Cllr Martin Foley

Community champion and Thaxted resident Martin is one of Uttlesford’s longest serving and most respected councillors. He is also an Essex County Councillor for the Thaxted Division. He’s represented his ward at UDC since 1995. He’s an active local voice who campaigns for our environment, and against airport expansion, urban sprawl on our fields, and the closing of the local libraries.

After recently joining forces with R4U with fellow ward councillor Mike Tayler, Martin said

“Mike and I carefully watched the progress that R4U made at UDC since being elected to lead the council in 2019. They have fixed the finances, got the Conservatives’ £6m failed Local Plan back on track, are contesting the airport expansion, and are delivering a major Climate Change programme. By combining forces with R4U at UDC, Mike and I believe that we will have more direct input over the future of our district, as well as for our ward residents.”

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Council Roles

Chair of the Council (UDC), Councillor at Essex County Council, Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Governance, Audit and Performance Committee (UDC), Housing Board (UDC), Standards Committee (UDC), Stansted Airport Advisory Panel (UDC)

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Residents champion Martin is one of Uttlesford’s longest serving and most respected councillors. He’s represented the Thaxted and now Thaxted and the Eastons ward at UDC since 1995. He’s a strong and active local voice who campaigns for our environment, and against airport expansion, urban sprawl on our fields, and the closing of the local libraries.

After recently joining forces with R4U with fellow ward councillor Mike Tayler, Martin said

“Mike and I carefully watched the progress that R4U made at UDC since being elected to lead the council in 2019. They have fixed the finances, got the Conservatives’ £6m failed Local Plan back on track, are contesting the airport expansion, and are delivering a major Climate Change programme. By combining forces with R4U at UDC, Mike and I believe that we will have more direct input over the future of our district, as well as for our ward residents.”

Before the Thaxted and Eastons Independents decided to combine with R4U, Martin and Mike spoke with many residents in their ward to gauge their feelings. They got strong support for the change. Now, as part of a larger R4U group, they will continue to work to deliver the things they were elected to do for their villages.

Martin lives in Thaxted with his wife Claire.

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    Cllr Arthur Coote

    Arthur Coote is a well-respected Saffron Walden town councillor for the Castle ward. He was born in the town where he lives with his wife. He’s a director of the Bell Nursery and active in many other aspects of town life.

    “I’m a strong believer that councils can work harder to do more to create an environment that allows the next generation to grow and give back to society. Through its actions R4U has shown it focuses on the issues that matter and cares about making a difference for local people. After years of being actively engaged with Labour, I joined R4U because they’ve shown that they are the party willing to work collaboratively for local people.” Arthur Coote

    Several councillors have switched to R4U from the traditional parties because being free of a national agenda allows them to focus 100% on local residents with local issues.  Nationally Arthur is a long time Labour Party supporter. He was elected as a councillor to Saffron Walden Town Council in 2015 and to Uttlesford District Council in 2019. He was mayor of Saffron Walden for the 2019/2020 year.

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    Council Roles

    Councillor at Saffron Walden Town Council, Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Governance Review Working Group (UDC), Housing Board (UDC), Licensing and Environmental Health Committee (UDC), Scrutiny Committee (UDC), Vice Chair of the Council (UDC)

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    Arthur Coote is a well-respected Saffron Walden town councillor. He was born in the town where he lives with his wife. Arthur is active in many aspects of town life including the Baptist Church. Key interest areas for him are community, equality, youth development and sports.

    He’s is a family man who is committed to youth development. Arthur is a director and manager of the Bell Nursery in Saffron Walden and member of the charity Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY). Two of his children have followed him into education as both are head-teachers, and the third has followed a career in law.

    Arthur is a lifelong member of Essex Cricket Club and a strong advocate for sports and healthy lifestyles. He’s been active in the funding and design of new playgrounds by Saffron Walden Town Council, and been working to provide more open spaces and sports facilities.

    Nationally and locally Arthur has been a long-time supporter of the Labour Party. He was elected as a councillor to Saffron Walden Town Council in 2015 and serves as Mayor for the 2019/2020 year. Like a number of councillors from all the main national parties, he joined R4U to create a difference locally.

    Arthur Coote says “Over the last 50 years I have taken part in hundreds of campaigns for Labour candidates. I have stood for office to try to create a more equal society and have been a member of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party. Over the last 4 years it’s become clear that the best way to represent local residents and uphold the ideals I stand for at the district council is by joining R4U. R4U has shown they care about the community’s future and want to create a positive difference for local people. They’ve proven that they are the only party that has the skills and support to deliver for local people. In my mind it’s simple: I will continue to vote for Labour on national issues, but am standing for R4U to deliver local things for local residents. I urge others to vote local Resident for local matters.”

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      Cllr Heather Asker

      Heather, a councillor since 2007, serves on numerous town and district committees, and works on many ward issues, including parking, road safety and speed reduction. She was the Saffron Walden Mayor in 2015, 2016, 2019 is very active in promoting the market and the vitality of the town centre.

      “I am passionate about the heart of our town, our fabulous market, now known as one of the best in East Anglia & regularly featured in the national press. I am particularly proud of the achievements within the Town and District I have been involved with, including the refurbishments to the Saffron Walden Town Hall and Market Square, new paths on The Common, new play equipment, and the improvement street cleaning since taking it over from UDC.” Cllr Heather Asker

      She resigned the Conservative Party whip in October 2014 to join Residents for Uttlesford as a founding councillor so that she could better serve the local residents that elected her.

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      Council Roles

      Community Achievement Panel (UDC), Councillor at Saffron Walden Town Council, Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Governance, Audit and Performance Committee (UDC), Mayor (SWTC), Standards Committee (UDC)

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      Cllr Heather Asker is a well respected and experienced Uttlesford District Councillor, Saffron Walden Town Councillor and has been town Mayor a number of times. She was first elected in 2007 for Saffron Walden Castle ward, where she has worked on numerous residents’ issues.

      Whilst being a councillor she has worked on many local ward and town centre issues, including planning and development, parking, road safety and speed reduction programmes. She is particualry proud of the initiatives that she’s driven and supported in Saffron Walden including the refurbishment of the Town Hall, new Common paths and play equipment, the takeover of street cleaning from UDC, and the paving of the market square.

      She says she’s “Passionate about the heart of the Town, our fabulous market, now known as one of the best in East Anglia which is regularly featured in the national press.

      She works closely with her other ward councillor, R4U’s Richard Freeman. Both have recently worked tirelessly to hold developer Persimmon to account to deliver a safe play area on Tudor Park and new sports fields on Line Avenue.

      Professionally Heather has a career in sales. She has lived in Saffron Walden since 1984 where her daughter attended the County High School.

      She joined Residents for Uttlesford as a founding councillor from the Conservatives in October 2014.

       

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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 Judy Emanuel

            Judy is a Newport District and Parish councillor who is very involved in her community, fundraising and serving on various PTA groups. As part of her work as a parish councillor she’s successfully defended against speculative development at appeal, and helped drive the Newport, Quendon and Rickling Neighbourhood Plan.

            “I’m excited to represent our villages at UDC. As Vice Chair of Newport Parish Council I have gained valuable experience and success with planning applications and appeals over the last five years.” Judy Emanuel

            Judy Emanuel has a degree in Industrial Information Technology. Her career spans from IT start-ups, recruitment, IT consultancy to financial services – and she is also an event florist in her spare time.

            She lives in Newport with her family.

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            Council Roles

            Councillor at Newport Parish Council, Councillor at Uttlesford District Council

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            Judy Emanuel has a degree in Industrial Information Technology. Her career spans from IT start-ups, recruitment, IT consultancy to financial services – and she is also an event florist in her spare time. She lives with her family in Newport where she’s very involved in the community. She’s been an active member of the Friends of Newport Primary School for 10 years, and was previously chair of the charity. She’s also a member of the Newport Parents Association of Joyce Frankland Academy.

            Judy serves on the Parish Council and Uttlesford District Council. She says she joined R4U and became a councillor because of a deep concern over the volume of speculative housing development in the area with no infrastructure to support it. Over the past five years on the council she’s tracked and documented the scale of development in the area and been responsible for drafting planning application responses.  She’s represented residents at planning appeals, where as part of a team she’s successfully prevented over 200 houses in Newport. She’s also lobbied Essex County Council and Uttlesford District Council to mitigate the impact of any development that has happened.

            Judy has been a key member of the team responsible for the delivery of the Newport, Quendon and Rickling Neighbourhood Plan and has supported the parish council with online communications.

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              Cllr Paul Gadd

              Paul Gadd is Leader of Saffron Walden Town Councillor and Essex County Councillor for the Saffron Walden Division. He was first elected in 2015. Professionally he is a lawyer and is very active in the local community.

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              Council Roles

              Assets and Services (SWTC), Councillor at Essex County Council, Councillor at Saffron Walden Town Council, Leader of the Council (SWTC), Planning and Road Traffic (SWTC)

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              Read full councillor profiles, declarations of interest, portfolio ownership and committee membership on specific council websites

              Paul Gadd has been a Saffron Walden Town Councillor since 2015 and an Essex County Councillor for the Saffron Walden Division since 2021.

              Professionally Paul is a lawyer, and former partner in a leading solicitors firm in London. He now works part time for an investment company.  He is one of the founder members of Residents for Uttlesford.

              Paul is highly active in the community. He is a volunteer with Saffron Walden Cricket Club, the Fry Art Gallery and Bridge End Gardens as well as being heavily involved with the local branches of Friends of the Earth and Amnesty International.

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                Cllr Richard Freeman

                Twice Mayor of Saffron Walden, and a Town and District Councillor, Dr Richard Freeman is well respected locally and has lots of experience. In the private sector his professional background is running complex projects for manufacturing and high-tech businesses. He has lived in Saffron Walden for more than 20 years.

                “Saffron Walden is a good place to live; but it needs skilful management if it is not to become just a pretty dormitory town for the well-heeled and the wealthy.” Richard Freeman

                Richard joined R4U from the Liberal Democrats in 2014 to become a founding councillor.

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                Council Roles

                Councillor at Saffron Walden Town Council, Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Deputy Mayor (SWTC), Energy and Climate Change Working Group (UDC), Governance Review Working Group (UDC), Licensing and Environmental Health Committee (UDC), Local Plan Working Group (UDC), Planning Committee (UDC), Portfolio Holder: Council and Public Service Delivery (UDC), Waste Strategy Panel (UDC)

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                Read full councillor profiles, declarations of interest, portfolio ownership and committee membership on specific council websites

                Richard Freeman has lived in Saffron Walden for over 20 years.  For most of that time, he has represented residents as a Castle Ward councillor.  He has twice served as Town Mayor. In 2014 he joined R4U from the Liberal Democrats, becoming a founder councillor  to better serve local residents.

                Much of his professional life has been spent in the manufacturing industries, particularly pharmaceuticals and also foodstuffs.  Latterly, he has worked for large international consultancies, providing technical and project management expertise to multinationals and governments.

                Much of Richard’s time as a councillor has been devoted to making developers deliver on their Section 106 obligations.  These are legal requirements, often in the form of infrastructure payments made to the council that are designed to mitigate the impact of new housing.  Frequently, developers under-deliver on these.  As a direct result of Richard’s efforts, the town will soon receive two excellent new playing fields off Little Walden Road completed to Sport England standard,  Likewise, after much hard work, the new development of Tudor Park now has a RoSPA-approved children’s playground

                Richard says that he believes that “local government has a duty to ensure the supply of homes for ordinary people – not just mansions for the fortunate rich! The limited supply of so-called ‘affordable’ homes linked to housing developments is not enough.  We need new social housing as well; homes that people can rent at prices they can afford. “

                He has a particular interest in architecture, and has modernized several listed buildings. This interest was amply expressed when he was involved in managing the repair and refurbishment of Saffron Walden’s listed Town Hall.  Left in a sorry state by previous Conservative administrations, he helped plan and monitor its repair and restoration.  Richard was also able to assist with the design and installation of a very efficient and modern heating system for the building, making this iconic building usable all year, and much cheaper to heat.

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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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                  Read full councillor profiles, declarations of interest, portfolio ownership and committee membership on specific council websites

                  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 Stewart Luck

                    Jumbo Jet pilot Stewart is a Debden and Wimbish District Councillor and Debden Parish councillor who is very active in the village. He’s created and driven a number of significant youth development programmes and is a member of the General Aviation All Party Parliamentary Group for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). After a career in aviation Stewart is well suited to understanding the role Stansted Airport plays nationally and locally.

                    “You get back what you put in. I’m dedicated both to Debden & Wimbish villages and helping the next generation develop the skills and confidence they need to be successful.” Stewart Luck

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                    Council Roles

                    Councillor at Debden Parish Council, Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Governance, Audit and Performance Committee (UDC), Stansted Airport Advisory Panel (UDC)

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                    Read full councillor profiles, declarations of interest, portfolio ownership and committee membership on specific council websites

                    Stewart is committed to Debden village and the local area having lived there for about 40 years. He has organised Debden fetes, barn dances and other events. He served as a councillor in his 40s and again now that he has retired for the last 6 years.

                    Stewart is a keen member of the Royal British Legion and until 2018 was a local Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal Coordinator. In 2018 he trained as a Standard Bearer and represented Debden on the Royal British Legion GP90 pilgrimage march to Ypres and the WW1 battlefields.

                    Heading up a team of local residents and representatives from Carver Barracks, Stewart has successfully secured substantial funds for the proposed new Village Hall under the MOD covenant agreement.  Also as part of this community based initiative he has led the Debden village to achieve podium results while competing in the Essex Best Kept Village competitions, once again that was partnered by Carver Barracks.

                    Stewart Luck has spent a career in aviation. He remains a qualified flying instructor, air display organiser, display pilot, training captain, and Jumbo Jet pilot. With this expertise and local knowledge, he served on Stansted Airport Consultative Group with a particular interest in dealing with aircraft noise and overflight issues for the surrounding villages. This experience makes him the ideal candidate to support Council brief for Uttlesford’s biggest employer, Stansted Airport.

                    Stewart Luck is particularly supportive of youth and education initiatives, where he seeks to combine his passion for flying with developing life skills in the next generation.  He started out as a member of the Air Cadets, an organisation for which Stewart says he has a high regard. He is a past chairman of 1824 Sqdn (Saffron Walden) ATC and past leader of Debden Youth Club and supports Scouts weekend aviation camps.

                    As an Executive Committee Member of the Light Aircraft Association Stewart championed flying for younger members. In 2003 he invented and sponsored the first UK Youth Build-a- Plane Project, which is now sponsored by Boeing and The Royal Aeronautical Society. On the back of Stewart’s initial endeavours over 30 kit planes have been built and/or flown by young people.

                    Stewart also volunteers as a STEM Ambassador visiting schools in Essex to inspire young people about life & career options.

                    Recently he has been appointed as a member of the General Aviation All Party Parliamentary Group for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

                    In his spare time Stewart enjoys family life, playing badminton, sailing & boating, flying in light aircraft and driving classic cars.

                     

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