David Hammond

Who is the person that was brave enough to step into Nick Launder’s shoes and take on the Chairmanship of the Parish Council? David Hammond volunteered to join the Rotherfield Peppard Parish Council in August 2009 after reading a plea in Peppard News and following a conversation with a councillor during a village clear up. He had no idea of what to expect or what was involved. He felt he wanted to be involved with the community but didn’t really relate to any other local organisation so joining the council seemed to be the right ‘fit’. His wife had, by that time, become a CAB advisor and was actively encouraging him to do something too.

David has lived in Kingwood for eleven and a half years years since the Wyfold estate was built—and loves the area. Their two sons have now flown the nest – one to live in California with his family and the other to live in London. David worked for a large multinational company before finally retiring in 2006. He showed his willingness to put his hand up when, after settling in, he joined his own residents’ committee to oversee the maintenance of the estate.

He was genuinely surprised by the amount of legislation involved in Parish Council activities and having come from a high-tech company, he found some of the procedures somewhat arcane. He readily admits to a tendancy to question the way things are done and believes that since the world has moved on, then so should some of the processes within our local council. His first role was on the Planning Committee and views this as a very important aspect of the council’s role. He accepts that development will take place but believes that the village as a whole should benefit. He was instrumental in ensuring that the Manor Farm proprietors adhered to the planning laws.

As Chairman, he finds being well organised essential and wishes to use his time to listen to people and establish a common way forward and harness the talents of other councillors and members of the community. One thing that concerns him greatly is a clear indication, highlighted in the Community survey, that some of our young people feel isolated and even lonely. He believes it important that the council takes action to address this.

Not particularly interested in sport or hobbies, he wishes to see more of the world and having travelled to New Zealand last year, Peru is the next stop on his busy agenda. It’s good to see that David is well organised enough to ensure a good work/life balance.

Rita Hadgkiss