Conservatives Announce the First of Their Reading Borough Candidates

Reading Conservatives have announced the first of their candidates for the 22 May local elections. 

Conservative Group Leader Cllr Jeanette Skeats said, “I am proud to have an excellent team of candidates who will stand up for the people of their wards and ensure that our Conservative message gets across. I am delighted to have such a diverse group of candidates representing all people in Reading. The experience of our sitting and former Councillors will be complemented by the fresh ideas and enthusiasm of the new candidates. We will shortly release details of our candidates for the remaining wards and our manifesto for the Borough Council elections.”


Two sitting Councillors, Andrew Cumpsty (Caversham) and David Stevens (Thames), have been reselected to contest the seats they have held since they were first elected to Reading Borough Council in 2004.

Andrew Cumpsty is the Conservative Group spokesman for Culture and Sport, and was Leader of the Council during the 2010/11 Council year. He brought together a coalition with the Lib Dems which resulted in the first non-Labour run Council in Reading for more than 20 years. Andrew lives in Caversham and runs his own Reading-based consultancy company. Andrew said, “Over the past 10 years, as a Caversham resident, it has been a huge privilege to serve the residents of Caversham Ward as Councillor. From fighting to get potholes repaired to trying to stop the Labour Council from closing the Arthur Clark care home; from supporting the development of Caversham Children's centre, to holding monthly advice surgeries all around Caversham; from opposing the Labour run Council's plans to concrete over parts of Christchurch Meadows, to supporting Caversham's businesses and from fighting to secure funding for the redevelopment of central Caversham to handling 100s of residents problems over the last decade, I believe that I have given residents good service and consistently fought for our patch. This track record of delivering for Caversham and its residents and my desire to continue serving as a local Caversham Ward Councillor, is why I ask for residents’ support on the 22nd May at the local elections. I promise to continue delivering this high level of service to my community and support for my residents.”

David Stevens is the Conservative Group spokesman for Finance and Property, a portfolio which he held during the Conservative-led coalition administration. He chairs the Council’s influential Audit and Governance Committee which oversee all spending by the borough. He is also the chairman of the Conservative councillor group. David is a trustee of the Berkshire Maestros - the organisation that teaches music to children.  He is also co-ordinating the various organisations in Reading that will be commemorating the First World War.  

David lives in Reading with his wife and three children. A keen cyclist, he also commutes by train to work in London where he is works for a large firm of accountants.

 Paul Carnell has been selected to contest Church ward following the decision of existing Councillor and former Group Leader Tim Harris to stand down. Paul works as a plumber and lives in the ward just off Whitley Wood Road. Since moving to Reading a few years ago Paul has become increasingly concerned about local issues.  The state of the roads, anti social behaviour and the Shinfield Road traffic lights all concern Church Ward.  Paul regularly attends a local church and has a keen interest in sport.  

Simon Robinson has been chosen to contest Peppard ward. Simon is 49 and has lived in Caversham Park Village with his wife and family for the last 8 years. He works in the IT industry as a home-based Senior Project Manager and Corporate Learning Consultant helping organisations grow and achieve performance improvements though the application of Learning Technologies. 


Helen Hopper has been selected to contest Redlands Ward. Helen lives in East Reading with her husband Ed (Conservative Councillor for Thames Ward) and their two children. Helen is an active member of the congregation of St. Luke's with St. Bartholomew's, regularly teaching Sunday School for under 10's. Helen has worked in Reading since 2000 and has a particular interest in sustainable business and would work to see Reading's economic future safeguarded.