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
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