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 Harmans Water 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. 


Isabel Mattick (Conservative)

Bracknell News: Isabel MattickIsabel Mattick

"My family moved to Bracknell in January 1972 and I soon became involved in our local community centre and started a Youth Club. I was first elected to Bracknell Forest Council in the 1980s and served several terms. I’m currently a very active and committed town councillor. My special interest is health related matters. It is so important to ensure that people who are the most vulnerable or protected are given opportunities and support to lead a full life irrespective of their circumstances. I am honoured to be chairman of a disabled sports club. My late husband suffered from dementia and being his carer has given me a valuable insight into the many challenges facing the families and carers of people suffering from mental health illness. In support of this I’m a founder member of Ascot Area Alzheimer’s Support Group and I sit on the dementia committee at Frimley Park Hospital. I play an active role in a number of local community based organisations including being chairman of two local community associations and other health related activities. Local communities are important and if re-elected you have my commitment to support residents and to do my upmost to help resolve problems and local issues."

Ash Merry (Conservative)

Bracknell News: Ash MerryAsh Merry

"I am very fortunate to have lived in Harmans Water ward for 25 years. I came here as a 30-something-year-old new mother in 1993. My daughter has been brought up here and schooled locally. I proudly served as an Army Officer for 8 years, as ‘putting country and community before self’ has always been important to me. My military training has provided me an excellent framework to tackle life’s challenges, and has been invaluable in helping me deal effectively with my ward casework. Living in the ward enables me to respond quickly and keep in regular contact with residents. Sharing first-hand some of their issues gives me real empathy to find compromises and solutions through a common-sense approach. I have just completed my first term as a Borough Councillor. I am keen to serve another term supporting residents to ensure best outcomes for all. I am excited that the relocated Harmans Water library will provide an additional effective community hub to support the neighbourliness that exists in Harmans Water and encourage intergenerational volunteering. If I’m elected to serve another term I will continue to: seek solutions for inconsiderate parking; liaise with housing associations re residents’ issues and work collaboratively with the police to tackle anti social behaviour. I will devote my volunteering time to help service personnel, veterans and their families receive the support they are entitled to, and play an active part in initiatives to combat isolation and loneliness. In summary my focus and commitment will be to keep our ward safe, green and happy. I hope you will support me to allow me to support you and fellow residents." 

Tom Neill (Labour)

Bracknell News: Tom NeillTom Neill

"I joined Labour in 2015 after I realised that the coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats were taking the NHS out of public control and hounding the disabled with punishing policies, sometimes to their deaths.

"I have lived in Bracknell, in Harmans Water since 2007 and am self-employed as an artist. I worked for South Hill Park for ten years, in both the theatre and offices, proudly directing their 21st Anniversary production as well compiling their Arts Council reports in the years they successfully received funding, managing their town centre events and administrating the three day long Bracknell Festival. I’m now one of eleven artists based at Prime Studios, Royal Windsor’s creation space for artists, makers and cultural entrepreneurs.

"I’m standing as a Councillor because I want fresh Governance for our Borough and Town, and I’m proud to be standing on a manifesto that is honest about how we can improve our shared community."

Shelagh Pile (UK Independence Party)

"I have lived in Harmans Water since 1975 and worked locally since 1966. I worked for the Bracknell News at one point. I was first elected as a borough councillor for Harmans Water in 1991 until 2015. I sat on many committees but I loved planning and it was one of my favourite committees. I was a Conservative councillor and I was town mayor twice and borough mayor once. I switched to UKIP after being suspended as a Conservative councillor for going against the party whip in a recorded vote. 

"I'm standing for UKIP because the policy for UKIP is that I can vote any way I like on local issues. You're not told how you must vote, which is why I was booted out of the Conservatives. 

"If I'm going to stand then I need to be free to vote for the issues. 

"I like being a local councillor. People have issues. It's not a 9 - 5 job - it might be a Sunday evening and you might need someone to talk to. People could knock on my door anytime. I like being part of a local community.

"(On Brexit) The government has given away our freedom without our say-so. The government are playing and cheating us and I feel very angry about that." 

Patrick Smith (Liberal Democrat)

Bracknell News:

"Patrick is a local resident, living with his wife and two children in the heart of Bracknell. He grew up in neighbouring Reading and has spent most of his life in the area.

Having studied acoustical engineering at the University of Southampton, Patrick now works as a senior project manager for an audio-visual company based just ten minutes from Bracknell. His professional life has offered him some fascinating insights into many aspects of business, economics and culture, having worked with many of the UK’s most prominent companies, charities and community organisations.

Patrick’s passion is to see a politics in this borough that works for everyone, that tackles entrenched inequalities and creates genuine opportunity for all. He ran as the parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats in 2015 and 2017 and has continued to work hard to ensure that Bracknell continues to be a great place to live and so that it can become even better for his kids in the future."

Diane Thomas (Labour)

Bracknell News: Diane ThomasDiane Thomas

"I have lived in Bracknell for nearly 45 years and in Harmans Water for 20 of them. I worked in public service locally for 25 years and was then a self-employed trainer before retiring. I volunteer in various capacities, including helping retired Gurkhas to speak English, as a steward at South Hill Park, with adults with learning difficulties and as a committee member of the Bracknell Film Society. I helped set up the Women’s Forum for the local Labour Party and am Women’s Officer.

"As a resident of Harmans Water, I walk every day in the area and share the issues that concern people. Litter, street lighting and parking are the major concerns. I value the chance of representing the residents of Harmans Water  bringing their concerns to the Council and making our community even better."

Chris Turrell (Conservative)

Bracknell News: Chris TurrellChris Turrell

"I have been on Bracknell Forest Council since 2000. In 2013, I became Executive Member for Planning and Transport. In Bracknell Forest, growth means we face particular challenges and demands on our area and its infrastructure. In planning for future needs, I feel it is very important to preserve our quality of life. I am keen to see the Council keep up high standards for the green areas and facilities in its care, and to continue to offer all residents the best possible service and value for money. Contact with residents is important: with my fellow ward councillors, I hold regular surgeries, call door-to-door and produce a newsletter, In Touch. I work locally for a major hotel group, and have lived in Bracknell since 1993. I’m on the management committee of The Wayz youth clubs, and I was a governor at Harmans Water Primary School for 16 years until 2018. I’ve been on Bracknell Town Council since 2000. I chair the Strategy & Finance and Staffing committees, and have been Leader of the Town Council since 2004. I also chair the Bracknell Town Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group."

John Wright (Labour)

Bracknell News: John WrightJohn Wright

"I have worked in the University sector since the 1960s, currently an honorary research fellow at Royal Holloway. I have lived in Bracknell for nearly 30 years. Being on Bracknell Town Council will enable me to raise concerns, such as traffic congestion and air pollution."

Nearest polling station: 

St Paul’s Church, The Square, Harmans Water, Bracknell RG12 9LP 

The Parks Community Centre, Nicholson Park, Bracknell 

Martins Heron Community Centre, Whitton Road, Martins Heron, Bracknell RG12 9TZ