I have lived 37 years in Dunsfold (2023), married, 4 children, and 4 grandchildren.
- 1986 to 2002: Elmlea Cottage – The Green GU8 4LY
For the first 16 years I lived on The Green, I was involved in community organisations such as school governor (when we still had a school) which in those days also involved running the annual village/school fayre, then junior drama club, KGV social club, brownies, guides and youth club, including scout marquee duties! Also involved in the revival of the annual village bonfire, the conception and running of the inter-village “It’s a Knockout” and ambience manager at the Winn Hall charity fundraisers “Allo ‘allo!”, “Aloha, aloha!”, “Allah Akbar!”, and the KGV millennium party.
- 2002 to Present: The Sun Inn – The Common GU8 4LE
With my wife, Von, I took over the lease of the Sun Inn in 2002 when the pub was in deep trouble – the trouble turned out to be as much about industry structure as local business management – So as founder and coordinator of the Punch Tenant Network, I participated for more than a decade in a national campaign aiming to save the great British Pub from the predatory vulture funds that continue to pick over the industry. The campaign eventually resulted in parliamentary defeat for the coalition government in 2014 and the introduction of the “Market Rent Only Option” for tied pubs which aims to rebalance the relationship between Pubs and the big Pub companies, it has been partially successful. After Covid and now Russia, pubs continue to be challenged and to close forever at an alarming rate – 51 per month at present! – We are doing what we can to ensure survival at the Sun Inn.
Current community focus:
- SUN INN, DUNSFOLD, Von and I became owner and freeholder of your village pub in 2015 (long story best told over a lovely foaming pint!). The pub is now operated by the lovely Elle and her team – since becoming pub owners we have been investing in decarbonising and upgrading physical infrastructure and financial sustainability of the pub for the long term. A work very much in progress, with multiple challenges and continuous obstacles.
We have been responsible for your village pub for 20+ years and are doggedly determined to retain its character with help from many of you as villagers and hopefully, patrons.
- PROTECT DUNSFOLD Ltd, founder member and director:
In principle – to oppose all new fossil fuel extraction projects as being generally incompatible with the climate emergency. Also anything else that might crop up to force unwanted change on Dunsfold and its community!
Strategy – To use every possible and legal means to oppose, delay and frustrate the unconvincing UK Oil and Gas Plc (UKOG) and IGAS Plc in their efforts to invasively explore and extract speculative fossil fuels from Dunsfold parish.
- I firat joined the Parish Council in the 2019 uncontested election.
- Speaker at Waverley “listening panel” (July 2019).
- Organised cross party “Toe 2 Toe” demonstration at Pratts Corner (Jan 2022) with local politicians from all parties and climate protest groups working side by side.
- We are the client (supported by the Good Law Project) in the Royal Courts of Justice on June 8th in a Statutory Review of the Secretary of State’s decision to overturn Surrey’s twice confirmed refusal of planning permission for UKOG to drill in one of the most beautiful spots in our parish.
Having already had a short spell as Parish Councillor, (a shorter story best told over a half of shandy!) I remain deeply invested in the welfare of our village and community. I believe that a revitalised, transparent and communicative Parish Council will allow us to contribute to making sure Dunsfold remains as pleasant and enjoyable a place as it has been for much of the 37 years I have lived here with my family.
There are many issues that confront our evolving village, and I believe that some of them can be mitigated through creative and decisive community leadership from the Parish Council. We need to bring as much local expertise as possible to the cause and Parish councillors must be able to engage and coordinate effort from everyone to help achieve the best possible outcome for Dunsfold and its community.
Now elected, I look forward to the opportunity to continue my contribution to the wellbeing of the village as part of a team of elected representatives who will seek to understand, reflect and execute the will of parish residents at all times.