Richard was born in Wolverhampton, coming to Surrey after leaving Bristol Polytechnic in 1986. He has spent his career working in marketing and advertising at a variety of television stations, advertising agencies and consultancies. Lately he has moved to over to the client community working locally in Leatherhead.
Married with three children, he has lived in Ashtead since 2003 and as well as sitting on MVDC he is also a parent Governor at St Giles. Richard also has a passion for cycling, rugby and football which he needs to balance with a young family.
Mary Cooper (Ashtead Village)
Mary was raised in Surrey, attending St Philomenas School in Carshalton. After graduating from Reading University with a degree in Food Science she worked in various management positions for both Unilever plc and Sainsbury Supermarkets plc.
She has represented the British Retail Consortium at Technical Committee level and governmental legislative review. She is currently a freelance food safety consultant.
She is married with 2 children and has lived in Ashtead since 2000. Both children attend local schools. She is actively involved in St Michael’s Parish church helping deliver the Holy Communion programme as well as supporting school PTA activities.
Outside interests include tennis, epee fencing, musical theatre and countryside walks.
Paula was born in Horley, Surrey, and has lived in the county all her life. She went to Dorking County Grammar School (now The Ashcombe School) before graduating from Reading University with a degree in French Studies.
Paula and her husband, Paul, lived in Epsom for 13 years before moving to Ashtead in 1996. They have two children, Johanna and Benjamin, both of whom were educated locally.
Paula began her career by teaching French to adults and went on to work as an Adult & Community Education manager for Surrey County Council, and then at Brooklands College. She now works part-time for Surrey Early Years and Childcare Service in their Early Support department, providing support for young children with special needs across Surrey.
Paula is a qualified Yachtmaster and loves to sail, but is still saving up for her own boat! Skiing is a passion and her ‘spare time’ interests include reading, gardening, and travelling.
Paula was elected to the Council for the first time as a member for Ashtead Common Ward in May 2012.
Simon lives in Agates Lane, is married with two married children, and is a Chartered Accountant by profession. For nearly 25 years he ran his own firm based in Wallington in Surrey, but now works part-time, has a few private clients and acts in various capacities for a number of Charities. If he has any spare time from this and his Council duties it is occupied in water colour painting, wine-making, and orienteering.
John Northcott (Ashtead Common)
John was elected Chairman of the Council in May 2010.
John was brought up in St. Albans, Hertfordshire. After Aldenham School and national service in the Far East with the Royal Artillery, he read Natural Sciences at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Most of his working life was spent in the steel industry, based in turn in Sheffield, Barrow-in-Furness, Coatbridge and London, but he also had a spell with W.S Atkins in Epsom and a secondment to the British Embassy in Paris as Commercial Attaché.
Shortly after their marriage in 1972 John and Gill set up home in Ashtead. Their two children, Richard and Clare, were educated locally. During this time John was an active member of the Ashtead Residents’ Association, latterly as Vice-Chairman.
John was first elected to the council in May 2000. He has been Vice-Chairman of the Resources Committee, Chairman of the Development Control Committee, Chairman of the Local Development Framework Members Working Group and Vice-Chairman of the council. He has served on a wide range of councillor panels including the Standing Budget Panel.
John currently represents the council on the Ashtead Common Consultative Committee. He has been a trustee of the Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall and is a member of the Ashtead Horticultural Society, the Ashtead Branch of NADFAS, the Leatherhead and District Countryside Protection Society and the Surrey Wildlife Trust. He was one of the instigators of Ashtead Good Neighbours and still drives for them occasionally. Outside the local arena he is a trustee of the Members’ Benevolent Trust of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and was a member of the South London Board of the Prince’s Trust.
His interests are centred around family and home, the local countryside and Ashtead village activities, but he would like to be able to play better bridge and golf and have more time for his vegetable patch.
Chris Townsend (Ashtead Park)
Chris Townsend has been an Independent Mole Valley District councillor for the Ashtead Park Ward since 1992 and became the Surrey County Councillor for the Ashtead Division in 2009. At Surrey CC he is a member of the Education, Learning and Development Select Committee and is also part of the Surrey Commission for Children which is looking at all the services for young people in Surrey. At Mole Valley DC Chris has been Chair of their Scrutiny Committee since that role was created by Government a number of years ago.
He was a Governor, previously Chairman, of Sutton Grammar School and also a Parent Governor of Barnett Wood First School and West Ashtead First and Middle School. He currently is a Governor at the City of London Freemens School.
Chris has been Deputy Chair of the Children & Young People Board at the LGA for the past 3 years, being the only Independent member. Previously he had been Chairman of the LGA’s Scrutiny Panel.