Polls open for the 2019 local elections in less than a week.

This week Bracknell News will be bringing you statements from candidates standing in all 18 wards.

Scroll down and you'll find out a bit about who your candidates are, why they want to be elected and who they're standing for. 

In Hanworth ward, voters will be asked to choose three councillors from the list on their ballot paper. 

You can find your nearest polling station at the bottom of this story.

Residents can vote from 7am - 10pm on Thursday, May 2. 


Gill Birch (Conservative)

Bracknell News: Gill BirchGill Birch

"I have been your borough councillor for Hanworth and Birch Hill since 2000. As a retired teacher I naturally support all the schools in the ward. I am Chairman of the committee that makes sure the borough council delivers on its promises to children, young people and families. I am a governor at The Pines where amongst other things I helped secure a new boiler. I recently helped all our ward primary schools work with Fusion to help year 6 children be ready for secondary school. I worked with Bracknell Forest and Bracknell town councils to relocate Birch Hill Pre-school at the Hockey Club site. I asked for the new path to be made across the Birch Hill play area so getting to the Pre-school is easier for mums with pushchairs. You tell me, when I call on my walkabouts, that this is a great place to live. I have worked hard to help it remain so. Speeding is an issue in the ward so I got the 30 mph RED flashing signs installed along the Ringmead and Birch Hill Road to slow down the cars. I am looking to set up a speed watch group as we now have the equipment available to use. Parking is still a problem, so I campaign hard to get more spaces. Working with Silva Homes it has been possible to put more spaces in Bucklebury. Bracknell is one of the safest places to live. It is important this continues so I keep in touch with local police and PCSO’s. The new LED lighting has improved lighting in most areas however there are a few places where I will drive for specific local improvement. If you re-elect me, I will stay focused on what matters to you locally like delivering good schools, a clean and safe neighbourhood, things for young people to do, and of course better parking."

Terry Enga (Liberal Democrat)

Awaiting candidate statement.

Mike Gibson (Conservative)

Bracknell News: Mike GibsonMike Gibson

"I moved to the Birch Hill area of Bracknell Forest with my wife and family from west London. I have previously been a councillor in Bedfordshire and I work in public consultation in London. I studied Politics and Modern History at Brunel and Public Administration at Warwick Business School. Prior to moving to Bracknell has been involved in several community organisations including being a school governor, where I was Chair of Admissions and I have previously been a Probation Board Trustee. Having settled in Bracknell I am amazed by the many facilities and opportunities including park and play areas in locality. I have always been involved in community work and I have been actively working in the community since moving here including becoming a Bracknell Town Councillor in 2017 and I am also a trustee on Involve Community Services the local voluntary organisation. My eldest son is at St Margaret Clitherow Primary School, while Benedict is at preschool. I feel very lucky to be living here with my family. I want to put something back into the community to help maintain the high standards that other councillors have set. I believe my experience and enthusiasm will enable me to show my commitment to, and support for others in the area. I am a keen singer and have been invited to events around the world including San Francisco free folk festival and Chicago University Folk Festival. I regularly run the big sing at Oxford Folk Weekend. When I have time to relax I am mostly chasing our children around Bracknell’s numerous parks."

Nicola Goddard (Labour)

Bracknell News: Nicola GoddardNicola Goddard

"Married with two children, my son attends Easthampstead park school and my daughter is in her second year of an Apprenticeship. I am proud to say, I have lived in Hanworth for the past 21 years. I work in finance for three days of a week. I feel we live in a lovely area, but it could be even better. Having knocked on many doors in the last few months, the main issues are traffic calming, residential street parking, and local Community facilities at risk, such as South Hill Park and Libraries. I am the sort of person who thinks ‘I can’t complain if I’m not willing to have a go myself’. I now run the Drop In Youth Club held in Birch Hill Community Centre, and have done so for the past 8 years. There is a real lack of such facilities for the younger generation.

"I feel strongly that we need to ensure Community Centres are protected and continue to be the Hub of the Community, able to provide services for all ages in our local community.

"I would welcome a review of the new street lights, to ensure they are positioned to provide maximum coverage for pedestrians.

"I will call on my local knowledge to enhance Hanworth and to ensure that we are getting good value from money and that there is accountability."

Shawn Hearn (Labour)

Bracknell News: Shawn HearnShawn Hearn

"Having lived in Birch Hill and Haworth for the vast majority of my life, to me it is the best area of Bracknell. The mix of housing, woodlands and open areas blend in magnificently. I did move away for 5 years to a small town in Lincolnshire but missed all Bracknell offered to a young adult in both jobs and social life. Since returning, I have seen the grant to our much loved  South Hill Park Arts Centre cut by £600, affecting their ability to provide the many services for all ages. I oppose such funding cuts.

"I want to prioritise social housing provision to help young families get a home of their own. If they could move from their parents’ home, this  would also reduce the parking issues. By voting for me, not only do you get a local resident who cares passionately for his home area, you will also  get a Councillor who listens to you, will keep you informed, and shares your ideas on how to improve our area. I want Haworth and Birch hill to be the safest and the greenest part of Bracknell."

Jenny Penfold (Labour)

Bracknell News: Jenny PenfoldJenny Penfold

"I have lived in Hanworth since 1984. I worked as a teacher at Easthampstead Park and then for 18 years at Garth Hill until retirement.

"My children went to the Pines School and I have served as a governor there for 30 years serving in several capacities, including Chairman.

"The finance of all schools is reducing and they need a lot of support from the local community to ensure all children have the best possible opportunities.

"I worked with Roman Hill Residents’ Association. This involved social events, neighbourhood watch and some environmental campaigns such as prevention of gravel extraction from the woods at Caesar’s Camp.

"My family have always made good use of local facilities such as the libraries, parks and South Hill Park Arts Centre. Recently I have been active in pressing for these to remain for community use, despite the savage cuts in Government funding. As your Town Councillor I will continue this pressure.

"I am a voluntary Appropriate Adult for young people and vulnerable adults who have been arrested and need support for their police interview. I am also involved in the Mityana Charity, founded by a Hanworth resident, which sponsors children’s education and small-scale projects in Uganda.

"I feel it is important to listen to local residents and to make sure their views are heard at council meetings.  I will hold regular street surgeries to consult and listen to your views and will keep you fully informed."

Michael Skinner (Conservative)

Bracknell News: Michael SkinnerMichael Skinner

"I have lived in this area nearly all my life. I’ve been a Town councillor for the past 8 years and a borough councillor for 4 years. I was previously on the Board of Silva Homes for 9 years. I have been on multiple committees including the Environment Committee, Children, Young People and Overview and Learning scrutiny committee as well as the Planning Committee. I understand the issues local people face as I live locally in Hanworth and I feel it’s very important to try and help others gain the best possible quality of life. I also believe it’s vital we all get the best value for money for the things we all rely upon from our Council. I hope to continue the good work our excellent Borough Council has done. I would like to make sure that our housing and social needs are met to the highest possible standards. I fully support the redevelopment of our great town centre and whilst I support the development of new homes, I’m fully aware that any new developments need to be carefully considered so that they fit with local need and policies. I have supported parking improvements locally and across our borough working with our partners. I’m keen that we keep as much of our green space as possible as this is enjoyed by so many of us. I’m keen to see local business thrive. When I’m not working or doing council work I relax by making wine, metal detecting and sailing. If elected, I will remain focused on maintaining the delivery of the excellent services our excellent council provides for its residents."

Nearest polling station:

Birch Hill Community Centre, Leppington, Bracknell RG12 7WW

The Pines Community Centre, Hanworth Road, Bracknell RG12 7WX