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.
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, one at Hitchin Boys School and their eldest at Hitchin Girls 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.
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.
Andy grew up in Hitchin where he attended Highover Primary School and then Hitchin Boys School. He studied History at Hull University where his main academic highlight was being sworn at by a future Poet Laureate. After graduating he has spent his working life in Retail Technology. He moved to Preston in August 2017 with Monica, her daughter and his two sons. He was married to Monica in Sept 2022 in a Humanist ceremony on the beach in Elgol, Isle of Skye. Outside of work, his pastimes are running and playing bass guitar in a local rock band. Andy discovered Preston whilst training for the Hitchin Hard Half Marathon. Now he has more spare time, he is keen to help the community preserve the village’s unique character, whilst keeping with the times. Andy joined the parish council in May 2023.
Julie joined the parish council in May 2023.
Ali joined the parish council in May 2023.
Sharon joined the parish council in July 2023. She spent her youth growing up on a farm in Codicote before moving to Ley Green and then eventually in 1995, moving with her own family to Preston. Village community and a rural way of life is very important to her. Sharon’s three sons all attended Preston Primary School before moving onto Hitchin. Growing up in a village community gave her sons a firm foundation to build on, especially, great encouragement from Preston Cricket Club – whether the boys were sports minded or not, they were always made to feel welcome and valued. Sharon is keen for not only the beautiful, rural village not to lose its identity but also, for the community spirit and support to remain.
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 North Herts College. Lisa took over as Clerk to Preston Parish Council in May 2017, and took over the Responsible Financial Officer 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.
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