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FOLLOWING the elections in May, the parish council was left with three vacancies as there were not enough candidates to fill its seats.
The three councillors that have been co-opted to fill the vacancies are cllr John Doel representing the Beanacre, Shaw, Whitley & Blackmore Ward; and cllrs Andy Russell and Rob Hoyle representing the Bowerhill Ward.
Introducing himself, cllr John Doel said, “I am a 76 year old farmer living in the bungalow near the bends on Lower Woodrow. I was bought up on my parents’ farm and went to school at Lowbourne followed by Chippenham. On leaving school I worked on the farm and studied agriculture.
“I became chairperson of Melksham Young farmers and married Margaret Deven who many will know if they went to Sandridge school as their swimming teacher. I joined the National Farmers Union and represented the livestock industry in London for many years and the British Wool Marketing Board for 21 years.
“I farm with my brother, keeping beef cattle at Hack Farm and keep a lot of sheep independently on Sandridge Hill. Why did I stand for Melksham Without? The answer is simple, Melksham is a nice place to live and I want to try and make sure it stays that way.
“I am impressed how nice both Shurnhold Fields and the play area at Beanacre look – with such nice well-kept areas, it shows the people of Melksham really care. I have one hate; I wish some people would not leave their litter on the roadside, it lets such a nice place down.”
Cllr Andy Russell said, “My wife and I, with our three young children, moved from Berkshire to Bowerhill in 2001, and have lived in the same house in Bader Park since then. Our, now grown up children, were educated through the local schools; Bowerhill Primary, George Ward and Melksham Oak.
“I have been in employment locally throughout the last 20 years, in sales and business development roles, and ran my own business. I have a strong commitment towards supporting our Bowerhill community, protecting our valuable resources and local countryside. I served a term with the ATC 2385 Squadron in Bowerhill as civilian chairman, holding the post for 6 years during which time my oldest daughter was a cadet until she left at the age of 18.
“I am now late 50s and feel my life experiences, skills and knowledge will be put to good use as a parish councillor.”
Cllr Rob Hoyle said, “I moved back to the UK from South Africa in 2016, initially to Hemel Hempstead, and then in 2019 to Bowerhill. Divorced, with one daughter, Maddison. A passionate lover of rugby and cricket, and alas a supporter of Oldham Athletic, the town where I was born.
“I joined the council with a view to be of service to my community, and the town in which I live. I am non-political, with a simple ambition of getting the best possible results for the community.”
Pictured: Cllrs John Doel, Andy Russell and Picture: Cllr Rob Hoyle.