Former Kennet School headteacher to stand for Newbury Town Council
Paul Dick named Conservative candidate for Clay Hill seat
FORMER Kennet School headteacher Paul Dick has been named as the Conservative candidate for the Newbury Town Council by-election for Clay Hill ward on May 6.
Mr Dick served as head at the Thatcham school for almost 30 years, until December 2017, including a stint as a ‘superhead’ at
Trinity and Fir Tree schools, and as a local magistrate. He is also a qualified football referee and chairman of the Newbury Sunday League.
Mr Dick said: “Through my work with Kennet School, Trinity School and Fir Tree School, I know Clay Hill and the people who live there very well – and I hope they know me.
“I look forward to partnering with councillor Jeff Beck to champion the provision of excellent, value-for-money services from the town council, opposing unnecessary increases in the precept at a time when family budgets are stretched and working with colleagues at West Berkshire District Council to deliver sustainable local jobs, green investment and – of course – high-quality education.
“If elected, I will be a strong voice for Clay Hill at the town council at this critical time.”
The by-election is being held following Conservative councillor Jeff Cant’s disqualification from the council for not attending any meetings for six months and then tendering his resignation.
Mr Cant, who represents Clay Hill on West Berkshire Council, said he’d found it difficult to manage the workload of being on both councils, while the coronavirus pandemic had caused pressing business issues for him.
The town council has earmarked £6,500 for the by-election on May 6.
The Liberal Democrats control the town council with 18 councillors. Former Lib Dem deputy town council leader Olivia Lewis recently became an independent councillor owing to a new job requiring political neutrality.
The Green Party controls two seats, and the Conservatives one, leaving one seat vacant.
West Berkshire Conservative Association chairwoman Jeanette Clifford said: “We are delighted that Paul Dick is standing in this important by-election. The people of Clay Hill deserve the best and that’s what Paul is.
“He’s more than an educator with a national reputation.
“Among much else, he volunteers as chair of Reading YMCA and is a county football referee and chair of Newbury Sunday League. What’s more, he’s lived locally for more than 30 years.”
West Berkshire Council leader Lynne Doherty (Con, Speen) said: “Conservative-led West Berkshire Council has plans for continued investment in Clay Hill, an important part of our strategy to ensure our district emerges from the pandemic an even better place to live, work and learn.
“Paul Dick is highly respected across our district and an outstanding candidate for the town council. He has the experience and ability to speak up for Clay Hill so that everyone listens. He will be a great servant to the ward.”