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Meet the news faces taking their places on the Royal Borough council

Reporting team

Reporting team

Here are some fresh faces on the council following the local election on Thursday, May 2. Advertiser and Express reporters spoke to newly elected councillors from each party, including Cllr Helen Taylor, Cllr Donna Stimson, Cllr Carole Da Costa, Cllr Josh Reynolds, Cllr Neil Knowles and Cllr Ewan Larcombe, about their background and what they hope to achieve.

Helen Taylor was elected in Oldfield for party for independents The Borough First (TBF).

She told the Advertiser her interest in standing in the election was ‘piqued’ during the Vicus Way saga, which took place from September to January.

A Conservative-backed multi-storey car park failed to pass three planning meetings until it was green lit at a fourth meeting in as many months – despite furious resident opposition to it.

She met Cllr Claire Stretton, The Borough First leader, during that period and believed standing would

‘enable me to make a real

positive difference to my local community’.

She spent more than 20 years in industries working with customers and previously worked with Slough Borough Council.

Her interests include housing, infrastructure, the environment, business and charity work.

Riverside resident Donna Stimson ran as a Conservative candidate in St Mary’s, where she spends most of her time and said ‘the people are fabulous’.

After living in Maidenhead for 25 years she has ‘watched the middle of it deteriorate’ – she believes ‘it could be so much better’.

“I just want us to be proud of where we live,” she said.

A founder of environmental group Maidenhead Matters, Donna said that the group’s focus is set to ‘change from fixing aspects of the environment to bringing communities together’.

Other issues Donna wants to commit to is working with schools to facilitate pupils contributing to the community and she also wants to make sure the planning goes ahead ‘with more consultation with the people’.

Carole Da Costa was elected councillor for West Windsor Residents Association (WWRA) in Clewer and Dedworth East.

Married to fellow WWRA councillor Wisdom Da Costa, Carole is a ‘community- minded people person’ who is keen to look after the town’s most vulnerable people.

She said: “As a community midwife I met a family of five living in a one-bed flat.

“This is not acceptable in modern society and I will do everything I can to support truly affordable housing.”

Inspired by her experience as a registered disabled person, Carole is also keen to bring able-bodied and disabled residents together and ensure Dedworth is better integrated in the community.

“A good indication of a town is how you look after the most vulnerable,” she said.

Carole is interested in improving health, the environment and living conditions.

“I want to make where we live better,” she said.

Josh Reynolds (main picture) is looking forward to bucking the trend and representing his residents at the age of just 20.

Cllr Reynolds was elected as councillor for the Furze Platt ward along with fellow Liberal Democrat Catherine Del Campo.

He is balancing political duties with his studies at Cardiff Metropolitan University, where he is studying business and management.

“Thank you to the thousands of people who voted for myself. I want to make sure I see as many people as possible, so get in touch,” he said.

He added that his priorities will be looking at where the council is with various developments and carrying on the good work that previous councillors have done in his ward.

Neil Knowles replaced the retiring Malcolm Beer as one of the candidates for the Old Windsor Residents Association.

The Old Windsor ward has been expanded as part of the boundary review.

Cllr Knowles said: “It’s taken a lot of work as we needed to introduce ourselves to voters without ignoring our old voters.

“I’m the new boy so it’s a huge honour.”

Parish council veteran Ewan Larcombe has promised to give the ruling Conservative Party ‘hell’ in his new role.

Standing for the National Flood Prevention Party, the Datchet resident said he hoped to make sure the

village was not forgotten about in council decision-making.

He said: “I’ll do my very best to wind them up and keep them on their toes.

“One of the good things was when they bundled Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury together in a new ward.

“That helped me because I was born in Wraysbury and have worked there since 1990.”

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