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Councillors

Whilst contact information for members of the Council is provided under the Freedom of Information Act you are advised to contact the Clerk for a quicker response as most of the Councillors are in full time employment.

 

Photograph of Jonny Bidgood

Jonny Bidgood

Member

0118 972 3616

Declaration Of Interests

Email

 

Responsibilities and Representations:

Village Centre and Transport Working Party
Cycleway Working Party

 

Biography

We moved to Sonning Common in 2014 - to make our home in Kennylands Road. I have previously been involved with Residents Groups locally, in Windsor, Taplow and Maidenhead.

I was impressed and inspired by Ben Hamilton-Ballie's 2017 'Placemaking Strategy' report which is a great analysis of the village and full of useful ideas to make it better.

Reading it convinced me to finally join the Parish Council. I will use my experience in Architecture and the built environment to help promote and achieve those ideas.

I joined the Village Centre Working Party a couple of years back and have been actively involved. I have already started working on a scheme for the 'Chiltern Edge Place' and a 'Cycleway' to Emmer Green and plan to continue this work within the Parish Council.

 

Photograph of Vicky Boorman

Vicky Boorman

Vice Chairman

07957 464780

Declaration Of Interests

Email

 

Responsibilities and Representations:

Finance Committee
HR Advisory group
Memorial Park Working Party
Village Centre and Transport Working Party
Parks and Environment Working Party

 

Biography

Vicky Boorman joined the parish council 18 months ago after finding herself becoming increasingly interested in a number of local improvements.

Said Vicky: “I’m trying to offer my contribution wherever I can to help make Sonning Common a better place to live in for all of its residents. I feel fortunate to have such a wide range of amenities in our village and to be surrounded by such beautiful countryside.

“I’ve lived and worked in and around South Oxfordshire for nearly 20 years and moved to Sonning Common seven years ago with my partner. In my professional life I work for a local authority and have a love for drainage that my friends find bizarre, branding me the ‘water geek’!

I like to wild swim and paddle board in our local stretches of the River Thames

Photograph of Jane Diwell

Jane Diwell

Member

0118 972 3616

Declaration Of Interests

Email

 

Responsibilities and Representations

Planning Committee
Sonning and District Welfare and Educational Trust
Poor’s Land Trust
Parks and Environment Working Party

 

Biography

I come from SE London originally but moved to the area in 1975 when my then husband Alan Diwell's job with Johnson Matthey moved to the Research Centre at Blounts Court. We bought our house in Sonning Common in 1982 and are now divorced.

I realised I knew hardly anybody in the village nor did I know what was going on there, much less have any influence over it, always having worked in London, Oxford or Reading. I was determined to change all that, so I joined the Parish Council.

I am keen to contribute in any way I can and am concerned to preserve the character and improve the amenities of the village.

Photograph of Stuart Howe

Stuart Howe

Member

07788 994819

Declaration Of Interests

Email

 

Responsibilities and Representations

Village Centre and Transport Working Party


Biography

Though I’m a relative newcomer to the village, having lived here with my family since 2013, we’ve lived in the surrounds of Sonning Common for the past 20+ years. I’ve been a Parish Councillor for just over 4 years and am currently chairman of the Village Centre Working Party which is focussed on enhancing the quality of our village centre. I’m also the chairman of 1st Sonning Common Scout Group.

Professionally I’m the purveyor of visions and dreams (Sales Director) in the dull world of cyber security. Outside of this you’ll typically find me on my mountain bike exploring some of the wonderful bridleways we have on our doorstep or frequenting many of the great hostelries and restaurants around us.

Photograph of Rob James

Rob James

Member

0118 972 3616

Declaration Of Interests

Email

 

Responsibilities and Representations

Memorial Park Working Party

 

Biography

Photograph of Sara McLellan

Sara McLellan

Member

0118 972 3616

Declaration Of Interests

Email

 

Responsibilities and Representations

Planning Committee
Parks and Environment Working Party

 

Biography

I moved to Sonning Common in 2021 with my husband, our (adult) children and first grandchild.

We haven’t come from far, having spent 22 years in Emmer Green and the previous 5 years in Caversham.

However, I grew up in Pangbourne, so am quite used to a village community feel, especially as back then, everyone knew everyone and any misdemeanours were reported to your parents before you even made it home, despite the mobile phone not even being in existence…

I have found there to be an amazing community feel within Sonning Common and decided to join the Parish Council to help preserve this and try to prevent overdevelopment of our beautiful surrounding countryside.

In my professional life, I have spent 20 years working in the motor trade, from selling cars to running service departments and now work with body shops to manage their training and ensure compliance with BSI.

In my limited spare time, I love country walks with my 9-month-old crazy Cocker Spaniel and spending time with my family.

I also love to travel and can quite often be seen driving off in my motorhome to explore new places, puppy, and grandchild in tow.

Photograph of Diana Pearman

Diana Pearman

Member

0118 972 2381

Declaration Of Interests

Email

 

Responsibilities and Representations

Planning Committee
Finance Committee
Memorial Park Working Party
Village Centre and Transport Working Party

 

Biography

We moved to Sonning Common in 2009, quickly realising it to be a vibrant community in which we wished to be involved.
My professional life had been in education first as a History teacher and Head of Department, then in a dyslexia and school refuser unit which led to advisory teacher status. A move to Senior teacher at a school in Barnet and finally onto Deputy Head at a 1,500 successful girls comprehensive school in Northampton and this was my last full time teaching post. Several months subsequently, I worked as a consultant on the vocational Diploma roll out.
Once settled in the village I was looking for some community involvement that had nothing to do with schools and thereby give me the opportunity to learn something new. Some of the details are listed below
• Involvement with the team to Save the Library
• Led the campaign against SON 5 at the Appeal hearing
• Invited to join the Neighbourhood planning team led by Barrie Greenwood
• Played a key role in the writing of the Neighbourhood Plan and many of the exhibitions
• Volunteered to help at the village Christmas Lunch over several years
• One of a trio who organised the 2020 Treats boxes for 100 elderly residents
• Became Editor of the Sonning Common magazine in 2012
• Elected Chair of the Memorial Hall working party in late 2016
• Currently a member of the NDP review group led by Tom Fort
• Continuing Chair of the Memorial Park working group
Through the work of all the above, I have learned and experienced many aspects of the work of a Parish Councillor and am pleased to be part of its work going forward.

Photograph of Leigh Rawlins

Leigh Rawlins

Member

0118 972 2565

Declaration Of Interests

Email

 

Responsibilities and Representations

Planning Committee
Finance Committee
Memorial Park Working Party
Village Centre and Transport Working Party
Poor’s Land Trust

 

Biography

I live in Woodlands Road and am a passionate advocate for our local community. I have a degree in Economics and Finance, am a qualified accountant and an experienced businessman – having held senior responsibilities including Finance Director and Managing Director. My business disciplines include marketing and commercial/ property law.
I have been a parish councillor in Sonning Common since 2012 – as part of a proactive team seeking to make major local improvements – and am Chair of Planning.

I support a number of voluntary activities locally including the Sonning Common Neighbourhood Plan, the delivery of much-needed sports and recreation facilities at the Memorial Hall Field, the SC village centre project, the Poor’s Land Trust and the ‘Village Gardeners’.

I have also been a lead participant in the successful campaign against Gladman’s plan to build 245 houses north of Emmer Green. If granted, that would have risked unleashing more widespread sprawl from Reading – which would engulf local villages in the future.

I undertook a significant role – providing planning and economics input to the Inspector and as an expert witness at the planning inquiry. With cross-party and cross-county co-operation we defeated Gladman – both at appeal and in the High Court.

Since 2012 I have built on my previous knowledge and developed a close understanding of planning issues in this area. Since 2019 I have been a district councillor at SODC and a cabinet member there – presently for Finance.

Photograph of Brian Robinson

Brian Robinson

Member

07488 385591

Declaration Of Interests

Email

 

Responsibilities and Representations

Planning Committee
Finance Committee
Village Centre and Transport Working Party
Scouts/Guides Hut Management Committee

 

 

Biography

My wife and I moved to Sonning Common fairly recently in 2020 along with our two young boys, who attend Sonning Common Primary School. We didn’t move very far, having lived in Caversham since 2011 but have been lucky enough to develop a wide circle of friends in the village and have been making up for lost time during the pandemic exploring the wonderful local walks and restaurants.

I have some experience of public service having spent 11 years in HM Forces then a complete departure for 20 years in logistics. I now work for the Civil Service based in Reading.  

I am very passionate about the strong community spirit that characterises the village and am really looking forward to being able to contribute to decisions that affect its future.

Photograph of Rick Scanell

Rick Scannell

Member

0118 972 3616

Declaration Of Interests

Email

 

Responsibilities and Representations

Finance Committee
HR Advisory group
Parks and Environment Working Party

 

 

Biography

For 25 years until 2010 I lived in London working as a barrister at Garden Court Chambers doing appellant work in immigration, refugee, human rights and European Union law. From 2000-2005 I chaired the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association. I wrote extensively in my subject area throughout my legal career and am widely published.

Looking for a change of career to be able both to spend more time with my then young children and to avoid totally 'burning out' I left the Bar in 2010 and together with my wife (also previously a barrister who left for similar reasons) we started to do property development (as sustainably as possible). From 2016 we became the Nicola Scannell Design and Property Partnership, offering project management, interior design and property finding services.

My varied working life has given me a broad skill set. I am passionate and motivated and hope I can be an asset serving the local community. I am particularly interested in promoting measures that will reduce our carbon footprint and protect the climate so that our beautiful environment can be enjoyed for generations to come.

 

Photograph of John Stoves

John Stoves

Chairman

0118 972 3420

Declaration Of Interests

Email

 

Responsibilities and Representations

HR Advisory group
Parks and Environment Working Party

 

 

 

Biography

Born and brought up in Buckinghamshire, I served an apprenticeship in Slough.  

I worked as an Engineer for 25 years before joining the world of finance.  I moved to Sonning Common in 2006 prior to retirement and joined the Parish Council in 2010.
My personal interests include gardening, walking and the countryside. 

I have an allotment and lead walks for my local ramblers group.  I’m also kept busy by my 4 grandchildren, 2 of whom live in the village.

Photograph of Brian Robinson

Neville Varnham

Member

0118 972 3616

Declaration Of Interests

Email

 

Responsibilities and Representations

Finance Committee
Cycleway Working Party
Club SC

 

Biography

I live in the Sonning Common Parish and am very keen to assist with making Sonning Common a great place to live and work.

I have an MA in Engineering Science and have had a career in Information Technology for over thirty years, spanning Programming, Project Management, Technical Architecture, Implementation Consultancy and Pre-Sales.

I came to the Parish Council via membership of the Sonning Common Parish Council Cycleway Working Party which is aiming to establish a safe and accessible active travel connection between Sonning Common and Emmer Green.

I believe Sonning Common is extremely fortunate to be on the edge of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and I volunteer to maintain and enhance it by being a member of the Chiltern Society. This includes being the Path Representative of Binfield Heath Parish.

I look forward to serving my local community as a Councillor, a member of the Finance Committee and a member of the Cycleway Working Party. I will represent the Council to the Sonning Common Youth Club.
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Contacts:

Parish Clerk:
Philip Collings
Chairman:
John Stoves

Office

address:Sonning Common Parish Council
Village Hall
Wood Lane
Sonning Common
Reading
RG4 9SL

phone: Tel: 0118 972 3616

Copyright © 2019-2024 Mike Henson and Sonning Common Parish Council