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
Chair: Standards Committee (UDC), Councillor at High Easter Parish Council, Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Member: Scrutiny Committee (UDC)

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. She has served on Stebbing Parish Council for 12 years, is vice-chair of the council, and chairs the Save Our Stebbing sub-committee. 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.

“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

WardRolesAbout/BioContact
Chair: Planning Committee (UDC), Councillor at Stebbing Parish Council, Councillor at Uttlesford District Council

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 am Vice-Chair of Stebbing Parish Council and over the past 12 years have served on most of its committees, being chair of Greens and Planning. I am the chair of the Save Our Stebbing sub committee, which represents the wishes of the local community fighting to stop the building of the West of Braintree so called Garden Community. I have also worked collaboratively and successfully on gaining an ‘Asset of Community Value’ for Andrewsfield.

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 especially in relation to West of Braintree with little regard to what we the communities say or 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 will, by reorganising how UDC is structured and utilising the best skills available. By working together with our communities we will achieve this.

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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 Judy Emanuel

Newport resident Judy has been part of the R4U team since 2015. She serves on Newport Parish council where she has joint responsibility for parking.

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Councillor at Newport Parish Council

Newport resident Judy has been part of the R4U team since 2015. She serves on Newport Parish council where she has joint responsibility for parking.

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Cllr Garry LeCount

An experienced entrepreneur in the media industry, Garry has been a senior executive for companies including EMI and Carlton TV and ITV. He is one of the two Elsenham and Henham district councillors and has served on Henham parish council for the last four years. He has lived in Henham for 36 years.

In 2018 he voted to submit the Uttlesford Local Plan to Government, to stop uncontrolled additional housing and expansion in Henham, Elsenham and the rest of the district.

“In 2017 you trusted Petrina Lees and I with your district council vote. Since then we’ve worked as a team to protect and enhance village life. We’ve dealt with many local issues, such as the road resurfacing outside the Elsenham shops, travellers, railway crossings and speeding.

Importantly through R4U we’ve been given a position on the UDC Local Plan working group which has finally given residents a seat at the table to protect our villages from unsustainable mass development.

Unlike candidates from national parties, we only have one boss, our fellow residents. In May please support us so we can continue to work for you over the next four years.” Garry LeCount

WardRolesAbout/BioContact
Councillor at Henham Parish Council, Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Member: Essex Police, Fire and Crime Panel (UDC), Member: Planning Committee (UDC), Vice Chair: Scrutiny Committee (UDC)

Garry LeCount is an experienced entrepreneur in the media industry, and has been a senior executive for companies including EMI and Carlton TV and ITV. He and his wife have lived in Henham for 36 years.

He is one of the two Elsenham and Henham district councillors and has served on Henham parish council for the last four years. At Uttlesford District Council he is a member of the Scrutiny committee that brings to account the Councils decisions that fall below the standards that residents expect.

At Henham Parish Council his responsibilities include highways, footpaths, web site and a new local information brochure. He was instrumental in closing a dangerous railway pedestrian crossing in Henham and as a district councillor in the resurfacing of the road outside the shops in Elsenham. He works to continue to bring positive changes to local issues by driving them through UDC and ECC.

Elsewhere in the ward he serves as a committee member on the PPG (Patient Participation Group) at Elsenham Surgery.

Garry is very concerned about unsustainable mass-homebuilding in the villages. In 2018 he voted to submit the Uttlesford Local Plan to Government, to stop uncontrolled additional housing and expansion in Henham, Elsenham and the rest of the district.

Outside of the village he has built a successful career as a serial managing director and senior executive in the music and video industry, with leadership roles in companies such as EMI and Carlton TV and ITV. He currently works as Financial Director for his son building a group of successful media companies.

He has a daughter with two children, and when not working he enjoys golf, music history, and being with his young grandchildren.

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Cllr Geoff Bagnall

Geoff Bagnall has been selected by R4U for the Uttlesford District Council 2019 local elections. He is a Takeley Parish Councillor and Vice Chair since 2011. Geoff is committed to creating greater local community involvement in shaping the future of Uttlesford. He stood as an independent candidate in 2015.  He joined R4U in 2019 and was elected to Uttlesford District Council for Takeley ward.

“I believe we need local representation at Uttlesford rather than the mainstream political parties if we are to secure the proper future for our communities. There is great support for local decisions on the doorstep.” Geoff Bagnall

WardRolesAbout/BioContact
Councillor at Takeley Parish Council, Councillor at Uttlesford District Council, Member: Planning Committee (UDC)

Geoff Bagnall moved to Takeley in 2009 and since then has been actively involved with the Parish Council.

He says “I am absolutely convinced that we need strong representation at a local level to ensure we are able to build the community in the right way. I believe we need it to be LOCAL representation at Uttlesford District Council rather than the mainstream political parties if we are to secure the proper future for our communities.

Geoff has spent his career in the banking and finance sector. During that time he has held various roles, most of which have required him to look at making improvements to processes and implement organisational change.  He says “To help me achieve success in these roles, one of the key capabilities has been the ability to communicate and drive consensus across teams, as that’s the way you get things done.  To do that I have built up a large network of relationships, which you need to work through complex problems with a number of stakeholders.”

These core skills of communication and network building will stand Geoff in good stead to help resolve the many issues at Uttlesford District Council and Essex County Council.

Locally he is particularly keen to ensure that planning decisions are taken for the benefit of the district as a whole, and that they include all infrastructure provisioning at the same time, for example, schools, medical centres, roads and utilities. He said he remembers once asking Conservative Dunmow Councillor Vic Ranger about the lack of school places when planning decisions were made at Uttlesford District Council. Geoff said “Cllr Ranger replied that schools are the responsibility of Essex not Uttlesford”. Geoff says he disagrees and believes that responsibly cannot be shirked. He believes that things like school places should be “very much part of planning decision making and that deciding in isolation is to the detriment of existing communities.

 

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