Parish Council

Welcome to the Parish Council page. The members of the Council are listed below. Visit the Contact Page to find out how to reach them.
Visit the PC Notes Page to catch up on the latest PC news. Also on this website you can read about the many aspects of the Parish Council's activities (see list on the left of this page) including the minutes of the last meetings or the Statement of Accounts.

Parish Councillor register of interests.


TOM BURNHAM - Chairman and Member of Planning Committee and Allotments, Churchyard Liaison, Communications, Finance & Strategy, Local Transport, Neighbourhood Plan Monitoring, Playscheme, River Beult Catchment Improvement, Staplehurst Library Users & Surrenden Playing Field Groups

I moved to Staplehurst in 2000, having driven through it many times over the previous 25 years on the way to the Kent & East Sussex Railway. My children have attended Staplehurst school, and I use our train service regularly to commute to my job with NICE. I am a member of Staplehurst United Reformed Church and the Churches Together in Staplehurst committee. I was co-opted to the Parish Council in May 2007 and was elected as its Vice-Chairman in May 2010. I expect that the Parish Council will have to take over responsibility for more local services in the next few years. It will be a challenge to do this in a way that is both affordable and responsive to residents' needs, but I hope that all sections of our community will eventually enjoy improved amenities.

PATRICK RIORDAN - Vice-Chairman and Member of Planning Committee and Communications, Finance & Strategy, Jubilee Field Management & Users, Staplehurst Fireworks, Staplehurst Merit Award, SPPG, Staplehurst Primary School Liaison & Wimpey Field Nature Park Groups

I have recently joined the Parish Council because, as a long time resident in the village, I would like to assist as much as possible in all the good work that is in progress.
There are many issues that are going on at the present time in our village, including; new housing, public transport, traffic & parking problems, litter, new green area's etc.
There are also many groups that are set up to enhance the amenities within the village. As a new Councillor I am hoping to help with many of these matters and use my local knowledge to push things forward in a positive manner.

MARGARET ASHBY – Member of Planning Committee and Communications, River Beult Catchment Improvement & Staplehurst Village Centre Trust Groups

I move into my second term as a Parish Councillor with a little more confidence now that I actually know what I am doing but with some apprehension for the challenges ahead. As a member of the Planning committee managing the inevitable growth is going to be a major task in the coming years and I aim to keep the “village” feel we still have intact. Personally my life will be changing as my husband retires and we move into a new phase, managing council/life balance could make the next year interesting. I intend to continue on the Publicity and Website committee and firmly believe that connecting with parishioners through web sites and social media is very important. I remain optimistic for the future of Staplehurst and hope to see it thrive over the next few years.

JOAN BULLER - Member of Planning Committee and Allotments, Employment, McCabe Day Centre, Neighbourhood Plan Monitoring, Neighbourhood Watch, Playscheme, Speed Watch, Staplehurst Library Users & SPPG Groups

I have been a member of the Parish Council for 34 years. As part of my planning role, I regularly represent the Council at the Maidstone Borough Planning Committee and at Appeals. I am trying to ensure that our Neighbourhood Plan policies are taken into account. I am the Lead Councillor of a small group seeking to improve our station area. I am involved with many projects, which include the Allotment Team, Play Scheme Group, organising volunteers to distribute the Update (our Parish Council newsletter), the Staplehurst Emergency Help Team and heading up Speed Watch. As a Councillor, I also work with Age Concern running the CHAT afternoon, am Treasurer of Neighbourhood Watch and represent the council on the McCabe Day Centre Committee and the Patient Participation Group. I organise the Village Clean Ups with Councillor Burnham. I have two further dreams – to make Staplehurst a litter-free area and to promote our community as a good place to visit as well as live. I enjoy walking round the parish, meeting and listening to what parishioners think and need. With my husband I run Staplehurst Interest Group and do voluntary work in the library. I love being part of Staplehurst’s welcoming, friendly and caring community.

SAM LAIN-ROSE - Member of Carnival & Fete, Communications, Employment, Finance & Strategy, Jubilee Field Management & Users, KALC Area Committee, Staplehurst Emergency Help Team, Staplehurst Fireworks, Staplehurst Merit Award, Staplehurst Primary School Liaison, Staplehurst Youth Parish Council, Wimpey Field Nature Park & Youth Club Groups

Joining the Parish Council in May 2011 as a co-opted member, I am a keen and enthusiastic member of the Parish Council. I sit on many groups of the Parish Council including the Finance, Publicity & Website, Staplehurst Village Centre Development and Strategy & Policy Groups. As the ‘baby’ of the Council, being in my early 20's, I am a keen challenger – ensuring the Parish Council acts in the best interests of the residents of this rural village, not just for this generation, but for future generations. I have lived in the village the entirety of my life, and live in the same property my grandparents did when the purchased it in the 1960s. I have experience in many areas – working in the public sector, at West Kent College, as well as the private sector, where I am current Food Service Manager for A.F. Blakemore & Sons Ltd. In addition to my career, I have managed a number of enterprises since I was I still in education, the first being Kent’s Talent was purely charitable, raising funds for cancer charities. Then in 2011, I formed LAIN AND ROSE Community Interest Company and from this success I incorporated The LAIN & ROSE Group Limited in April 2015. My knowledge and experience spans a wide-range of specialities including; Human Resources, Service Management, Social Enterprise, Public Administration, Business Finance, Retail and Business Management. I am a bit of a work-a-holic and enjoy a challenge, but when I do take the time to unwind, I enjoy spending time with friends, going for walks across the Kent countryside and going to festivals.

BARRETT MANNING - Member of Allotments, Carnival & Fete, Employment, Headcorn Aerodrome Consultative Committee, Knoxbridge/A229 Residents', Local Transport, Police/Parish Liaison, Staplehurst Library Users, Staplehurst Primary School Liaison, Staplehurst Remembrance Day, Surrenden Playing Field & Wimpey Field Nature Park Groups

I am a retired senior local government officer with 49 years' service with the Corporation of London responsible for administering the Corporation's interests and estates in the City and Northern Ireland. National Service interrupted my career by 3 years whilst serving in Libya. My wife and I have resided in Staplehurst since 1962 and both my son and daughter attended the local primary school under the Headmaster, Mr Yates Smith prior to university. After retirement in 1994 I served as an independent Custody Visitor for the Kent Police Authority and a councillor for the Soldier, Sailor, and Air Force Family help Association (SSAFA). I spent 10 years as an advisor with Maidstone Citizens Advice Bureau and was appointed Chairman for a five year term. My interests include grandchildren, cricket, gardening, bowls, golf and photography. I am currently a member of the Allotment Group, Carnival & Fete Committee, Knoxbridge/A229, Police/Liaison Committee, Staff Group, Staplehurst Library Users Group (SLUG), Local Transport Group, Staplehurst Primary School Liaison, Surrenden Playing Field and Oliver Road Open Space. Despite continuous meetings with Arriva there are still problems affecting students travelling on the number 5 bus route. My concern is to avoid students arriving late for school and missing their classes and experiencing another winter left waiting in the dark in foul weather on their homeward journey .

JOHN PERRY - Member of Employment, Finance & Strategy, Headcorn Aerodrome Consultative Committee, Jubilee Field Management & Users, KALC Area Committee, Neighbourhood Plan Monitoring, River Beult Catchment Improvement, Sobell Cheshire Home, SPPG, & Youth Club Groups

I am a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants and have an MBA from Henley Management College/ Brunel University although my original degree was in classics and history. I run my own economic/financial consultancy and have acted as adviser to government organisations both in the UK and abroad. I have represented the UK on United Nations Panels and at international conferences and have extensive experience of working with the European Commission and other European organisations. I currently chair a committee in Brussels, which supervises the system that is the principal source of financing for air navigation services in Europe covering over 40 European States.
I was Chairman of Staplehurst Parish Council from 2010 until 2014 when I was elected as a Ward Member for Staplehurst at Maidstone Borough Council. I was appointed Cabinet Member for Community and Leisure Services and remained in that position until the Council went over to the committee system. I support and promote rural issues and led the revamping of the Parish Charter, which sets out the relationship between Maidstone Borough Council and its Parish Councils. I am a member of the Rural Affairs Group at Maidstone Borough Council as well as being appointed the Council’s Parish Champion.

JOHN REARDON - Member of Communications, Staplehurst Primary School Liaison, Staplehurst Remembrance Day & Surrenden Playing Field Groups

I have missed various Monday evening meetings due to work commitments; I work a 24/7 shift pattern. However, this does mean I am in the village more often. I have attended various Highways meetings with Kent Highways to discuss their maintenance programs. I am involved with the Surrenden Field improvements, organising new paths once the lease is extended. Running the Parish Council website and monitoring the Facebook page is a constant source of work, but with the improvements to smartphones, broadband and 4G mobile data it can be done almost anywhere.

ADELE SHARP - Chairman of Planning Committee and Member of Carnival & Fete, Neighbourhood Plan Monitoring, Police/Parish Liaison, Staplehurst Merit Award, SPPG, Surrenden Playing Field & Wimpey Field Nature Park Groups

I have lived my whole life in Staplehurst, and although I love to travel, I always return home; to Staplehurst. I have worked in insurance and banking and have currently been teaching for thirteen years. As a councillor I enjoy helping our community and want to see Staplehurst flourish with suitable amenities, without overdevelopment. Staplehurst has a great community atmosphere, being town sized but keeping its Village feel and ethics. I believe that it’s important to ensure that our community’s best interests are kept in mind when facing the future whether it is issues about public toilets, education or housing plans.

RORY SILKIN - Member of Planning Committee and Employment, Finance & Strategy, KALC Area Committee, Staplehurst Emergency Help Team, SPPG, Staplehurst Surface Water Management Plan & Staplehurst Village Centre Trust Groups

I have chaired Parish Council meetings throughout the year together with meetings of the Finance and Strategy Groups; always a refreshing challenge! I have sat on the Planning Committee which has been particularly active this year and have represented the Council at Maidstone Area meetings of KALC as well as at Borough planning meetings when necessary. I also chair the Trustees of the Friends of the Staplehurst Health Centre organising health related presentations and supplying items to the Centre that the NHS doesn’t supply, such as textbooks and additional kit.

GILLIAN SMITH - Member of Planning Committee and Local Transport, Neighbourhood Plan Monitoring, Playscheme & Sobell Cheshire Home Groups

I have lived in Staplehurst for 35 years, having moved here from West London. One of the reasons my husband and I chose Staplehurst was its communication links to London, and for many years we commuted daily. Staplehurst provided a wonderful environment for us to bring up our two daughters, and I am pleased that the community spirit in Staplehurst is still as strong as ever. I worked as a Business Analyst for London Transport until I took up a career in Education, spending the last 25 years teaching in local primary schools. The provision of good quality Transport and Education services in our rural community is a particular interest for me. Undoubtedly Staplehurst has changed over the years and faces significant challenges ahead, but I am very keen that we strive to maintain the special character of the village. Becoming a member of the Parish Council gives me the opportunity to play a part in achieving this.

ELAINE SYMES- Committee membership(s) to be confirmed.

I was born and grew up in Staplehurst and have lived in the village almost all my life. I attended Staplehurst Primary School and the then Angley School (now High Weald Academy).
After training as a nursery nurse, my working life has been mostly in caring for children, adults with learning difficulties and the elderly.
In 2013 my partner and I started Laineys Farm- a care farm for adults with learning difficulties. Students come to Laineys Farm to interact with our animals and help with every aspect of farming, alongside many other activities.
My reason for joining the Council is to make a positive input to improve the lives of residents of Staplehurst. My particular interests are in improving urban and rural safety and the local environment for residents. I hope to be involved with local crime analysis and initiatives to reduce the overall level of crime by prevention, education and rural intelligence initiatives. I am a member of Staplehurst Neighbourhood Watch and started the Staplehurst Fields Of Vision Group. I would like to support existing groups for the elderly and the vulnerable to ensure we look after these valuable elements of our community.

Other contacts associated with Staplehurst

MAIDSTONE BOROUGH COUNCIL - Staplehurst Ward (Staplehurst Parish)

Councillor John Perry (Conservative)
Couchman Green Barn
Couchman Green Lane
Kent TN12 0RR
Telephone: 07770 734741

MAIDSTONE BOROUGH COUNCIL - Staplehurst Ward (Staplehurst Parish)

Councillor Louise Brice (Conservative)
2 Further Field
Kent TN12 0SX
Telephone: 01580 892141
Mobile: 07817 362860

KENT COUNTY COUNCIL - Maidstone Rural South (Boughton Monchelsea, Langley, Marden & Staplehurst Wards)

Councillor Eric Hotson (Conservative)
White Willows
High Street
Kent TN12 0BL
Telephone: (01580) 892312

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT - Maidstone & The Weald Constituency

Helen Grant MP
Telephone: 02072197107
Please contact the Constituency Office for Surgery dates and venues.


See details at: