Meet Your Councillors!
Cllr Mrs Christine Howley
I have lived in Newent for most of my life, having grown up in Cliffords Mesne. I live with my partner Rob and work as a self-employed bookkeeper. I have been the treasurer for Newent Memorial Hall for over 15 years and played a major part in organising the Newent Onion Fayre for 5 years. I have also worked tirelessly for the Poppy Appeal for 20 years. I am passionate about the town and the beautiful green areas such as the Lake and Arboretum which the Town Council are custodians of. I love and enjoy the wildlife that exists in these areas and would wish to preserve these habitats, and maybe enhance them, in order for future generations to enjoy.
Cllr Mrs Mary Duffield
I live in Kilcot, where my husband and I have a small beef farm and a fodder haulage business.
I was born and brought up on a farm in Pool Hill (Pauntley) and went to secondary school in Newent. I left at 18 to join the Royal Navy, where I trained to be a nurse. A 42-year career in nursing followed – the last 22 of which I was based at Newent Health Centre as a Community Nurse working with children and young people in the secondary school and surrounding primary schools.
Now retired, I find I can spend more time on local affairs.
Cllr Roger Beard
My wife Elizabeth and I have lived in Newent for some 48 years with our children and grandchildren educated here. Our children continue to live here. My working life has been spent in the manufacturing industry which produced heavy machinery for sale into worldwide markets. I am pro business having had commercial interests in many overseas markets, such as India, USA, Middle East and China. I have been involved in raising significant monies for Newent, typically Town Centre Improvements and works to St Mary’s Church. As a Councillor I am interested in using my international business skills here in Newent where I can support local business development, support youth activities and our schools.
Cllr Eli Heathfield
I have lived in Newent all my life. I am a disabled student with challenges. Apart from being involved in various Student committees, I have worked with Mencap and held the position of SU Officer for Gloucestershire College. I am interested in bringing more visitors into our town to help boost our economy. I am supportive of young people; I would like more youth involvement in town. I am supportive of our various sporting teams, who highlight our town and being “special” myself, the SEN community in Newent is close to my heart. I am committed, enthusiastic and I care; I will do my best for our town.
Cllr Mrs Karen Draper
I have lived in Newent all my life and was educated here in our local schools as well as Gloucester College. My 2 children were also educated here in the local schools, one now at University in Bristol studying Economics and Business while the other is at Gloucester College studying beauty therapy. My recent work has covered Human Resources for a large retailing company and also providing secretarial support for a division within NHS. I support sporting activities in our town and as a supporter of Newent Rugby Club I congratulate them on their success and contribution to our town.
Cllr Mrs Sandra Marcovecchio
I have lived in Newent for 36 years, but I was born and lived in Abergavenny, until I married. I worked for Lloyds Bank for 32 years until taking early retirement in 2001. My husband Tony is a retired journalist and we have one son. I am probably a more familiar sight out and about with my two whippets. As a Councillor, I am passionate about nature conservation and the need to encourage diversity for flora and fauna. I would like the Council to take the lead by encouraging the planting of trees and creating and protecting wildlife habitats for future generations to enjoy. I despise littering and would like to see more individual pride in our lovely town.
Cllr Gill Moseley
Born in Leicester, I moved to Newent in 1995 continuing a career in music education. Challenging projects have been a feature of my life including the restoration of a derelict Victorian house in Hackney, where I became a Liberal Democrat Councillor. Another has been as a volunteer for the Macular Society at local and national level, helping those with central vision loss. Working in Hereford and Gloucester left little time for getting to know local people, but that all changed on retirement. I became manager of the multi-charity Xmas card shop until grandma duties took priority, and I helped found Newent & District U3A having been involved ever since. My top priority is to improve communication and engagement between the Town Council and the people who live and work in Newent and the surrounding area.
Cllr Ruth Wadley
I was born in the Forest of Dean area and educated in Lydney. I have lived in Cliffords Mesne for 46 years since marrying my husband, Rob. My last job before finishing work 9 years ago was for 20 years as Practice Manager with some Forest GPs. I have always had an interest in the countryside and in the community in which we live and feel that we are part of the Newent Community as a whole. I think that it is important to maintain good communication between the Town Council and the village of Cliffords Mesne, so that we can best support one another.
Cllr Julia Gooch
My 34 years as a local shop-keeper has enabled me to get to know the community. I have actively participated in many local causes, such as walking to raise funds for the RBL, helping to organise Bingo’s to raise funds for the Youth Football Club and assisting with refreshments at school events.I will always follow a task through to the end, no matter how challenging it might be. I like to listen to others points of view before making a decision and I like things to be managed properly. I am professional in my approach using the skills from my working life in finance, customer service, clerical and running family businesses to support my duties as a Councillor.
Cllr Alan Ralph
Married to Wendy, I have 3 children & 3 grandchildren. I’m 65 lived in newent 57 years. Played football & rugby for Newent, old angling club member. Belong to NO political party. To be a councillor, I’m trying to serve people of Newent best way possible.
Cllr Wanja Odhiambo
My name is Wanja, a mother to three daughters, two of them attend a local primary and secondary school while the other has moved on to Berkeley College. We have been living in Newent going to three years now, in which time we have embedded into the heart of the local community. I’m passionate about promoting and seeking wholesome wellbeing for all, with a keen interest in empowerment into entrepreneurship that seeks to fulfil and achieve maximum individual and community potential. I was recently awarded a Postgraduate certificate in Business Administration from the University of Gloucestershire and with my prior experience of seven years of running a family business in Gloucester I hope to join up with other Councillors to build a thriving business and social community here in Newent. I’m currently working as a Social Care Worker within the Forest of Dean, a learning journey that is rewarding and satisfying. I’m also a keen motivational and inspirational speaker and blogger with some articles and books published.
Cllr Ms Christine Birkan
I have lived in this area, in village or town, most years since 1994. I am a member of the Gardening Club and U3A, as well as helping out with FRED and can be seen most Friday mornings serving coffee etc in our Country Market.
Newent residents are welcome to contact any of the above-named Councillors regarding issues in the town, regardless of the ward. The town wards are used for election purposes only.