Contacts for Parish Councillors and other key contacts

Contacting Your Councillors

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Council contacts are grouped as follows:

This page also includes details of:

Parish Council Contacts

Laura Walkingshaw, Parish ClerkClerk to Parish Council – Laura Walkingshaw
Correspondence address is 80 Chapel Road, West Bergholt, CO6 3HL
: [email protected]
: 07726 424419

Julie Gillott - Clerk's Assistant

Clerk’s Assistant – Julie Gillott
Responsibilities include Planning, Allotments & Communications.
: [email protected]

Parish Councillors

The last parish council election was in May 2023. There is now 1 vacancy 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 2027. For committee and working party memberships scroll down to here.

Each of our Parish Councillors has been asked to answer 5 out of 8 ‘fun questions’ to enable you get to know them a bit better. As they respond their answers will be shown below their bios.


Brian Butcher

Elected May 2023. WBPC representative on Colchester Association of Local Authorities (CALC) and CALC rep on EALC (Essex Assoc.)

: [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.

Read Brian’s five fun facts

Q. Who was the most influential person in your life?

A. My mother. She trained as a nurse after World War 2 and spent most of her working life in A&E but died suddenly before she reached the age of 50, not fulfilling her true potential. She came from a humble background and spent her free time as a volunteer for St John’s Ambulance, rising to staff officer and contributed significantly in the flood rescues of 1953.  She was recognised for her volunteer work by being invited to meet the Queen, together with my father who also involved. I have a picture of their Austin 1100 parked in The Mall alongside Bentleys, the odd Rolls Royce, etc.!

Q. What is your favourite biscuit?

The ‘squashed fly biscuit’s’, Garibaldi. I think it must have been a kid thing in what they were called, not certain they taste so good now though, but they’re probably better for me now!

Q. You can invite 3 people to dinner with you who would they be (alive or dead)?

  • William Shakespeare so I could ask him if every book we credit him with now he actually wrote! Then I’d write the authoritative book on the subject.
  • Hilary Clinton, a much maligned U S politician but one whose background I found fascinating from reading her autobiography, a mighty tome.
  • Tony Blair, so why did we go to war?

Q. What do you do in your spare time?

A. I’m not certain I have much of that but there is my gorgeous nearly three year old granddaughter to help look after, bowls to play, and golf. There is my beloved Spurs to follow, but getting a ticket to do so is not easy!

Q.  What was your favourite subject at school and why?

A. Mathematics. Our brilliant and ‘hippy like’ teacher stood out from all the rest of the staff, and made a dull subject interesting for five years! Maths was something I used every day as a structural engineer, making buildings stand up that the architects designed!

Responsible Financial Officer

Andrew P Savage

Cllr Andrew Savage

Elected May 2023.

: [email protected]

Andrew was originally co-opted onto the Parish Council in 2001 after having lived in the village for 17 years.  He is particularly proud of his years of involvement with the Council’s finances as well as in the development of West Bergholt’s Neighbourhood Plan.  Andrew is married and both their daughters went to Heathlands School.  He has now retired after 40 years in Local Authority Building Control.  He has been the Chair of ‘The Friends of Hillhouse Wood’ for the last 15 years and organises the regular working parties looking after this piece of ancient woodland. 

Vice Chair

Harry StoneHarry Stone

Elected May 2023.

: [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-Chair 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.

Read Harry’s five fun facts

Q. Who was the most influential person in your life?

A. My mother – who taught me standards and rules for life

Q. You can invite 3 people to dinner with you who would they be (alive or dead)?

  • Lee Mack (my favourite comedian)
  • Temu Puki (ex Norwich footballer)
  • Kier Starmer (a politician with integrity)

Q. What do you do in your spare time?

A. I work on my allotment and like Sudoku puzzles

Q. Did you have a favourite toy or game as a child?

A. My pet rabbits

Q. What was your favourite subject at school?

A. Mathematics. I had a superb teacher and I was good at it!


Manya Barrow

Manya barrow

Elected May 2023.

: [email protected]

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.

Read Manya’s five fun facts

Paul Chamberlain

Councillor Paul Chamberlain

Co-opted September 2023

: [email protected]

Paul Chamberlain has lived in the village previously and moved back in 2022 with his wife and young family.

At just 18 years old he started his own property maintenance company and is now the managing director for a property development and renovation company, specialising in high end bespoke and listed properties. Amongst skilled tradesmen he works closely with architects and planning advisors. His strengths are managing and leading teams and working with people across a broad range of disciplines and skillsets.

As member of the Parish Council he has joined the Planning, Hall and Neighbourhood Plan Committees bringing additional experience and expertise to these two key areas.

Sara Cullis

Cllr. Cullis

Elected May2023.

: [email protected]

Sara is married and has lived in the village for over 25 years. She retired (early) from a career spanning senior roles in a number disciplines across Corporates, SME’s, Public Sector and running her own consultancy.

She is on the Committee for the Flower Club and a member of the Gardening Association.  With hobbies including Golf, Gardening, Walking and Book Club she likes to keep busy and active.

As a member of the Parish Council she wants to continue the development of amenities within the village to benefit all within the parish, ensuring that it remains a progressive, thriving and inclusive village for all.

Read Sara’s five fun facts

John Gili-Ross - ChairJohn Gili-Ross

Elected May 2023.

: [email protected]

I moved with my family to West Bergholt more than 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 Chair, 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 Chair of the Environment and Highways committee has been to ensure greater control over the delivery of services needed in the village.  I remain an active volunteer within West Bergholt and hope to do so for many years to come.

My voluntary community work outside of the village includes serving as Chair of the Colchester Association of Local Councils, Chair and now Vice Chair of the Essex Association of Local Councils.   I am one of two independent members of the Essex Police, Fire and Crime Panel when panels were first established by the Home Office when the first Police and Crime Commissioner was appointed in 2012.  I was appointed Chair of the Essex Police Fire and Crime Panel In 2020 and elected as the first Chair of the National Association of Police Fire & Crime Panels in 2018. 

I have been a panel member of the Essex Community Initiative Fund for more than 10 years, which provides valuable funding for community projects and I co-chair this panel.   I am a member of the Local Highways Panel (LHP) representing all parish and town councils across the borough.  The LHP determines which highway related projects will be allocated funding made available each financial year.

Read John’s five fun facts

James Owers

James Owers

Elected May 2023.

: [email protected]

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,

Read James’ five fun facts

Q. Who is/was the most influential person in your life?
A. My Father, I’m a twin and he raised two small boys on his own.  

Q. What is your favourite biscuit?

A. Tough one as so many nice ones to choose from, think it’s got to be a shortbread

Q. Name 3 items on your bucket list?

  • I’d like to visit Japan
  • Learn a Musical Instrument
  • Complete my Day Skipper Qualification

Q What mantra(s) do you live by?

A. The only day I wasted, was the one I didn’t laugh.

Q. What was your favourite subject at school and why?
A. Drama, we were allowed to operate a

Katie Pulford

Katie Pulford

Elected May 2023.

: [email protected]

I have lived in West Bergholt since 2012, I am married and have two children who both attend Heathlands school.  I work and have family in Colchester. In my spare time I enjoy time with family, watching and playing sport.

David Short

Elected May 2023.

: [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.

Read David’s five fun facts

Q. You can invite 3 people to dinner with you who would they be (alive or dead)?

  • Prof. Sir Roger Penrose (A British mathematician, mathematical physicist, philosopher of science and Nobel Laureate in Physics. He was born in Colchester)
  • Prof. Stephen C. Meyer (An American author and former educator. He is an advocate of the pseudoscience of intelligent design)
  • My father.

Q. What mantra (s) do you live by?

A To continue to learn as much as possible. to keep an open mind, to always test the evidence.

Q. What do you do in your spare time?

A Read, write, go to the gym, and kid myself that I’m still 18 and play chess (badly).

Q. What was your favourite subject at school?

A. Biology, because I wanted to know how nature works (still trying to find out).

Bob Tyrrell

Cllr Bob Tyrrell

Elected May 2023.

: [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.

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 Chair Cllr Butcher is an ex-officio member of each Parish Council Committee.

  • Finance, Policy & Personnel Advisory Committee
    [email protected]
    • Andrew Savage (Chair), Brian Butcher (Vice-Chair), John Gili-Ross, James Owers, Harry Stone, Bob Tyrrell.
    • Staffing Subcommittee
      • Andrew Savage, Brian Butcher, Harry Stone or John Gili-Ross depending on appointment.
  • Environment Committee
    [email protected]
    • John Gili-Ross (Chair), Katie Pulford (Vice-chair), Manya Barrow, James Owers,  David Short, Harry Stone.
    • Reporting to the Environment Committee:
      • Public Rights of Way – John Gili-Ross,
      • Transport Representative – Manya Barrow
  • Planning & Development Committee
    [email protected]
    • Bob Tyrrell (Chair), Sara Cullis (Vice-Chair), Brian Butcher, Paul Chamberlain, Andrew Savage.
  • Publicity Officer
    • Sara Cullis
  • Climate Change Working Party
    • Bob Tyrrell, Andrew Savage, Sara Cullis.
  • LCAS Gold Award Working Party
    • Brian Butcher, Harry Stone, Andrew Savage
  • Neighbourhood Plan Working Party
    • Andrew Savage, Bob Tyrrell, Sara Cullis
  • William Sims Field Working Party
    • Brian Butcher, John Gili-Ross, David Short, Bob Tyrrell, Andrew Savage
  • MUGA Working Party
    • (to look at prices & use) Harry Stone, Katie Pulford, Brian Butcher
  • Communications Working Party
    •  (to look at website, FB & Instagram), Sara Cullis, Manya Barrow, Katie Pulford
  • Parish Office Working Party
    •  Andrew Savage, Brian Butcher, James Owers

Council representatives to various bodies

  • Orpen Hall Management Committee
    • Bob Tyrrell, Manya Barrow, Paul Chamberlain, James Owers (Vice-Chair), Katie Pulford (Reports to Trust)
  • Joint Steering Group (Social Club)
    • Brian Butcher, Harry Stone, Andrew Savage (reports to Trust)
  • Poor’s Land Futures Group
    • Brian Butcher, Sara Cullis, David Short (reports to Trust)
  • Playground Advisory Group
    • Brian Butcher, Harry Stone, David Short
  • Traffic Safety Group
    • Harry Stone, Sara Cullis
  • Village Bulletin Editorial Board
    • Manya Barrow, Brian Butcher
  • Heathlands School Liaison
    • Brian Butcher, Harry Stone
  • St Mary’s Church Liaison
    • Harry Stone, Andrew Savage, Brian Butcher
  • CALC
    • Brian Butcher, John Gili-Ross

Project Lead Councillors (reporting to PC)

  • N G’s East Anglia Green Project – David Short
  • Colchester Road Crossing – Brian Butcher
  • N P Implementation Plan – Sara Cullis

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

: 07876 237137
: [email protected]


Cllr. Sara Naylor

: 01206 625140
: [email protected]


Dennis WillettsCllr. Dennis Willetts

: 01206 240314
[email protected]


County Councillor

Lewis BarberCllr. Lewis Barber

: 07876 237137
: [email protected]


Member of Parliament

Bernard Jenkin

Bernard Jenkin MP

: 020 7219 4029
: [email protected]

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