The Marlborough area Conservative group have announced their candidates for this area’s three divisions, with Jane Davies (currently Wiltshire Councillor for West Selkley) contesting the new enlarged Marlborough West division, Caroline Thomas contesting the relatively unchanged Marlborough East, and James Sheppard, currently Vice Chairman of Wiltshire Council looking to retain his Aldbourne and Ramsbury seat.
Wiltshire Council elections will be going ahead on 6 May, confirmed at the end of last week the Cabinet Office.
For this (Marlborough) area there will only be three divisions rather than four following a Boundary Commission review (see Marlborough.news story).
Whereas there are presently two Marlborough ‘urban’ divisions (Marlborough East and Marlborough West, West Selkley (covering the area to the West of Marlborough) and Aldbourne & Ramsbury to the East, this time Marlborough West and West Selkley are being effectively merged into one large (mixed Urban / Rural) division but still retaining the identity of Marlborough West, which will now incorporate Avebury, Winterbourne Monkton and Berwick Bassett as well as Marlborough High Street.
Jane Davies, contesting Marlborough West has lived in Marlborough since 2004 and her three sons were educated at Kennet Valley Primary school. She has been a school governor at two local schools as well as the Wiltshire Councillor for West Selkley (the ring of parishes around Marlborough) since 2017.
Jane says: “I love living in Marlborough, shopping locally, walking my dog and cycling on the Downs. I have been involved in many projects to improve our parishes, and look forward to doing the same for Marlborough. As a Wiltshire Councillor I have worked hard and really enjoyed supporting parishes to achieve community ambitions, such as safer better roads, village hall improvements, housing and children’s playgrounds. I would love to be elected for Marlborough West so I can continue to work with residents and together gain improvements for our whole community.
I am also the Wiltshire councillor responsible for Education and for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. I am passionate about children’s well-being and I am delighted to have been part of securing over £45m funding for Special Schools and to support mainstream school inclusion.
Please go to my Facebook page – @CouncillorJaneDavies. Like or follow my page, get in touch, so I can hear your views and what matters to you.”
Caroline Thomas, contesting Marlborough East has lived in Marlborough as a teenager, attending the Grammar school as it became St John’s, working as a Polly girl and representing Marlborough Swimming Club, before going to University, joining the Army and later forging a career in Financial Services. She looks back with fond memories of long summers spent at the pool and Priory Gardens, dog walks in the Savernake and the annual Mop fairs; so it’s perhaps not surprising that she returned to the town in 2009.
Choosing to serve in the Armed forces, including time in Tidworth and Corsham, reflected Caroline’s desire to give something back. She was later a school governor at Crowdys Hill special school in Swindon and, for nine years, a non-exec director of Turning Point, the UK’s largest provider of social services outside the NHS.
In Financial Services, Caroline specialised in Governance, Risk and Compliance but in 2018, looking for a complete change of direction, opted to study for a master’s degree in Special and Inclusive Education, keen to understand more about supporting young people with autistic profiles into work. At the same time, joined the local governing body at St John’s, which she now chairs.
Caroline’s passions include promoting inclusivity – not just in education but all walks of life, enabling us all to fully engage with our local communities – and ‘getting stuff done’ that makes a difference.
You can find out more about Caroline’s interests on her facebook page: @Thomas4MarlboroughEast
James Sheppard says: “I have had the privilege to be the Unitary Councillor for Aldbourne and Ramsbury since May 2013. I grew up in the area going to St Michael’s School Aldbourne and then to St Johns Marlborough.
Having been a farmer until very recently I am passionate about the landscape in which we live work and play. I have represented the Wiltshire National Farmers Union as both County Chairman and NFU Council Representative.
Whilst being a County Councillor I have among many things been able to source financing for major drainage improvement work carried out in Aldbourne and resurfacing work to roads in Ramsbury, Chilton Foliat and Aldbourne.
I was honoured to be Chairman of Wiltshire Council, currently Vice Chairman of Wiltshire Council and Chairman of Marlborough Area Community Transport Group.
I will continue to listen to local views and concerns. Being a local person I can relate to local village issues I am also aware of the importance of working closely with Parish Councils and attending these meetings.
I believe that local politics is about local people and look forward to continuing to work hard on your behalf.”
Follow James on Facebook by searching @councillorjamessheppard or ‘James Sheppard for Aldbourne and Ramsbury’