Local government in Buckinghamshire and our political landscape is changing – it is now more important than ever that our community feels represented by a combination of new energy, fresh thinking, vision and leadership based on deep experience in both the private and voluntary sectors, underpinned by strong personal values: hard work, respect, self-improvement, collaboration and a duty to serve others.
I have lived in Wooburn Moor (1974-1987) and Bourne End (2005-2019) for half of my 54 years. Since our family returned from nearly 5 years living in the USA, our three children have grown up in the area, attending the local grammar schools and are now working or attending university. I, myself, went to RGS High Wycombe. I have a BA (Hons) in History from Manchester University and an MBA (with Distinction) from Warwick University. Sarah, my wife 28 years, works part-time as a nurse at the Spire Hospital in Wexham.
Over the last three years, I have been a leading member of the Keep Bourne End Green (KBEG) campaign team, which was set up to prevent land being removed for housing development from the Green Belt and Green Spaces around Bourne End and Wooburn. I have worked actively on the campaign strategy and communications, have led work streams on Transport and Flooding, have been an active fundraiser both in terms of events and door-to-door leafleting and frequently presented and answered questions at very well attended meetings in the Community Centre. During that time, I have also attended numerous meetings on behalf of KBEG with Dominic Grieve MP, Wycombe District Council Councillors and Planning Officers, and the Wooburn & Bourne End Parish Council. In doing so, it is clear to me that our local community is not being heard by those in local government and our point of view is not being fully represented. I committed to put myself forward to be selected and stand as a councillor who will actually stand up for the community on these fundamentally important issues, as well all others that impact our community and our future.
Local government in Buckinghamshire is about to enter a new chapter with the Unitary Authority and this will present new challenges and new opportunities. This requires fresh thinking and the experience to deal with complex and ambiguous situations. I have enjoyed a long and successful career in senior executive positions over thirty years in both global (e.g. Cadbury, Kraft Foods) and small consulting businesses. The task has often been about creating new visions and strategies and building new teams through alignment and collaboration, often during periods of merger and acquisition. This experience will be invaluable in the new Buckinghamshire Unitary Authority, where the County Council and four District Councils need to become one high performing body very quickly. I also have extensive experience outside of the private sector working with a number of voluntary organisations on performance improvement. I am an accredited Mentor and Performance Coach for the Rugby Football Union and work with rugby club volunteers across Buckinghamshire to help them develop and improve to enhance their role and contribution to their clubs. I also sit on the Advisory Board of Pimp My Cause that matches business people to good causes; am part of the fundraising committee for Access Sport, a charity that provides sport facilities for disadvantaged children; and provide careers advice to sixth form colleges in the South East through Working Options.