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 Priestwood and Garth 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. 


Paul Bidwell (Labour)

Bracknell News: Paul BidwellPaul Bidwell

"I am proud to have represented Priestwood on the Town Council for the past four years as a member of the Planning, Carbon Reduction, Finance and Strategy committees. I will continue as a Trustee of Age Concern and Priestwood Community Centre, working for the local community."

Graham Birch (Conservative)

Bracknell News: Graham BirchGraham Birch

"I am proud to have represented Priestwood & Garth for the last 4 years on Bracknell Forest Council. It has been a fantastic time for the borough which has seen the opening of the new town centre and a visit from the Queen. I am 39 years old and am very committed to my family. As such I am extremely passionate about providing the best possible environment for families to thrive. I believe this is done by focusing on all residents in Priestwood & Garth to continue to grow the sense of community that exists. Working both with individual residents and for the whole community. I will always aim to provide what I believe is best for you and will use my own experience as well as consulting with you to determine what that is. Because of my scientific background (I have a degree in Genetics) I have been chairman of a working group focusing on Patient experience with local GPs in Bracknell. I am keen to help with the improvement plans the NHS has at a local level as social care and health deliver more joined up services. Having lived in Bracknell Forest for 37 years I have a good understanding of the challenges that face young people and families – these are becoming greater and we need to stay ahead of these. I am passionate about my football, I play for a local team and I coach my son’s (he’s 7) team. Most importantly I would like the opportunity to continue to provide you with the service that has made Bracknell one of the best places to live in the UK. I just want to help you."

Darren Bridgman (Liberal Democrat)

Bracknell News: Darren BridgmanDarren Bridgman

"My Parents moved to Great Holland’s when I was a baby. I attended Great Holland’s School and later we moved to Crowthorne, going to Bracknell and Wokingham College. After leaving college I moved briefly to Farnborough, but my heart was always in Bracknell. I moved back to Mount Pleasant and now Priesthood with my partner, 8 year old son and 3 month old baby girl.

"I have always loved Bracknell and always stood up for Bracknell and its hard working people.

"What I stand for:

"Bracknell has no real opposition. The council needs other voices and I hope to be one!

"I am concerned about defending the funding for The Willows and Maples Children's Centre.

"Dangerous parking around schools at drop off time.

"Working with healthcare providers to have more access to doctors within the ward due to housing expansion and no doctor’s surgery located within the ward.

"Continued support for our elderly.

"Food waste collection.

"As someone who still rents I am very concern about the lack of affordable housing in new build areas.

"Improved lighting around some very dark paths within the ward."

Tricia Brown (Labour)

Bracknell News: Tricia BrownTricia Brown

"As Chair of the New Priestwood Community association, and as a former Borough Councillor, I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to support the residents of the area.
I worked in computing for 25 years and currently work for an autism charity, I have lived in Garth for 27 years. I have enjoyed working with residents on many projects and issues and would welcome the chance to represent you again.

"Notable action previously as a Councillor: Planning; decent an affordable homes including adequate drainage to avoid flooding to existing homes; support or concerns on individual planning applications; involved in early planning for the Lexicon; Parking and road safety: original residents parking scheme (punitive charges introduced when I was not a Councillor);crossing at rounds Hill on Wokingham Road; cycle paths; Housing and neighbourhood issues including being an advocate for residents dealing with housing issues; Social Services: support for children and young people; also checked provision for elderly; Financial: finding the most efficient and cost-effective ways to provide Council Services, using the Council’s assets effectively to create long-term funding for projects."

Dave Colley (UK Independence Party)

Bracknell News: Dave ColleyDave Colley

"I am originally from Chiswick in West London and I have lived in Berkshire since 1995, and the Bracknell area from 2010. I work on the railways and have done so for fifteen years. Previously my career was in road transport, driving lorries and coaches. I am new to politics but I have always kept abreast of things through newspapers and television. However, the present situation concerning Brexit has incensed me to action. I cannot sit by and watch our beautiful country be destroyed by greedy, arrogant, grasping members of parliament, on both sides of the house. They have ignored the will of the voting public and desecrated democracy in this country. They are giving our country away. We have become a laughing stock to the rest of the world. Voting for me will be a step in the right direction. Use your vote for me as a protest, an alternative to the two main parties, do not spoil your ballot, let them know our country deserves better. In local terms, I am sure I could make a difference in Bracknell. Our roads are appalling: potholed and cracking. Something needs to be done. Doctors surgeries - all these new homes and no doctors or clinics. All these new homes, but where are the subsidised homes?"

Steve Fearon (Labour)

Bracknell News: Steve FearonSteve Fearon

"I have lived in Bracknell for 20 years. I studied Criminology at Southampton Institute and returned to Bracknell where I now work for Waitrose.  I believe residents are too distant from their Councillors. Councillors should regularly contact their residents, listen, share their aspirations and concern,

"Residents should be kept informed of all changes affecting their lives and consulted before the decisions are made. I believe a healthy democracy thrives on dialogue.

"I am passionate about providing social housing as well as affordable housing. I am also determined  that Bracknell Forest Council will take all opportunities to reduce its carbon footprint and face up to the crisis of climate change."

Alvin Finch (Conservative)

Bracknell News: Alvin FinchAlvin Finch

"I have lived in Bracknell for over 40 years and have had the privilege of representing the Priestwood and Garth ward for 16 years. This year it has been an especial honour to serve the community as Mayor. Since being first elected I have been involved in a variety of council committees and panels: Environment, Leisure, Customer Service, Adult Social Care, Licensing and Planning, to name just some. I am also an active member of local organisations. I am aware of the problems of the frailer resident. My wife Diane has worked as a nurse with the elderly in Bracknell and with people with learning disabilities. Our families both live very near us. I work for myself providing home and small business computer support. Previously I was involved in airline travel and defense industries. I have also worked in the care sector. I want to see the continued delivery of high-quality services locally and seek to maintain and improve the quality of life locally. To this end, I will be working with the other councillors and the relevant agencies on further alleviating the parking and environmental problems that some residents experience. I want to ensure that the green spaces we so enjoy in Priestwood and Garth are maintained, and improved. If elected I will continue to focus on the enhancement of our fantastic community so that it will remain a great place to live, work and play."

Jennie Green (Conservative)

Bracknell News: Jennie GreenJennie Green

"I have lived in Bracknell for over 45 years; initially in Bullbrook with my parents. In 1978 I spread my wings to set up home in Crown Wood, a few years later moving to Easthampstead and from there to Garth where I have lived for the last 20 years. I attended Garth Hill School and later Bracknell College before commencing my first full time job as an Accounts Trainee. After a forty-year career in accounting I recently chose early retirement from my final position as Director and Company Secretary of an HR Software company, to enable me to care for a family member. My immediate family live in the area. My brother in Garth, my mother, daughter and grandson in Bullbrook. As well as spending time with each of them I own three rescue dogs which I exercise daily at the many fabulous green spaces within our area. During my spare time I enjoy gardening, various exercise sessions at the Bracknell Leisure Centre and theatre trips to South Hill Park. I am keen to ensure that Bracknell continues to be one of the best places to live with our revitalised Town Centre; for the continuation of high standards across our green spaces and play areas which we all enjoy. Being a daughter, mother, grandmother and sister, I am aware of the problems that can be encountered throughout our various generations and want to ensure the continued delivery of high-quality local family focused services."

Nearest polling station:

Bracknell Methodist Church Hall, Shepherds Lane, Bracknell RG42 2DD

Priestwood Community Centre, Priestwood Court Road, Bracknell RG12 1TU