Deryk says that they were “living in Great Bardfield at the time, but managed to secure places for our children at Saffron Walden County High, not something you could hope to do now!”

            Since they moved into Saffron Walden town, Deryk says that the “explosion in house building, increase in traffic, deterioration in air quality, and lack of school and medical facilities” are all aspects that he and his children noticed more and more, and that is part of what has spurred him on to stand to represent other residents.

            He says that “The district council must be prepared to stand up for the residents and demand developers give back to the community, and R4U is the best party to make that happen because it only answers to local people.”

            Deryk belies that “with my experience and passion for delivering successful projects I can help improve our quality of life and better living environment across Uttlesford.”

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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

              Find about roles and responsibilities by reading the councillor profiles, declarations of interest, portfolio ownership and committee membership on specific council websites

              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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