Contacts for Parish Councillors and other key contacts

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Contacting Your Councillors

Council contacts are grouped as follows:

Parish Council Contacts

  • Laura Walkingshaw, Parish ClerkClerk to Parish Council Laura Walkingshaw
    Correspondence address is 80 Chapel Road, West Bergholt, CO6 3HL
    Email: [email protected]
    Tel: 01206 240772

Parish Councillors

The last parish council election was in May 2019. Following resignations there are now 2 vacancies for a Parish Councillor. For details of how to apply please contact the Clerk on [email protected]. The next parish council election will be held in May 2023.


Brian Butcher

Elected May 2019 – Chairman of Parish Council, Chairman of Premises Committee, Vice-Chairman of Planning Committee, Member of Finance Committee, Parish Council

Email: [email protected]

Brian is an elected member of the Council, having initially been co-opted. Brian became a Councillor anticipating such would be a rewarding and worthwhile way, which he has found to be the case, to help those in the Parish, by bringing to the Council his skills from his professional life; these include construction, team working, problem-solving and organisational skills. Brian became a Chartered Structural Engineer at the tender age of 25, retiring from the Colchester business he was formally an owner and director of, after 35 years. Brian has worked on West Bergholt’s Neighbourhood Plan from its inception. This year Brian has again been asked to Chair the Village Fete committee, having worked on such for the last few years. Brian is married with two sons and three grandchildren. In any time he has spare Brian seeks to play golf, lawn bowls and is an avid Spurs fan.

Responsible Financial Officer

Andrew SavageAndrew P Savage

Elected May 2019 – Responsible Finance Officer, Chairman of Finance Committee, Member of Planning Committee, Staffing Sub-Committee.

Email: [email protected]

Andrew was originally co-opted onto the Parish Council in 2001 after having lived in the village for 17 years. Andrew is married and both their daughters went to Heathlands School.  He continues to work for Chelmsford City Council where he has been a Building Control Officer for the last 30 years.  He is currently Chair of ‘The Friends of Hillhouse Wood’ and organises the regular working parties looking after this piece of ancient woodland.  For the past 5 years he has also been involved with the development of West Bergholt’s emerging Neighbourhood Plan.

Vice Chairmen

Harry StoneHarry Stone

Elected May 2019 – Vice-Chairman of Parish Council, Member of Finance Committee, Environment Committee, Staffing Sub-Committee.

Email: [email protected]

Harry has lived in West Bergholt for over 40 years and his two sons attended Heathlands School.  After retirement as a Secondary School Headteacher, he became involved in village activities helping to establish BYG, chairing the Care Network and the Allotment Committee. Harry became a Parish Councillor ten years ago and has been Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council for the last three years. He has been involved with various working groups and organises the team of snow clearing volunteers.  He represents the Parish Councillor as a Governor of Heathlands School.

Bob TyrrellBob Tyrrell

Elected May 2019 – Vice-Chairman of Parish Council, Chairman of Planning Committee, Member of Finance Committee, Parish Council.

Email: [email protected]

Bob moved to West Bergholt in 1990, he is married with two children, both of whom went to Heathlands School. He joined the Parish Council in 1995.  During this time, he has served as Vice Chair of the Parish Council for 5 years and Chair of Planning for many years. He was jointly responsible for the design and construction of the Orpen Hall extension, and the general decoration and maintenance of the main Orpen Hall. He produced the West Bergholt Village Design Statement and, also played an active part in the production of the Neighbourhood Plan.

Bob has recently retired, during his career he was an Associate Director of a London architectural practice, company architect for a London-based property developer, managed his own construction company and recently his own architectural practice. He has also lived and worked in Saudi Arabia, USA and China. His other interests include painting, drawing and travel.


Manya Barrow

Manya barrow

Co-opted February 2022

I have lived in West Bergholt for 11 years and retired from a career in teaching for Essex County Council.

I have been involved in village life and am currently Vice President of West Bergholt Women’s Institute (WI) and President of Colne Valley Flower Club, both of which meet monthly at the Orpen Memorial Hall. The skills I have learnt with years of experience in dealing with children, parents, colleagues, school governors and the community have led me to believe in fairness and equality, listening, making informed fair decisions effectively and efficiently.

Joel Fayers

Co-opted July 2021 – Member of Planning Committee/

Email: [email protected]

Joel was co-opted onto the Parish Council in July 2021. He has lived in West Bergholt with his wife and son since 2017.

He is a Director and Partner of a PR and consultation agency which specialises in the built environment. Prior to working in this sector, he spent several years working in Parliament in Westminster and similar work with District Councils.

Outside of work, Joel also sits on the board of a charity called LandAid and is a Spurs season ticket holder with an unwavering belief that supporting them will be worth it in the end.

John Gili-Ross - ChairJohn Gili-Ross

Elected May 2019 – Chairman of Environment, Footpaths Officer, Member of Finance Committee, Parish Council

Email: [email protected]

I moved with my family to West Bergholt 40 years ago and still believe it was one of the best decisions we made.  The village provides a wonderful family environment, that retains a special characteristic within a changing world.  I joined the Parish Council more than 30 years ago and was delighted when I was chosen to be its Chairman, a position held for 13 years.   I am tremendously interested in the village environment and with the advent of austerity and the reduction of services by Colchester and Essex County Council my priority as Chairman of the  Environment and Highways committee has been to ensure greater control over the delivery of services needed in the village.  My wife and I remain active volunteers within West Bergholt and hope to do so for many years to come.

My voluntary community work outside of the village includes serving as Chairman of the Colchester Association of Local Councils, Chairman and now Vice Chairman of the Essex Association of Local Councils.   I am one of two independent members of the Essex Police, Fire and Crime Panel established by the Home Office when the first Police and Crime Commissioner was appointed in 2012.  In 2018 I was elected as the first Chairman of the National Association of Police Fire & Crime Panels.  I have been a panel member of Colchester’s  Community Initiative Fund for more than 10 years, which provides valuable funding for community projects.   I am Chairman of the Essex County Council Local Services Fund aimed at awarding start-up revenue funding for community programs throughout Essex.

James Owers

James Owers

Co-opted February 2022

James was co-opted onto the Parish Council in February 2022.  He has lived in West Bergholt since 2009, he is married and his children were born here.

As a Project Management Consultant he enjoys working on a number of interesting and varying projects both here in the UK and overseas.  

Outside of work, James enjoys walking, cooking, model railways and cycling. James has a particular interest in the environment and community facilities and looks forward to ensuring they are fit for purpose for the next generation.

David Short

Elected May 2019 – Member of Environment Committee, Parish Council

Email: [email protected]

David has lived in the village for the last 40 years. He is married and is a retired Litigation Executive. He was co-opted on to the Parish Council about ten years ago but took a break due to health reasons and then re-joined later. David served as chair of the Environment Committee in the past and remains a member of that committee. He is particularly interested in providing more facilities in the village for use by the older children and young adults and to this end is currently exploring the possibility of the Trustees and the Parish Council providing an outdoor gym facility to be used by all residents.

Chris Stevenson

Chris Stevenson

Elected May 2019 – Vice-Chairman of Finance Committee, Member of Planning Committee, Staffing Sub-Committee, Parish Council


Chris was originally co-opted onto the Parish Council in 2006 and joined primarily to ensure a good link with the community-led Parish Plan Group of which was the Chairman. He has lived in the Parish for 21 years, and is married with two grown-up children, who both attended Heathlands School. Chris is employed at Essex County Council in the Highways and Transportation Department, where he has held various positions for the last 30 years mostly in the field of Forward Planning of major transport schemes. Chris is particularly interested in Community Planning and is the Chairman of the Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group. Outside of Council related activities, Chris is a keen cyclist and gardener, tending an allotment in the village.

Register of Interests

Under the 2011 Localism Act all Parish Councillors must record details of any interests they may have that could affect the way they undertake their duties.  Colchester Borough Council keeps a Register of Interests which records any such interests and you can see this on-line  by clicking this link.  You can find out more about this requirement on the Register of Interests page.

Parish Committees

As Chairman Cllr Stevenson is an ex-officio member of each Parish Council Committee.

  •    Finance, Policy & Personnel Advisory Committee – [email protected]
    • Andrew Savage (Chair), Chris Stevenson (Vice-Chair), Brian Butcher, John Gili-Ross, Harry Stone, Bob Tyrrell
  •    Environment & Highways Committee – [email protected]
    • John Gili-Ross (Chair),   Harry Stone,  David Short , Norma Smith
  •    Planning & Development Committee – [email protected]
    • Bob Tyrrell (Chair), Brian Butcher (Vice-Chair), Joel Fayers, Andrew Savage

Other Duties & Roles

  • Village Handymen  – Nigel Weall / Matt Harkness / Simon Forrester
  • Village Halls Administrator – Vicky Beckwith-Cole
  • Village Bulletin Editor – Jacqui Kibby
  • Webmaster – Dave Kingaby

 Borough Councillors

West Bergholt is part of the Lexden & Braiswick ward having 3 Borough Councillors:

Lewis BarberCllr. Lewis Barber

Tel: 07876 237137
Email: [email protected]


Cllr. Martin Leatherdale

Cllr. Martin Leatherdale

Tel: 07988 636788
Email: [email protected]


Dennis WillettsCllr. Dennis Willetts

Tel: 01206 240314
Email:  [email protected]


County Councillor

Lewis BarberCllr. Lewis Barber

Tel: 07876 237137
Email: [email protected]


Member of Parliament

Bernard Jenkin

Bernard Jenkin MP

Tel: 020 7219 4029
Email: [email protected]

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