Matt Burleigh grew up in Hitchin where he attended Wilshere Dacre Primary School and The Priory School (or Bowes Lyon High School as it was known until 1988). After studying for his undergraduate degree and PhD at the University of Leicester, he pursued a career there in research in astrophysics. He still works at Leicester as a Reader in Observational Astronomy, teaching physics and astronomy to undergraduates while continuing his research – discovering planets around other stars – when time allows. In 2012 Matt moved back south to Preston to be nearer his family, and to live in a village that has always been close to his heart. Matt has been a keen member of Preston Cricket Club since 1987, and has played most summer Saturdays and Sundays since then. Occasionally he has even captained one or other of the club XIs, and currently serves on the club management committee. A fan of real ale, Matt is a proud shareholder and regular of the Red Lion. Matt joined the Parish Council in 2015. He is particularly concerned at the acute shortage of housing in the South of England that younger people can afford to buy, and of housing suitable for those older people looking to downsize. He believes that a diverse community is healthy to maintain and support the institutions that keep Preston vibrant. An occasional ornithologist and regular cyclist, Matt loves the beautiful countryside and wildlife around Preston, and believes it must be protected from encroaching development.
Jane moved from North Yorkshire to Hertfordshire in 2000 to pursue her career as a gamekeeper. She then made the move to Preston in 2003 while continuing work at Knebworth and married David, a local farmer, in 2005. They have 2 young children, both at Preston Primary School. Jane became a Parish Councillor in 2013 and due to her farming and countryside upbringing is keen for the village of Preston and its surrounding areas to remain as is whilst also recognising the need to move with the times, without of course impeding on the natural beauty of the area.
David was born and grew up in Bath and arrived at Hitchwood in 1975, finding it the almost perfect rural retreat. He married Frances in 1978 and, with roughly the same interests in life (cricket may be one exception), they have together enjoyed the Preston experience for the last 30 years or more. David admits to being very lucky that his career has enabled him to stay within such a rural setting. He strongly believes that rural village life can be the most rewarding for those with a strong interest in the countryside and for those who want to play their part in preserving a rich community spirit, without which there is little personal satisfaction.
Margaret moved to the Parish of Preston from Hitchin in 2006 and became a Parish Councillor and Clerk to the Parish Council in July 2007, stepping down from the role of Clerk in May 2017 but remaining as a Parish Councillor. Margaret supports village activities and events as much as possible and is also a member of the Friends of St Martin’s fund raising committee. She is an advocate of rural life and as a Parish Councillor would like to ensure that the village maintains its beautiful environment and its unique character. email@example.com
Sandra Palmer moved to Preston in September 2015 with her husband Richard and 2 young children, the eldest currently goes to Codicote school and this year when the youngest starts hopefully he’ll go to Preston. Before moving here they lived in Langley and although a lovely village it doesn’t have the village feel and community spirit that they love so much about being here. They love family walks and bike rides around the beautiful Preston countryside and feel we need to preserve this way of life before it’s lost. Sandra has only recently become a Parish Councillor and is enjoying being part of the community and getting involved in making and keeping Preston a lovely place for those that live here and visit. As well as looking after 2 children she also works part time in John Lewis, where she has been for 27 years!
John Healey (Chairman)
Has lived in School Lane since the 1980s and became a parish councillor in 2003, with responsibilities that have included local rights of way. The attractiveness and relative peace of the area draws in many walkers, cyclists and other welcome visitors. With a lot of support from the villagers, the Parish Council has had some good successes in protecting the paths and bridleways whilst continuing its efforts to limit the damage and misuse of our fragile green lanes by off-road vehicles. Although the beautiful environment of Preston sometimes attracts the unwelcome interest of developers, the determination of local people and various organisations has succeeded over many decades in keeping it a delightful and unspoilt village set in glorious countryside. Through the work of the Parish Council and with the huge support and resolve demonstrated by villagers, John wants to hold on to this rural character and prevent it being eroded and lost. firstname.lastname@example.org
Pam Stark (Vice Chair)
Pam has lived in Preston since 1979, and her two sons attended Preston Primary School and then moved to Hitchin Boys School. She became a Parish Councillor in 1997, and served as Clerk to the council for 10 years, until Margaret Trinder took over that role. She has always had a very active role in many village activities and is currently secretary to St Martin’s Church committee and the Preston Village Society. She is very keen to keep Preston as the delightful rural village that it is and would not like to see it spoilt. email@example.com
Lisa Lathane (Clerk & Treasurer)
Lisa moved to Preston in March 2008 having previously lived in Surrey. Lisa is married to Ross, a Gamekeeper on the Pilkington Estate. She has 2 daughters, one who attends the Priory School, and one at Preston Primary School. Lisa took over as Clerk to Preston Parish Council in May 2017, and took over the Treasurer role in January 2018. Lisa takes advantage of the many footpaths around Preston, and recognises that the countryside and rural life is very important. Retaining the strong sense of community that the village has, and keeping its beauty is one of the main reasons Lisa applied to become Clerk. firstname.lastname@example.org