Chair of the Town Council & Mayor of Axminster 2023-24


Cllr. Jill Farrow
Town Ward


Email: cllr.jfarrow@axminstertowncouncil.gov.uk

I moved here from Croydon with my partner Mary in 2018.  We had fallen in love with Devon whilst holidaying with our dogs, but finding Axminster was pure chance.  We quickly realised that the sign on Minster Green “The Home of Community Spirit” said it all.  

At the 2019 Annual Parish Meeting the forthcoming local elections were discussed, and I decided to stand, secure in the knowledge that as a newcomer I’d never be elected. In the event not enough candidates stood so I was elected unopposed! Serving on the Town Council gave me the opportunity to use the skills I’d learned as a career Civil Servant, though the some of the vocabulary was different.

Within two months of joining the Council I was lucky enough to be part of the team visiting our twin town of Douvres la Delivrande in Normandy to mark the 75th anniversary of D Day. Both of my late parents served in the armed forces during the war, and my father remained in the RAF until retirement, so the celebration on Juno Beach was hugely poignant.

When COVID hit in 2020 one of the first people we knew to become unwell was David Moore, the Deputy Mayor, and he had to stand down. Anni Young, the Mayor, proposed that I replace him; we had worked together on a few projects by then and she thought we would make a good team. Which we did, not always agreeing but always being able to support each other and doing our best for the rest of the team and the town. Then in December Anni passed away suddenly in her sleep. I became acting Chair until the next full Council meeting when I was elected Mayor.

It continues to be an enormous honour to serve this community.

Vice-Chair of the Town Council & Deputy Mayor of Axminster 2023-24

Cllr Jeremy Walden (elected)

Town Ward 

 

Email:

cllr.jwalden@axminstertowncouncil.gov.uk

 

I moved with my family to Axminster in 1982, and we ran The New Commercial in Trinity Square until 2000. I then ran a food manufacturing business until I retired in 2022.

I was born in London but raised in Leicestershire. I went to The University of Surrey and then worked in hotels and managed three in Leamington, Stratford and Shaftesbury before moving here.

I have been a town Councillor for 26 years, twice having the honour of serving as your Town Mayor. I currently chair our operations committee, which looks after the amenities we offer our residents and visitors e.g. the allotments, the Jubilee Field, the Old Court House and Chard Road Cemetery.

I am also a Governor at Axe Valley Academy and Chair of trustees of Arc, our local mental health counselling charity.

 

Councillor Jeremy Walden 2023

Andy Bourne (elected) Weycroft ward

We moved to Axminster in December 2015 not knowing a great deal about the town and surrounding area; it just had a nice feel about it and suited our needs at the time. Since then we have got to know the area and people much more and feel very settled here.


Before retiring I spent the vast majority of my working life in the automotive industry, working for a number of manufacturers in aftersales and logistics roles.

My spare time is taken up with motorcycling, walking, yoga, cycling, gardening and teaching my grandson to drive through the Under 17 Car Club. Motorcycling is a great passion of mine and I have been a member of IAM Roadsmart, the main promoter of road safety in the country, for many years.

Currently I am a member of the Somerset Advanced Motorcyclists group where I am Club Secretary. I have also qualified as an observer which allows me to coach other motorcyclists to develop their skills to also achieve an advanced level of riding. Walking the many public rights of way in the area is something we both enjoy immensely and have discovered some fabulous routes.

There is a lovely sense of community in Axminster and I hope that, together with my fellow councillors, I can help to make the town thrive

cllr A Bourne

Paul Bridge (co-opted) Town ward

I moved to Axminster with my wife and three cats in 2016 and our family has since expanded with two rescue Lurchers. My main activity, apart from walking the dogs, is with older motor vehicles. I am an active member of the Bridport Classic Bike Club and also exhibit a classic car at local shows.

Pre-retirement I lived in west London and had a career in microbiology research and science management at various national and intergovernmental organisations. This included research on soil microbiology and fungal plant pathogens.

My work involved considerable travel for science projects on all of the continents, and collaborations with a range of overseas public and private organisations. Since settling in Axminster, I have continued to produce occasional research papers and two books.

I hope that my extensive experience within multiple stakeholder teams will be of benefit to the future development of facilities and opportunities in Axminster.

Cllr Paul Bridge

Alfie Brooker (elected) Town ward

I have lived in Axminster for fifteen years, moving here from London. Having completed my schooling in Axminster, I went on to become a fourth-generation letter-carver with a keen interest in conservation. I am currently the managing partner of A. W. Brooker & Son splitting my time between Axminster and London.

I was originally co-opted into the council in 2021 but re-elected in 2023 and look forward to working closely with the people of Axminster as well as giving something back to the town and improving it, so Axminster is on the map for all the right reasons.


Dianne Bruce (co-opted) Raymonds Hill ward

Hi, my name is Dianne and I have recently been co-opted onto the town Council for the Raymonds Hill ward. I moved to Axminster 7 years ago with my family and love living here.

My working life has been a mixture of the hospitality industry and events management, I have owned and operated a restaurant, several boutique hotels and latterly worked for Lloyds Registrars before moving to France for 8 years.

Since moving here, I have devoted my time and expertise to several community organisations including the Heritage Centre and ACS (Axminster Care Service) where one of the main functions we provide is transport for local people to hospital and medical appointments. I also sit on the ACS committee which allocates funding to local community groups and individuals in need of help.

I hope that, as a Councillor, I can help the town continue to improve and thrive and I have a genuine desire to help the community in a way that truly benefits the local area.


Kara Burrough (elected) Town ward

Cllr. Burrough was co-opted to the Council on 14th February 2022 and re-elected in May 2023.


My name is Kara Burrough and I grew up in a small village 7 miles from Axminster I moved here with my now Axminster born and bred husband in 2007. We have 3 children together.

I am passionate about Axminster; I believe
it has the greatest community spirit and so much to offer everyone if you know where to look.

I am also a member of different community groups in Axminster and I wanted to further contribute to the town by joining the council.

I am really looking forward to the challenges that may arise and serving the people of Axminster to the best of my ability.


Mark Dowdeswell (co-opted) Weycroft ward

Personal statement coming soon

Cllr Dowdeswell

Wayne Hurren (co-opted) Raymonds Hill ward

Personal statement coming soon

Councillor Wayne Hurren

Terry Langdon (elected) Town ward

Personal Statement coming soon

Councillor Terry Langdon Photo

Sara Leat (elected) Town ward


 

My name is Sara Leat and I have lived and worked in Axminster for over 15 years. I have two children, both still at school so youth matters are very important to me and it is looking at the future for my children that made me stand for Council.

My hobbies include amateur dramatics and I am the secretary of the Axminster Drama Club.

I have lots of experience in the financial sector having worked in finance and banking for over 20 years and knowledge and experience has been proved beneficial to the various committees I belong to


CASUAL VACANCY for Town ward

Email:

TBA


 

Content to follow

As of the 5th February 2024, a Casual Vacancy exists for this seat. Please see the NEWS articles page, or the Elections tab under YOUR COUNCIL for more details.

Elizabeth Paice (elected) Town ward

My name is Elizabeth. I have lived in Axminster for three years. I have two teenage daughters.

When the opportunity arose to join the council came up, I wanted to offer the voice of a young mum with teenagers to the Council's decisions and discussions.

I would like Axminster to change and grow for the better


Bernie Steadman (elected) Town ward

I moved to Devon over thirty years ago and lived in Chardstock until recently. I taught English very happily at Axe Valley Community College for sixteen years before taking the Vice Principal post at Clyst Vale Community College. Many of my ex-students are now parents raising their own families in Axminster. It’s a delight to meet them around the town. 

On retirement from teaching, I started writing crime thrillers, and volunteered to be a trustee at Ferne Animal Sanctuary, eventually becoming Chair of Trustees in 2018. I decided to step down from the post in December 2020, which has freed up more time to contribute to my local community.

I’m hoping to bring my wide experience of education and the arts to the council, and to help make Axminster a vibrant, thriving town.


David Willey (elected) Weycroft ward

My name is David Willey. I moved to Axminster a year ago from Hampshire with my partner, two young boys and two dogs which has allowed me to start a new fresh life in the countryside and seek a better and healthy life of living for us all.


A lot of my spare time is taken up with my kids but my hobbies include, Metal Detecting & Fishing and I have an interest in local & County history and you can sometimes find me searching strange and mythical creatures.

In 2023, I was elected (uncontested) and I am passionate to be working closely with the residents of Axminster & Weycroft and ensuring the longevity of Axminster. I bring with me over 20 years' experience within the Security & Facilities industries and look forward to working with youth groups in the area as I am already involved locally working with Police Cadets

Cllr David Willey

Casual Vacancies / Co-options / Elections

Wayne Hurren was co-opted on 8th January 2024 as the new Councillor for Raymonds Hill ward. See above for details.

Following the resignation of Cllr. Becky Lippett on the 5th February 2024, a Casual Vacancy now exists on the Town Ward.
Details of this vacancy (and the dates for the electoral petition period) can be found on the ELECTIONS tab of the YOUR COUNCIL
page. Information about the vacancy is also published on the NEWS tab and on the Town Council's social media pages.

Committee Memberships

Please refer to Committee pages for membership of each committee

Register of Members Interests

Click Link HERE to visit EDDC website for all Member's Register of Interest forms

Register of Gifts and Hospitality declared

Published register HERE