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
- High Easter Parish (Councillor)
- Uttlesford District Broad Oak and the Hallingburys Ward (Councillor)
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.