Isobel Ballsdon

Mapledurham Councillor

Isobel was re-elected to represent Mapledurham Ward in May 2016, before which she had represented Thames Ward from 2006 to 2012.

Isobel was inspired to enter politics after being involved in two campaigns.  She led the successful 'Now Out of Catchment' (NOOC) sibling campaign in 2001.  The campaign closed a loophole caused by the Council's failure to protect NOOC siblings from being split between primary schools after changing the catchment areas.

Subsequently she got involved in the Kings Meadow Campaign (KMC), becoming its Vice Chairman.  KMC successfully lobbied English Heritage to get a Grade II listing for the Baths. This in turn protected the western end of the Meadow from being sold by Reading’s Labour administration for the development of a large private 6-storey hotel, apartments and conference facilities. The Kings Meadow Baths will be reopening following a major refurbishment and rebuild in 2017 under the new name of The Thames Lido.

As a councillor Isobel has had a variety of roles including the chairmanship of both the Planning Committee and the Education & Children’s Services Scrutiny Panel, as well as being the Conservative Group's spokesman on several areas over the years.  Most recently Isobel's main focus has been on Mapledurham Pavilion and a permanent home for The Heights School as these are the biggest local issues.  

Isobel is Chair of Governors at The Avenue Special School where she helped oversee the school convert to academy status, becoming one of the first special schools in the country to do so.  In 2017 she led the recruitment process and appointed the new Head who will take over when Dame Sue Bourne retires at the end of the current academic year.

In addition to the above roles, Isobel is chairman of the Mapledurham Playing Fields Management Committee which looks after the day-to-day management of the playing fields and Pavilion. Sadly the main part of the Pavilion has been shut since January 2016 due to safety concerns with its structure.  Isobel also sits on the Planning Committee and the Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport Committee.

Isobel regularly knocks on doors to hear residents’ concerns.  Living in the area she represents, she is happy to be phoned or emailed and can readily meet up to discuss any local council-related issue.  She prefers getting out and about to speak with residents rather than having static Ward surgeries and is keen for anyone with an issue to contact her.

Isobel keeps a personal blog and a Facebook page Cllr Isobel Ballsdon with news and her views about the local area. She lives in Mapledurham Ward with her husband and two children, enjoying gardening, horse riding, music and walking.

Isobel is the Conservative Group's spokesperson for:

Adult Social Care

She sits on the following:

Adult Social Care, Children's Services & Education


New Officers elected at AGM

At the Reading East Conservative Association Annual General Meeting on 10th March 2020 a host of new officers were elected to help drive the group forward.  

Speedwatch in Mapledurham

Cllr Isobel Ballsdon and 4 volunteer residents joined PCSO's in Mapledurham Ward to carry out a 2nd speed watch operation in the area.  A number of vehicles were caught speeding  and the top speed recorded was 46mph which is extraordinary in a 30mph zone.

See Also

Jeanette Skeats

Conservative Group Leader RBC and Thames Ward Councillor

Cllr Jeanette Skeats was re-elected in May 2019 to represent Thames Ward. 

David Stevens

Thames Ward Councillor

David was first elected in 2004 and was subsequently re-elected in 2006, 2010, 2014 and again in 2018. :

Paul Carnell

Thames Ward Councillor

Paul was elected to represent Thames Ward in May 2019.

He sits on the following:

Strategic Planning, Environment, Planning & Transport, Planning, Licensing and Housing Neighbourhood and Leisure

Clare Grashoff

Peppard Ward Councillor

Clare was first elected to represent Peppard Ward in 2015 and was recently re-elected in May 2019

Jane Stanford-Beale

Deputy Group Leader and Peppard Ward Councillor

Jane was re-elected in May 2016 to represent Peppard Ward having first stood for election in 2012.

Simon Robinson

Peppard Ward Councillor

Simon Robinsonwas first elected in 2014 and relected in May 2018 with an increased majority. He has lived in Reading for over 20 years and in Caversham Park Village with his wife and family for the last 8 years.He works as a home based IT Consultant in corporate education and training whilst his wife also works locally for the BBC at the Caversham Monitoring Centre.

Laura Blumenthal

Southlake Ward Councillor WBC

Laura was first elected to represent Southlake ward in May 2015 and was re-elected in 2019.

Jenny Cheng

South Lake Ward Borough Councillor for WBC

Jenny Cheng was elected to represent Southlake in the 2018 local elections for Wokingham Borough Council. Currently Mayor of Woodley Town she is a hardworking woman who has been on the Town Council for 7 years and has helped many residents.

Abdul Loyes

Loddon Ward Borough Councillor for WBC

Abdul Loyes was first elected in May 2006 as a Councillor in Loddon Ward on Wokingham Borough Council and was elected again in 2011, 2015 and 2019. He has lived in the Borough since 1976 and is married to Nina. They have three children. Abdul runs his own catering business and believes his experience of running a small business is very useful and his knowledge of the local area enables him to recognize the changes needed to improve life in Woodley.

Bill Soane

Loddon Ward Borough Councillor

Bill has lived in Woodley for 30 years and raised his family here. He runs his own business and brings this experience of working with people to get things done to the Council if elected. As Woodley’s Carnival Committee Chairman he raised funds for local & national charities whilst providing a great day out for Woodley residents.