PC Election Results

The results of the Brenchley Parish Council election have now been announced. The nine new councillors are listed below (in alphabetical order) together with the personal information they provided earlier, as candidates.

The three unsuccessful candidates were James Spencer, John Watson and Jonathan Yardley.

The first meeting of the new Council will take place on Tuesday 17th May, at 7.30pm, in Matfield Pavilion

In the Borough Council election, Jane March retained her seat for the Brenchley and Horsmonden ward and in the election for the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, the Conservative candidate, Matthew Scott was elected.

Duncan Batty - Windmill Hill, Brenchley

My name is Duncan Batty and I have lived in Brenchley with my wife and two children (aged 2.5 and 0.5) for around 18 months. My reason for standing is fairly simple: I am very keen to promote and, where necessary, protect the community and its interests.

All communities evolve and I believe that the Parish Council has something of a guardian role with this, to ensure that this evolution occurs sympathetically, sustainably and with the best interests of the community at heart. I hope that I can be involved in this evolution. Also, as a relatively new resident I may offer a fresh perspective on these community matters. Particular areas of attention in the imminent future concern housing, Brenchley school and commercial premises. The effects of decisions in these areas will affect myself and my children for years to come and I want to do what I can to ensure that these decisions bring the greatest benefit to this community.

Lynne Butler - Church Road, Paddock Wood

I have been involved in organisations and community events in the Parish for more than thirty years, which has brought me into contact with a broad section of the community. As an active member and former Chairman of the Tennis Club I played a major role in the expansion of its facilities to four floodlit courts, as well as introducing group coaching for adults and juniors and league matches. For the past fifteen years I have been a Trustee and Chairman of the Brenchley Memorial Hall Charity, which has attained a solid financial position and continues to expand the activities held on its premises and recreation grounds. My introduction of monthly film screenings in 2012, in particular, is attracting a growing and appreciative audience. As one of the editors of Roundabout, a position I have held for the past eleven years, I am able to keep closely in touch with members of the community and their views.

A Parish Council represents the views of local residents, works in their best interests and strives to improve the quality of life and the local environment. I am strongly committed to upholding these democratic principles of local government. The Parish Plan will give residents an opportunity to express their present needs and hopes for the next generation. If elected I would encourage community participation in decision making and work towards implementing the recommendations of the Plan. It would be a privilege to make progress in shaping a better future for the community.

Anthony Paul de Guingand - Bramble Reed Lane, Matfield

I moved to Matfield in 1976 from Marden, although originally from Tunbridge Wells. A Chartered Accountant by profession, I spent virtually all my working life in the City. Married to Diana with three children. Interests include rugby, croquet and golf. Outside interests include Honorary Treasurer of Tonbridge Juddians RFC and a member of the Matfield Village Fete Committee. Also, Hon Auditor of Matfield Green Cricket Club and Brenchley & Matfield LTA.

Currently a Parish Councillor with responsibilities in the areas of Finance, Matfield Pavilion and Cinderhill Wood.

I am keen to make those who live in the Parish proud of where they live.

Jon Grant - High Street, Brenchley

My family and I have lived in the village for 25 years.For 22 of those years I was a commuter to London where I worked in the Finance industry.I am now a Director of an Advisory and Consultancy firm working on Legal and Financial regulation issues.

I am standing as a candidate because I believe that the recent empowerment of local communities by central government needs careful considered and realistic implementation. Brenchley and Matfield must preserve their unique attributes and assets,honour their past and prepare and provide for the future.I believe I have the ideas,the energy and the commitment to make a full contribution in this regard.

I am not affiliated with any political party.

Niccy Marriott - The Green, Matfield

I moved to Matfield in December 1989 but have known this beautiful area virtually all my life. I have been a Parish Councillor twice, from 1998 until 2004 and from 2012 until now.

On both my stints with the Parish Council I have been closely involved in the planning process. When expressing a view on a planning application it is important to do this in terms of the relevant regulations and guidelines. As a former property lawyer I bring specialist expertise to this aspect of the council’s work.

This is a time of change in the planning process, both nationally and locally. Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is embarking upon a new Local Plan, which will set out its planning policy for many years to come. This is being undertaken against a backdrop of considerable pressure from national government to increase the housing supply. We are fortunate to live in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which enjoys a high level of protection, but, despite this, is under pressure to take a share of that housing quota.

Within the parish, volunteers have been working on a Parish Plan. This will set out a vision of what we want from our villages in years to come and will give residents the opportunity to have their say.

I believe that it is vital that we endeavour to manage any future development so that it is right for residents whilst preserving the unique character of our villages, keeping them safe, pleasant places to live.

Ian George McEwen - Maidstone Road, Matfield

I moved to Matfield from London ten years ago with my wife, Angela, whose family comes, originally, from Horsmonden. I have served on the Parish Council since 2008 and helped to set up the Brenchley and Matfield website which I have run since it first went online eight years ago.

I believe that the Parish Council exists to serve the local community. We cannot isolate the villages from change but we must do what we can to ensure that changes both preserve the character and landscape of our Parish and that they help to ensure that we will have a thriving community.

For the future, I believe that the PC must continue to place consultation and the provision of information high on its agenda. As the lowest tier of local government, it ought to be better placed than either the Borough or County Council to know what local residents need and want. That will be particularly important as the Borough Council develops its new Local Plan over the next few years which will set the criteria for future development in the villages.

Parish Councils have a much more significant role to play today as cash-strapped borough and county councils try to divest themselves of responsibilities and meet government targets. If I am re-elected, I will continue to play an active and committed role in serving the Parish as a whole and in further development of the village website as a source of information and means of consultation.

Georgie Warner - Petteridge Lane, Brenchley

I have lived in Kent since 1978 and in Brenchley since 1984. I am married to Charles and we have three children. My career has been spent working with antique furniture and I have my own antique sourcing business. For the past 25 years I have worked in the Charity Sector, and I am the immediate past Chairman of the national charity, Gardening for Disabled Trust. I was High Sheriff of Kent 2011-2012. I am a Deputy Lieutenant of Kent, Trustee of Rochester Cathedral Trust, a Trustee of Kent Community Foundation, a Kent Ambassador and a Patron of Hadlow College.

My hobbies are riding my horse, gardening and walking my young Border Collie.

Robin Wickham - Brenchley Road, Matfield

I have lived in Brenchley and Matfield all my life and care deeply about the two villages. I farmed fruit in both Brenchley and Matfield for over 40 years and still retain a small fruit farm in Matfield. I have previously served on the Parish Council including as Chairman for five years. My contribution to the Community has included renovating Matfield Pond, help setting up the Tennis/Squash Club/the History Society and led the push for more affordable Housing for village people.

I have also recently assisted in getting the 30 mile speed limit. I feel I still have a lot to contribute to the Community. If elected I would be keen to continue to see the villages prosper without excessive development.

Christopher Woodley - Foxhole Lane, Matfield

An active member of the community for sixteen years, and a committed parish councillor since 2010

These are some of the things I have done in the past six years.
●    A leading role in the project to re-build Matfield Pavilion – and managing it as well-used community facility.
●    Actively associated with the social life of the parish – supporting many community events, organizing The Local Games, and volunteering at Matfield Village Fete.
●    Worked with other councillors to devise a scheme to retain the Community Amenity Vehicle.
●    Getting my hands dirty – planting bulbs, and facilitating a community clean-up of Porter’s Wood in Petteridge.

If re-elected these are some of the things I would aim to do.
●    Take a lead in encouraging the council to maintain the excellent relationship it has with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Kent County Council, and to continue working alongside the other elected representatives for our area, to speak up for the interests of the residents and businesses.
●    Encourage the council to be actively involved in the formation of the Tunbridge Wells Local Plan, as appropriate, and to give a high priority to tackling issues affecting the future well-being of the parish, particularly through the Parish Plan.
●    Help to ensure that the council maintains to a high standard the facilities and resources for which it is responsible.
●    Continue to be active in the parish, volunteering, and getting my hands dirty.