What is your idea of a Parish Councillor? Perhaps a pensioner with time on their hands or a local busybody? Well, wait until you meet Leeanne Flett: a young woman with seemingly boundless energy who believes in ‘getting stuck in’.
Born and brought up in New Zealand, in a large extended family, she travelled extensively before coming to stay with her brother in London in 2004. Her plan to continue travelling and return to New Zealand was curtailed when she met her partner, Jeremy.
After a while in London she found she yearned for the countryside so she and Jeremy moved first to Henley and then, in 2005, to Peppard. She loved it here from the start and began to settle and then the arrival of William in 2007 cemented it.
She is still sometimes surprised by the choices available in the UK. She has a ‘make and do’ attitude that comes from being brought up with the nearest shop two hours’ drive away!
Her mother was her role model and in whose footsteps she decided to follow, so when William came along, she decided to become a stay-at-home Mum. Certain sacrifices are made but there is no doubt that she is happy this way. Along with this, her philosophy is to be totally involved with the community – she wants to be connected and, if possible, make a difference. When William was a toddler she was involved in running Toddler groups at the War Memorial Hall and also at the Ark.
A year ago, she responded to a request in Peppard News for more councillors. She didn’t know how the Parish Council worked so decided to roll up her sleeves and learn. She was very active in collecting the Community Plan surveys and met lots of people with whom she could discuss local and topical events. She has total responsibility for the Carlings Orchard project but also sits in on some Planning meetings. Leeanne was also instrumental in arranging for a salt bin to be installed in her road as she has a neighbour who needs to go to Royal Berks Hospital regularly for dialysis – this was a major problem last winter.
Her real passion has been in helping Peppard School in whatever capacity she can – she set to and weeded and tidied the school grounds prior to the Ofsted inspection and attended the OCC hearing to speak up for the new school.
As she demonstrated to me, even though all her various activities might make her tired she is such a happy person that she sings as she puts her groceries away following a delivery!