What make a person become a Councillor? Your current Councillors explain…..
Councillor Karen Bland
I became a parish councillor because I feel that I want to participate in the community that I have just moved into. This is a very welcoming village with a lovely friendly community spirit, and it would be great to be involved and to think that I might be able to give my time to projects and to people. I am fascinated by local history and feel that the more I get to know people the more I learn about the area.
During lockdown I was lucky enough to be able to work from home, and so was able to deliver meals on wheels each day to Welshampton from Ellesmere. Through doing this I met some lovely people who are now good friends, and it’s taught me what ‘community’ means, because if it hadn’t been for this I wouldn’t have met them, or known that they needed help with shopping and other things too. There are so many people who are happy to help, but those that need help often don’t know who or how to ask. Parish councils were pivotal in bringing them together, and making sure everyone was supported. Therefore I would love to contribute going forwards as I have seen first-hand now how important an organisation this is.
Councillor Mike Dinsdale
I became a councillor because for many years I have held strong views about the advantages of community. Put simply, it’s where we live. Though a strong community requires commitment and involvement from its occupants. I feel it’s not something one cannot just leave to others, expecting things just to happen and turn out well. So when we moved here, 4 years ago I had the firm intention to become involved and, though I was surprised to be asked, I was delighted to join the parish council.
I find being a councillor can be challenging. There is much to learn and it demands effort and time. Yet it is a reward in its self, knowing one is working always for the good of the community. The opportunity to meet many likeminded people and to represent them and work on their behalf.
I think our best achievement is the work we are doing to preserve the nature of our parish, and to maintain and improve village life for all our parishioners.
Councillor Andrew Haydon
I moved into the Parish of Welshampton and Lyneal 5 years ago and have always lived in Shropshire save for periods spent working abroad. Soon after settling here I appreciated the strong sense of community in the Parish and wanted to be a part of preserving the character and amenities of our villages, especially since becoming a parent myself 3 years ago.
I have been Chair of the Council for 2 years and take this responsibility very seriously and hope for the future to fulfil this role to the best of my ability.
Councillor Lawrence Houghton MBE
When I moved to Colemere 11 years ago I had no real understanding of the role of the Parish Council or what a Parish Councillor actually did. All I knew was there was an occasional meeting in the Parish Hall that one of my neighbours attended as Colemere’s representative. Over time I came to understand how important it was for Colemere to have that representation and how the Parish Council could, in equal measure, support, promote and protect our small North Shropshire idyll.
I was originally co-opted on the Parish Council several years ago and am now in my second term as a fully elected member. During that time the Parish Council has had to deal with some really important stuff. Housing development, speeding traffic and significant environmental issues to name but a few. We strive always to achieve the best outcomes for our Parish – hopefully we have.
Being a Parish Councillor can sometimes feel like a thankless task because you can’t please all of the people all of the time – and those you can’t please are very quick to tell you!!! Nonetheless, for me, it is very rewarding.
Councillor Sarah Jefferies
I have lived in Shropshire all my life and moved to Welshampton with my family in 2005 to be nearer to my husband’s family. My family and I really enjoy living here and both our children attended and thoroughly enjoyed their time at Welshampton Primary School.
I am a long qualified family and divorce lawyer and work at a well established and large firm in the centre of Shrewsbury. When not working I enjoy family time, interior design, decorating and continuing to renovate our home.
I joined the Parish Council not long after moving here as I care passionately about what happens both in the countryside and our local community. I am particularly concerned to ensure that the integrity and character of the local area is preserved and maintained whilst looking towards improving the area and services wherever possible.
Councillor Sheila Stringer
I have recently joined the Welshampton and Lyneal Parish Council and am delighted to be able to work with the other members to maintain and develop our community for the benefit of everyone who lives here.
I joined wanting to be able to put something back into my community and feel that by representing the views of residents together we can nurture sustainable and sympathetic development for the future whilst still preserving and protecting the Parish’s unique character.
A strong and vibrant community exists and I believe it is vital that we work to ensure what happens in the Parish continues to support this and is in the best interest of the residents and local businesses.
Councillor Chris Symes
A short while after moving into Lyneal, I was made aware of a number of issues which had the potential to adversely affect the community, and the action being taken by a few enthusiastic residents to address these through the introduction of a Parish Plan and a Village Design Statement, so I decided to apply to become a Parish Councillor as I felt that my particular business skills would enable me to make a contribution.
Having an agreed Parish Plan is fundamental to the Parish Council’s activity, and the most enjoyable aspect of being a Councillor is being able to discuss and make decisions knowing that we represent what the community wants, particularly when it comes to rogue development.
The Council’s best achievement has been to attain a reputation which organisations like Shropshire Council, Police, DofE, the press etc, value and respect so that its decisions have authority.
My ambitions for the future for W&LPC are very straightforward – to ensure that the community continues to happily prosper through sensible, locally controlled development (not County or Government dictates) which provides homes and employment, and facilities such as school, church and pub, without disrupting the rural, agricultural nature of the Parish.
Councillor Guy Wellsbury
I am the newest member of our Parish Council
Having had the privilege of living on the western boundary of our parish for the last 20 years, I was delighted to respond to a recent request for new members to join our Parish Council.
I have always believed that to get the most out of living in a rural area it is essential to put something back into our community and to that end I have been Treasurer of Welshampton Church for he last 9 years and helped organise the fantastic Welshampton Plant Fair.
I hope that my passion and vision to keep our area beautiful yet functional for both villagers and local businesses will see Welshampton and Lyneal continue to thrive.
Councillor Martin Withington
I have been a member of Welshampton and Lyneal Parish Council since 2010. I am a retired Maths Teacher but still take a keen interest in educational issues and I do several days’ work each year, mainly in running training courses for Maths Teachers.
I feel fortunate to be part of a lively, committed and knowledgeable Parish Council. We are aware that we live in a beautiful and special part of the country and we are determined to try to ensure that the necessary balance is maintained between the need for progress and development on the one hand and the protection of the local environment on the other.