William Harbottle

William has lived in the parish for nearly 25 years and first became involved with the Parish Council a few years ago following a local planning issue. He began to attend Parish Council meetings and liked how the Parish Council worked for the benefit of local people. William continued to maintain an interest and when a vacancy arose in May 2019, he was elected onto the Parish Council.

William has chaired the Parish Council Planning Sub-Committee since May 2020 and says “I think one of the main roles of the Parish Council is to help protect the parish, something that is particularly true when it comes to planning. The parish has a beautiful landscape and character and I think it is important that we do what we can to ensure that both are retained for future generations. Change is inevitable and development is a key part of that.”

“Carried out properly, development can complement the surrounding area, preserve its character and be a good thing. Done poorly, it can have the opposite effect. In my opinion, our job is to do what we can to make sure that development within the parish has the right effect by supporting quality proposals and highlighting those which are substandard.”

Richard Spokes

Richard moved to Brabourne Lees at the age of 10 in 1982 and has lived in the village, except for a couple of years in the early 90s, ever since. Having been to Brabourne C of E school and then The Norton Knatchbull (via two years at The North School), he went on to a career in law enforcement.

Richard says: Following marriage to a fellow villager, our two daughters also went to Brabourne School before Highworth and then on to universities.

I took up the role of Parish Councillor in 2001 as a result of the vacancy left following the death of my father (a parish councillor for the previous 15 years). In addition to this role, I also led the creation and development of  a volunteer-run junior football club (vSmeeth And Brabourne FC) in 2006 until 2018, a period that saw over 150 youngsters playing every week at its peak.

With no desire to leave our village for some time yet, if at all, I remain keen to ensure that Brabourne is able to move forwards with the times but retain the character that has made it the ideal place for my family and me for nearly 40 years.