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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Council Roles

Cooperation for Sustainable Development Board (UDC), Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Governance Review Working Group (UDC), Harlow and Gilston Garden Town Board (UDC), Local Government Association - SPARSE Rural Assembly (UDC), Local Plan Working Group (UDC), Portfolio Holder: Planning and the Local Plan (UDC)

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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 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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Council Roles

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

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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 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

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Council Roles

Assets of Community Value and Local Heritage List Committee (UDC), Councillor at Saffron Walden Town Council, Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Highways Panel (UDC), North Essex Parking Partnership (UDC), Portfolio Holder: Infrastructure, Transport and Stansted Airport (UDC), Stansted Airport Advisory Panel (UDC), Uttlesford Transport Forum (UDC)

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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 John Lodge

John is Leader of the Council at UDC. He is a co-founder of Residents for Uttlesford. He was first elected as a councillor in 2013. Since then he has worked hard to hold our councils to account on residents’ issues, including the Local Plan, planning and development, pollution and the environment, education and schools, proper transport infrastructure, and saving The Fairycroft Youth Centre.

“The national political parties are forcing policies onto local residents that they don’t want and don’t need. It’s time politics became local once more and residents got to decide for themselves.” John Lodge

He has served on the Planning Committee and (Local Plan) Planning Policy Working Group. Previously John was Chief Executive of a FTSE company, and has been chairman and on the board of directors of many private and public organisations, including a Health Enterprise Council and a member of a Department of Health finance committee.

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Council Roles

Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Investment Board (UDC), Leader of the Council (UDC), Local Government Association - General Assembly (UDC), London Stansted Cambridge Consortium (UDC), Voluntary Support Grant Committee (UDC)

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John Lodge was first elected in May 2013. He is an Uttlesford District Councillor for the Saffron Walden Shire Ward, is Council Leader at UDC.

John has been a resident of Saffron Walden for almost 50 years and during that time he has served the community in a wide variety of volunteer roles. He has served as Chairman of a Parish Council, School Governor, Chairman of a Village Hall Committee, President of a Cricket Club, Committee Member of a Choral Society and a trustee of the charity funding the exciting new concert hall at SWCHS. He was also an Essex Ambassador at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

In the public sector he has recently served as a Non-Executive Director of Papworth Hospital NHS Trust where he was Chairman of its Charitable Capital Appeal. He is currently Chairman of the Embryonic Heart & Lung Research Institute which is a joint venture with Cambridge University.

In the commercial sector he has also served as Chairman of a restaurant group, a property company, an investment fund and medical device company. He has also been a Non-Executive Director of an enterprise council and a member of a Department of Health finance committee.

John believes that UDC could do more about affordable housing. He is an investor in a number of affordable housing schemes, all in the north of England. John’s latest scheme is turning a building abandoned by HMRC into 95 dwellings. They are modern, well equipped one and two bedroom flats, all designed to be priced affordably at under £80,000 to allow new home owners to enter the property ladder. Additionally the centralised heating system is highly efficient to reduce the environmental impact and cost for home owners. John says that one of the attractions the site chosen is that it is within easy walking distance of the town centre’s amenities and so adds to the development’s green credentials. John believes that developments like this could be adopted here by Uttlesford District Council to address the shortfall in housing affordability.

Previously he commuted from Audley End to London where he worked in a variety of IT roles in the finance industry with his final position as Chief Executive of a FTSE technology company.

Sports car enthusiast John is also a keen sportsman and plays cricket, rugby and golf for local clubs. He also sings with the Saffron Walden Choral Society.

He first visited Saffron Walden in the 1960s when he was a student in Cambridge; his wife and he chose to return when their children were young and his wife went on to be academic head of Bell College.

All of the time in the area has made them both great lovers and supporters of the Saffron Walden way of life and have inspired him to do whatever he can to protect it. Whilst he wishes to protect the Saffron Walden way of life, he is conscious that the town must progress. John believes that the way to achieve sustainable growth is to plan building and infrastructure in an integrated manner.

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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.

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Council Roles

Councillor at Great Dunmow Town Council, Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Housing Board (UDC), Licensing and Environmental Health Committee (UDC), North Essex Parking Partnership (UDC), Portfolio Holder: Culture, Heritage and Tourism (UDC), Portfolio Holder: Education and Libraries (UDC), Portfolio Holder: Sports and Leisure (UDC)

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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 Colin Day

Colin is a retired Met Police Inspector. He has resided in Uttlesford for almost 25 years. He is the UDC portfolio holder for Communities, Community Safety, and Youth; and the liaison with the Police and Fire Service.

“The residents of Uttlesford are entitled to have their say in how the district is run and the forthcoming elections are an opportunity for the residents to vote for an important change in how they are represented.” Colin Day

Colin is passionate about ensuring the voices of residents, parish and town councils are heard. Since being elected to the council he has developed a close working relationship with the district police commander and lobbies for a greater presence of uniformed police officers throughout Uttlesford.

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Council Roles

Assets of Community Value and Local Heritage List Committee (UDC), Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Dunmow Town Strategy Group (UDC), Essex County Traveller Unit (UDC), Essex Police, Fire and Crime Panel (UDC), Licensing and Environmental Health Committee (UDC), Local Strategic Partnership (UDC), Portfolio Holder: Communities and Resident (UDC), Portfolio Holder: Community Safety, Police and Emergency Services (UDC)

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Colin is a retired Met Police Inspector. He has resided in Uttlesford for almost 25 years. He is the UDC portfolio holder for Communities, Community Safety, and Youth; and the liaison with the Police and Fire Service.

Colin is passionate about ensuring the voices of residents, parish and town councils are heard by way of continual, meaningful engagement. Since being elected to the council he has developed a close working relationship with the district police commander and continues to lobby the elected Police & Fire Commissioner and Chief Constable to ask for a greater presence of uniformed police officers throughout the District.

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Cllr Neil Hargreaves

Chartered Accountant Neil Hargreaves has lived with his family in Newport for nearly 30 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

A district councillor since 2015, he is a Chartered Accountant and is cabinet member for Finance and Budgets, and sits on the UDC Investments Board. He is chair of the Newport Quendon & Rickling Neighbourhood Plan steering group and has focused on local and district planning issues.

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Council Roles

Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Investment Board (UDC), Portfolio Holder: Finance and Budget (UDC), Voluntary Support Grant Committee (UDC)

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Originally from Lancashire, Neil Hargreaves has lived in Newport for nearly 30 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. 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, and an extension to a 30mph limit to protect a new housing estate.

Neil holds weekly councillor surgeries in Dorringtons in Newport, is active on the local Facebook groups, and attends 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. She is Deputy Leader at the Council.

“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

 

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Council Roles

Assets of Community Value and Local Heritage List Committee (UDC), Community Achievement Panel (UDC), Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Deputy Leader of the Council (UDC), Governance Review Working Group (UDC), Housing Board (UDC), Licensing and Environmental Health Committee (UDC), Local Plan Working Group (UDC), Portfolio Holder: Health and Wellbeing (UDC), Portfolio Holder: Housing (UDC), Voluntary Support Grant Committee (UDC), West Essex Wellbeing Joint Committee (UDC)

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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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