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 Wildridings and Central ward, voters will be asked to choose two 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. 


Kirsten Ashman (Conservative)

Bracknell News: Kirsten AshmanKirsten Ashman

"My family has lived in Bracknell for over 50 years and I worked in the old town centre, so I have had the chance to see how the town has changed over my lifetime. It’s been amazing to be part of the borough council as we’ve delivered the Lexicon and many other vital services. I really hope you will give me the chance to use my experience to help deliver more positive changes for the people of Bracknell Forest. I am an accountant by profession as well as a mum to a beautiful baby girl. I have been a Councillor on Bracknell Forest for 8 years. I have served on the Employment Committee, Governance and Audit Committee and Licensing and Safety Committee. My proudest moments on the council have been when I’ve helped to make improvements for residents, whether it’s introducing more parking spaces or helping a resident in need. There are plenty more challenges to overcome though so I will continue to work with residents to deliver change for the better. In my free time I try to get involved in sport and local activity groups. Chasing around after a baby generally keeps me fit, but if I do get time I try to get out running either at Bracknell Parkrun, or with Bracknell Forest Runners. I have a full-time job so I know the difficulties we all face balancing a family life with work, but by continuing to support my local community I hope I can help the people of Bracknell Forest and be a good role model for my daughter." 

James Dunsmuir (Liberal Democrat)

Bracknell News: James DunsmuirJames Dunsmuir

"I believe that to achieve positive change we need to act when something needs to be done and not be afraid of questioning the status quo.  This is something that I believe passionatly.  For many, politics is a negative word, with politicians seen as self-serving, living in a glass tower and out of touch with people.  I am standing for council as I believe that politics should be honest, transparent, straight talking and without fear of questioning convention.  Most importantly, I believe that the residents of Bracknell need to be heard.  In Wildridings and Central, the local Lib Dem team, of which I am proud to be a part, have already responded to concerns highlighted by constituents about the low quality street lighting, street signage, the effect of the work on Downshire Way (air quality and the effect on health) and anti-social behaviour.

"My 18 years living abroad has taught me that by listening and working together, anything is possible."

Peter Frewer (Labour)

Bracknell News: Pete FrewerPete Frewer

"I have lived in Bracknell all of my life. I am very proud of the people of Bracknell. 30 years ago, Bracknell changed from a defence manufacturing base into an important high tech member of the M4 corridor it is today. It is a good place to live but I know it could be better. One of my personal issues is the lack of social housing in the town. The high property prices and the record high private rents are a real problem for local young people to get affordable housing. I want Bracknell to be a place where everyone is equally part of our vibrant community – a place for everyone.

"I am very proud of the green spaces and all the recreation grounds provided by the Town Council that surround Old Bracknell and Wildridings.

"I enjoy meeting people and promise to make regular contact, to listen to your concerns and ensure they are followed up. I walk the same roads as you, I share the same experiences. I look forward to being able to make a difference."

Dee Hamilton (Conservative)

Bracknell News: Dee HamiltonDee Hamilton

"I have lived in Wildridings with my family for 31 years. I was elected as a Councillor in 2007. I have experience on different committees at Bracknell Forest Council and Bracknell Town Council. In 2015 I had the honour of becoming Mayor of Forest Bracknell Borough Council. I chose “Make a wish” charity to benefit seriously ill children. I was delighted by the generosity and support from the people of Bracknell Forest. As a qualified teacher I have an interest in Education. Recently, I led a team to review the experience of Pupil Premium children with additional needs. The outcome will deliver improved awareness in educating children of all abilities and circumstances. I will work to continue improvements at the Wildridings shops. I listened and responded to resident concerns about road safety. I have worked to deliver better speed signage and road markings. I requested a designated safe and controlled crossing point to improve pedestrian and cycling experience. As a result, this new crossing has included new wide paths being created for users of all ages and abilities. I will target to improve traffic flow in popular areas as well as support reducing our carbon footprint. New parking bays have being created as a result of my suggestions. I will continue to seek improvements in resident parking. We have some excellent parks and open spaces and I wish them to remain family friendly. I believe we have a great local community. If you chose to vote for me I pledge again to focus on the needs of residents to ensure this remains a great place to live."

Michael Karim (Labour)

Bracknell News: Michael KarimMichael Karim

"I have lived in Bracknell forest for most of my life and even watched it being developed at the beginning in the 60s. I studied at a local state school and went on study medicine before going into the medical industry and running business that have helped to save lives and transform healthcare. I am passionate about improving people’s lives have lobbied government for stroke services as part of a regional and then national campaign working alongside charities. I set up a medical company which is now developing a cure for brain haemorrhage.

"As a qualified self-defence instructor, for several years I taught disadvantaged kids in Bracknell how to be aware of and protect themselves against bullying. I am married with two daughters who both have attended local state schools and passionately believe that a high standard of education is a right and not a privilege and should be open to all regardless of where people may live.

"I have been canvassing over the last few months in Bracknell, Wildridings and Central and have heard about the concerns that people have about lack of representation of key issues at the Borough and Town council level.

"There are real issues that deserve to be heard and resolved by Councillors who genuinely care; that is why I have chosen to stand for Labour in the May local council elections."

Thomas Parker (Liberal Democrat)

Bracknell News: Thomas ParkerThomas Parker

"My name is Thomas and I’m the candidate for Wildridings & Central Bracknell for the Liberal Democrats.

"I’m a local guy who has lived in Bracknell all my life. I attended Birch Hill, Easthampstead Park and Bracknell & Wokingham College. I’ve been working hard on local issues over the past 18 months: leading the campaign for better street lighting in Wildridings, leading litter picks in our community and making sure we report potholes and fly-tipping.

"Day-to-day local issues are issues that I take personally because those nuisances like litter and lights that annoy residents are the same issues that I experience in my road, so I know how important it is that we get these things sorted. Local government should be about looking after our neighbours and making sure that the area we live in is a nice place to live and my work over the past 18 months should raise our expectations of our local Councillors, they should be out there getting stuck in – even outside of election time!

"There’s simply not enough opposition on the Council currently. That means folks aren’t being listened to and their concerns swept aside - we need to change that."

Maciej Pawlik (Green Party)

Bracknell News: Maciej PawlikMaciej Pawlik

"The council is filled with the same old views year after year, which are not only unrepresentative of young people in the local area but also, they are outdated and passionless. When was the last time a councillor knocked on a door to altruistically ask how someone was? It doesn't happen! There is a lack of charisma and drive that is needed! It is a great injustice that a council responsible for such a vibrant green community fails to recognise the climate emergency that is before us. It's hugely irresponsible as this has major repercussions on a wider scale than just the local area, it is a matter of principle. Sadly, there is a lack of concern for being honest and realistic with constituents. There is no better time than now to be transparent! In a time where we've had the Brexit debate reveal the great mistruths fed to the general public, the local council has a responsibility to inform its constituents accurately rather than simply follow orders from Westminster. I would challenge the unchallenged of the council, be the voice that says, 'actually it's not okay to keep information from public view', and add energy, enthusiasm and some sunshine to a currently dull place filled with dust and cobwebs."

Nearby polling station:

Former Magistrates Court, 12-14 Crossway, Bracknell RG12 1AF

Wildridings Primary School, Netherton, Bracknell RG12 7DX