Bere Regis Parish Council By-election

Election Date: Thursday 13/06/2013

Voting from the by-election is now over, and counting has been completed. It can now be announced that Brenda House has received the most votes and is the newest addition to the Bere Regis Parish Council.

Congratulations Brenda!

Turnout was 34.8%, and the votes were allocated as follows (unaudited):

Alex Eddy – 131
Brenda House – 295
Jon Parker – 75
Matthew Smith – 3

Candidates’ Summeries:

Alex Eddy:

I am writing to you about the by- election to the Parish Council. I’d be grateful if you could spare me a few minutes of your time.

I live in North Street with my husband Dean and my Son, Kit, who goes to Bere Regis Primary School. I am a Solicitor specialising in Conveyancing (property work). I want to be a parish councillor to help you, to be the ear that listens and the voice that speaks up, to listen to all sides of an argument to be involved and care for the best interests of everyone in the village.

I am currently involved in the youth organisation Banter and try to help other organisations of the village as much as possible. I am very proud of our fantastic village school and the excellent OFSTED report they have achieved. I would like to work with the Parish Council to:-

    1. Ensure the businesses within the parish are successful. To boost the local economy with a “use it or lose it” campaign.
    2. To ensure the beautiful walks that are available are highlighted and the signs and leaflets proposed are well used by tourists and villager alike.
    3. To ensure the Parish Council keeps the footpaths clear and to make them available to everybody.
    4. To use Souls Moor to the benefit of the whole Parish.
    5. To support the new school and our important FOBRS.
    6. To boast about our beautiful village to all, to make people want to visit, stopping in the local B&B’s and campsites, and spending all their money in our local shops and businesses. Whilst ensuring, tradition and respect, remain as part of our village.
    7. To ensure the fabulous community spirit remains core to our strategy in managing the demands of the modern world.

I fell in love with this village as soon as I saw it and that love has grown as I have met more and more lovely people. I have never felt so comfortable and safe as I do now and I want this to continue through my old age and Kit’s progression to adulthood. I want everyone to feel the same, as valued members of our community. I want to help. I will do my upmost to represent you to the best of my ability.

Brenda House:

Bere Regis is my home and I feel very proud to have been a resident of the Parish for almost all of my 50 years.

My family has farmed at Lower Stockley Farm on Bere Heath since the early 1900’s. My Grandfather was foremost a farmer, but was also on the Parish Council for many years and also on Purbeck District Council. Likewise, my father was a Church Warden for thirty five years and on the Parochial Church Council for fifty years.

I am lucky enough to have been brought up here and went to the village school until I was eleven, when I then went onto Blandford High School and Upper School.

I now run the family farm alongside my partner and eldest son and have worked hard to build up the business to include Court Farm in Bere Regis. Farming has always been my life and I have raised my three children here and am now delighted that my grandchildren are growing up here too.

As I do not live within the village itself, as well as being a strong voice for the people who reside in the village, I can also represent those people who are living within the outer boundaries of our parish, as I believe they are also important members, whose opinions matter.

I would like to meet and talk with as many people as possible, to hear your views and issues, so that we can work together for the future of our parish.

Jon Parker:

I have lived in the village for almost 9 years with Helen and our 2 beautiful daughters and we intend to stay here in Bere Regis.
I am an engineer by trade, though I have turned my hand to many things in the past and have been self employed, worked for other companies and held managerial roles within large businesses.
I now choose to spend as much time at home with my family as possible.

My daughter’s are home educated and do not attend the village school, though this does not mean that I do not support the school and the work that they do, merely that I believe they are better served with one-on-one tuition and active learning within the community.

I am part of the village Neighbourhood Plan Team, SNCI group, Road Safety group & Banter (the new village youth facility) and I have attended all but one of the Parish Council Meetings for the last 14 months.
I also attend meetings at Purbeck District Council as and when I can.

I believe that people matter, their thoughts, feelings and ideas, whether they are an active member of the community or not.
I believe in equality, individuality, democracy & fairness.
I do not judge people on their wealth, status, job, religion, race, family or past.
I believe in living for today and improving for tomorrow.
People know me as being ‘different’, I am the one who is prepared to stand up when no-one else will.
I don’t do things to improve my social standing, to make friends or to pander to people, what I do, I do because I believe it is right.
People know me as somebody who they can ask for help, trust and rely on.
I will always tell you the truth, and sometimes it may not be what you want to hear.
I strive to ensure that things are done properly, efficiently and correctly.
I believe that it is very important to support village groups, events and businesses in order to retain the variety of facilities on offer to us within the community.
I believe that everyone has the right to be heard, and on a fair and impartial playing field.
I embrace difference, talent, knowledge & passion.
I believe that the Parish Council, is your Parish Council and works on your behalf.
I believe that you should have faith and confidence in the Parish Council and in all decisions made by the Parish Council.
I believe that your vote matters…
I don’t ask you to vote for me.

I do ask that you use your right to have a democratic vote and vote for the person who you would like to represent you!

Matthew Smith:

Well, my name is Matthew Smith and I was born in South Africa. I have lived in the UK for 13 years now, give or take a few months. And I have been a resident of Bere Regis for 22 months. My family and I enjoy living in the village and we think that the village has a lot to offer the residents.

Although I am only involved in one group in the village, namely C.A.R.S, I am still interested in the welfare of the village and decisions which ultimately have a bearing on my family’s future life here.

I am a master carpenter by trade and run my own business. I work hard to pay the bills and keep my staff in work. I worry about the same things most other people worry about. I have dreams and aspirations and do my best to achieve them.

What will I bring to the Parish Council? A balanced perspective. I am not swayed by social standing. I make decisions based on the facts. I was blessed with parents who instilled in me strong moral values and the belief that people should be accepted for who they are and that everybody is entitled to their own opinion. I am proactive and a carry projects through to completion. Being new to the village, and having a fair amount of life experience, I could bring a fresh perspective to the council. The council does good work within the village and I would bring a fresh set of hands to the table.