Hungerford residents head to the polls as town and mansion elect new trustees

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Julien Dickin

Submitted by the City and Manor of Hungerford and Liberty of Sanden Fee

Residents of Hungerford, Berkshire, went to the polls to elect five new trustees to the board of Hungerford Town and Manor and the Liberty of Sanden Fee charity. Six candidates stood for election, which was held at Hungerford Town Hall on Thursday June 16.

The five successful candidates, who officially assumed their new roles at the directors’ meeting on Tuesday, June 21, are:

  • Alistair Fyfe, member of Hungerford City Council, where he serves as Planning Chairman.
  • Geordie Taylor, who has lived in Hungerford, Berkshire, for 35 years and is a former chairman of the town’s cricket club.
  • Julian Dickins, a solicitor who has lived locally and worked in Hungerford for 26 years.
  • Kate Edwards, a recently retired teacher with a long history of volunteerism and fundraising.
  • Simon Lee-Smith, who worked in the telecommunications industry, primarily in purchasing and sales.

The new directors will join the board for a six-year term, working alongside five existing board members, who will serve until 2025.

Hungerford Town and Manor Constable Peter Joseph said: “We would like to thank everyone who stood in the recent election and welcome our newly elected colleagues.

“Becoming a Trustee provides a superb opportunity to not only help us continue to uphold the historic traditions of the town and mansion, but also to make a positive difference to the future of Hungerford and the communities we support.

“We would also like to take this time to thank the trustees who are stepping down from their roles, including Barbara Barr, who became a trustee in October 2006 and has been involved with the town and the manor since 1981, when she became a commoner. Barbara was also the first female constable when she took on the role in 2007, for three years.

The last election of directors took place in June 2019, when ten members were elected to the board for terms of three or six years. Five of them retire by rotation for a new term of six years.

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Voting was open to a select group of the town’s electorate living in what the charity defines as the “benefit area” within the former parish boundary.

Eligible voters live in Hungerford Town Tithe and Sanden Fee Tithe, which covers the majority of Hungerford, excluding an area north of the River Dun. Each eligible voter can vote for up to five candidates in the election.

The election process is unusual because the majority of charities appoint their directors through an internal selection process rather than through public elections. Both the town and the mansion see holding a public vote as an essential part of ensuring that she has a democratic mandate to continue her work.

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