THIS WEEK is national democracy week and to celebrate, your new elected representatives have been revealing more about themselves.

Who holds a Guinness world record? Who can speak Dutch? Who used to busk in Oxford city centre?

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Here are ten things you didn’t know about the councillors newly elected to Bracknell Forest Council in May.

Cllr Ankur Shiv Bhandari

Bracknell News:

The new ward member for Binfield with Warfield holds three world records.

When he worked at Procter and Gamble, employees staged three successful world record attempts for the most people doing a haka, the most people popping a balloon, and the most people having a pillow fight.

Bracknell News:

Cllr Ian Kirke

Bracknell News:

Bullbrook representative Cllr Kirke joined the police force in Bracknell more than thirty years ago.

He feels most connected to the town centre because of the way it has changed in the last few decades.

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He said: “I joined the police here in 1983 and spent a lot of time on foot patrol around there. The change from then to today’s town centre is phenomenal.

“I like the sympathetic way landmarks have been developed, for example, The Bull – it’s exactly as it was at the front but with all the modern development out the back.”

Cllr Jennie Green

Bracknell News:

Member for Priestwood and Garth Cllr Green has a background in finance and is a trustee of Wokingham, Bracknell and District Mencap.

When asked what makes her angry, fly-tipping topped her list.

She said: “I get really annoyed by fly-tipping. It just symbolises people not taking full responsibility for their waste and damaging what’s around them. It’s your rubbish, you need to do something about it!”

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Cllr Lizzy Gibson

Bracknell News:

Great Hollands South representative Cllr Gibson has a melodeon, which is a “type of button accordion”.

She said: “I can still pay a scale on it. I used to be good enough to busk in Oxford city centre and I transported it round in a freezer drawer attached to my bike!”

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Cllr Michael Gbadebo

Bracknell News:

Cllr Gbadebo, who also represents Great Hollands South, was member for Great Hollands North from 2011 to 2015.

Asked to share something about himself people may not know, he said: “I like LEGO. I mainly build cars or anything with wheels: tractors, motorbikes… If it’s got wheels on I love it!

“I also paint and draw – I enjoy creating things. I like to do abstracts as you’re really creating something from nothing, more than a landscape or a portrait which simply captures what’s already there.”

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Cllr Nigel Atkinson

Bracknell News:

The Ascot councillor lived in Holland from age 12 until university age.

He said: “I can speak a bit of Dutch. (Holland) is a great country and I enjoyed much more freedom than I would have had in the UK.

“However, cycling in Holland isn’t as easy as you’d think – it’s flat so there’s actually a lot of wind, and many of the cycle lanes are cobbled!”

Cllr Ray Mossom

Bracknell News:

Owlsmoor ward member Cllr Mossom is from Newcastle and wanted to be a professional for the Magpies when he was younger.

He managed former Toon favourite Peter Beardsley after a knee injury ended the councillor's football career.

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Cllr Mossom said: “I ran a pub football team where his 2 brothers played and Peter started playing too. You could tell he was something special!”

Cllr Thomas Parker

Bracknell News:

The new Wildridings and Central representative recently received his dissertation marks back after graduating from the University of the West of England earlier this year.

Cllr Parker, who received first-class honours in Accounting and Finance, is also a volunteer marshal at Brands Hatch motor racing circuit.

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He said: “Becoming a marshal was a natural progression for me to give something back to a sport I love.”

Cllr Tricia Brown

Bracknell News:

Cllr Brown has served as a town councillor and a borough councillor twice before.

The ward member for Priestwood and Garth is handy with cars, too, as she once rebuilt the engine of her Triumph Toledo.

She said: “Having been recovered by the AA I decided to fix the engine myself, so I stripped it down, got the crankshaft re-ground and so on, and got it back on the road.

"I have a bit of experience with car engines and I love a good puzzle so this really appealed to me.”

Bracknell News:

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Cllr Kathryn Neil

Bracknell News:

Great Hollands North ward member Cllr Neil is a change manager at Waitrose.

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She completed extreme obstacle course Tough Mudder in 2018 and one of her teachers at Sandhurst Secondary school was TV comedian Greg Davies.

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