Council Members

David Griffiths

My wife, Eileen, and I moved to Dunsfold 23 years ago, but prior to that we lived in the grounds of Grafham Grange Residential Special School – where I worked first as head teacher and then CEO – from 1979 to 2006. The majority of my working life was devoted to Special Education, which involved the education and care of young people who were experiencing a wide range of difficulties, as well as providing extensive support to their families.

In 1990, when Grafham Grange School was threatened with closure, I worked with the Department for Education and Members of Parliament to set up the first ever Special Educational Trust, which would take over the management of the school from the local authority. This process was long and involved and necessitated changes to two Acts of Parliament. At its successful completion, I became CEO of Grafham Grange Special Educational Trust, which continued to prosper and was expanded to take on two other residential special schools.

I served as Justice of the Peace on the Guildford and West Surrey Bench for 27 years and was elected as Deputy Chairman of the Bench for a number of years. Due to my interest in the law and expertise in Special Education, I was invited to become a lay expert member of the tribunal service and I sat as a member of the Care Standards Tribunals, hearing appeals.

Following my retirement from full time employment as CEO in 2006, and until very recently, I ran my own training and consultancy practice, providing behaviour management training, support, and advice to Education, Care, and Health professionals across the UK.

Despite having continued to work until 2022, I have done my best to be involved in village activities, which have included being an active member of the Bonfire Committee and assisting on stalls at village fetes – most notably the Coconut Shy!

I now have more time to give to supporting all that is unique and special about our village and welcome this opportunity to do so as a Parish Councillor. I believe that the Parish Council should be a listening organisation, which is aware of the range of opinions of the members of its community, and which takes their views into account, within the constraints of relevant legislation. That approach has been at the centre of my working and judicial life. Open and honest two-way communication is key to effective local governance, and I will make that my priority.