The Congleton Conservative Association’s Executive Council has agreed a list of six names - four women and two men - to go forward to an Open Primary meeting.
- Simon Baynes
- Fiona Bruce
- Janet Clowes
- Matthew Hancock
- Eveleigh Moore Dutton
- Merryn Myatt
Detailed biographies of the six are below, each of whom is seeking to fill the shoes of Ann Winterton, who has represented the seat since 1983 and will bequeath a majority of 8,246.
The Open Primary meeting - open to any voter in the constituency who registers in advance - will be held at Congleton Town Hall on Saturday 28th November and will be chaired by former BBC North West political editor, Jim Hancock.Below are detailed biographies of the six provided by the Congleton Conservatives:
Simon Baynes helped the Conservatives in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election last year and has campaigned extensively in local elections in the City of Chester where he was the runner-up in the Open Primary to become the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate in 2007. Simon lives on the Welsh borders and runs a bookshop business in Shrewsbury which sells second hand books through its town centre shop and on the internet - http://www.booksandmemorabilia.com/ His interest in bookselling was first inspired when he was at school in Shrewsbury and later when he read history at Cambridge. Before setting up his own business, Simon worked for the leading UK investment bank JP Morgan Cazenove which he left at his own choice at the end of 2006 after a career of almost 25 years, mainly working with small and medium sized companies.
Simon was brought up in a family hotel business at Lake Vyrnwy, the rural area which he now represents on Powys County Council. He is Joint Leader of the Conservative Group which refused the Councillors’ pay rise for 2009/10 and, in addition, Simon has not claimed any expenses since being elected last year. He stood as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Montgomeryshire in 2005 and increased the Conservative vote against Lembit Opik MP. Simon is married to Maggie, an architect, and they have two daughters aged 9 and 7 who go to Shrewsbury High School. Simon is a keen musician and is Chairman of his County Youth Orchestra and Band which involves almost 150 young musicians. He and Maggie founded the nationwide charity Concertina 11 years ago which makes grants to charities such as Wearpurple Arts run by Age Concern in Cheshire to provide music and other entertainment for the elderly in care homes and day centres.
Cheshire Solicitor Fiona Bruce lives in Northwich, within a few minutes of the Middlewich boundary of the Congleton Constituency. She started up and has developed her business, Fiona Bruce & Co. LLP, here in Cheshire over the last 20 years. Her wider family are Cheshire based; her husband Richard, a Chartered Surveyor, worked for many years for local Land Agents, Frank Marshalls; their two sons aged 16 and 13 were born and attend school here in Cheshire. Fiona Bruce is UK Winner of the Small Business Bureau’s Businesswoman of the Year Award, as well as being voted SHE Magazine’s “Most Inspiring Businesswoman!”
Fiona was the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Warrington South 2005 and is an Executive Councillor – Cabinet Member - on the Cheshire Unitary Council of Warrington, where she has served the local community as a Councillor for over 5 years and currently holds the Finance Portfolio – in which role she has overseen £17.5 million of savings for Council Tax payers over the past three years. Fiona Bruce & Co. LLP has won several awards. Fiona now leads a team of 15 Lawyers and a total of some 30 staff who serve the needs of clients and community groups across the North West, including many in the Congleton Constituency. Fiona founded a Free Legal Advice Clinic over 15 years ago in an area with no CAB which she still oversees and more recently has co-founded an innovative high street shop Advice Centre in Widnes to help local people experiencing problems such as debt, drug abuse, and teenage pregnancy. At home, Richard and Fiona have a flock of pedigree Suffolk Sheep. She enjoys jazz music, especially supporting her older son’s Jazz Band, and encouraging her younger son in his Mid-Cheshire League Football. Fiona’s family are actively involved in Cheshire community and Church life.
Janet has lived in Nantwich for 24 years, been married to Nick (a Consultant Anaesthetist) for 23 year, they have three sons. On leaving school, she trained as a nurse, specialising in Intensive Care and later working as an Intensive Care Sister. Whilst raising the family, Janet forged a new career as Programme Leader for Health and Social Care at South Cheshire College in Crewe. She gained her Postgraduate Certificate in Further, Higher and Adult Education at MMU (Alsager) before completing an MSc (Dist) in Medical-Social Anthropology at Keele University and won the Frankenberg Prize for research examining the Health Experience of Farming and Rural Communities in South Cheshire. Janet then moved to University College Chester and was promoted to Post-Graduate Leader, delivering the MA (Community Studies) and MSc (Health Promotion & Public Health) programmes.
She has been a governor for ten years at Shavington High School, Crewe with responsibility for Cared-for Children and those with Special Educational Needs. Since 2002, Janet has worked with the Pre-School Learning Alliance as a volunteer, to promote early years rural provision in Woore. In 2005 she accepted an offer to work for the charity in partnership with Sure-Start in Stoke, and uses her experience to establish education at home for vulnerable children under five with additional needs, with support for their families. A Conservative Party member for 18 years. Janet has served as Deputy Chairman (Political), and is currently Deputy Chairman (Membership) of the Crewe & Nantwich Conservative Association. A member of the election campaign team, during the Crewe & Nantwich By-Election, she was in charge of the rural sector campaign office. She is also a member of the Cheshire and Wirral Area Committee. In 2007 Janet established a Conservative Future Group (the youth wing of the Conservative Party) in East Cheshire; (incorporating the Congleton Constituency), and now work as facilitator for young people wanting to explore local politics and contribute to social and community action projects.
Matthew Hancock was born and brought up in Cheshire and his family run a small farm outside Malpas. He is married to Martha, and has two young children, Hope and Ferdinand. Matthew went to Farndon Primary School and King's School, Chester. He received a first class degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Oxford and a Masters in Economics from Cambridge. Matthew’s first job was at Border Business Systems, his family's Farndon based computer software company. He then worked for five years at the Bank of England, where he became an expert in the fight against inflation. Shadow Chancellor George Osborne recruited Matthew as his Chief of Staff shortly after the 2005 election. In this role, he is responsible for leading the Shadow Chancellor’s twelve-strong team, and advises David Cameron, George Osborne and Ken Clarke as they develop Conservative plans for tackling the deficit, helping businesses through the recession and rebuilding our economy.
Matthew joined the Conservative Party in Eddisbury in 1999, and since then has been a campaigner in dozens of by-elections, a voluntary agent in the 2001 election and a council candidate. He is now Treasurer of his local Conservative Association. Outside politics, he is a charity fundraiser, for Cancer Research UK, and a founder of the Dom Pardey Charitable Trust that supports young adult victims of stroke. He has broken the world record for the most northerly game of cricket ever played, during an expedition to the North Pole. But after a nasty bout of frostbite, he now restricts his cricket to England. Matthew dreams of his next club being in Cheshire and, together with Martha and the kids, putting down roots here again.
Eveleigh Moore Dutton
With 10 years of service as a Conservative Councillor in Cheshire, as the daughter of a farmer and a nurse and as a mother of three adult children (two of whom are in the Armed Forces), Eveleigh has the combination of real life experience, proven ability and local knowledge to be Congleton’s next Conservative Member of Parliament. She has lived all her adult life in Cheshire but has had an international education. She has worked in finance and for 25 years was a director of a small, Cheshire based, civil engineering business. Whilst working and raising her family, she studied law and politics through the Open University and more recently has studied Constitutional and Criminal Law.
In the 2005 General Election she was the Conservative candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, achieving an 11.8% increase in the Conservative vote. In 2004 she was one of the North West’s candidates for the European Parliament elections. Throughout this time she has demonstrated a commitment to local concerns by talking to people and listening to their problems. She describes solving people’s problems as the most rewarding part of being an elected representative. Whether driving policy in the interests of her constituency or championing constituents’ personal cases, Eveleigh has made and will continue to make a positive, measurable difference. First hand, front line, fact finding has seen Eveleigh take part in patrolling with local police and Community Safety Officers. As part of her campaign for better ambulance coverage in the rural areas of Cheshire she trained to be a First Responder and has also served on Cheshire Fire and Rescue Authority.
I have lived and worked in Cheshire for nearly 10 years…and in the Northwest for 18. My husband’s family roots are in the county; our two children were/are educated at our village Primary School and local High School. After leaving London University with an English degree, I trained as a newspaper reporter. For many years I was a campaigning journalist, broadcaster and TV newsreader, with a track record of investigating wrong-doing and helping people win a fairer deal. I presented BBC 1’s The Really Useful Show; ITV’s Consumer File; The Money Channel’s Money Matters. I also presented BBC 1’s Northwest Tonight flagship news programme for five years, reporting major developments and community events at the heart of our region’s affairs. While based in Manchester, I also hosted Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and You & Yours from time to time.
At The Money Channel, I established the UK’s first regular business programme dedicated to SMEs (Small & Medium Enterprises) which led to the next stage of my career after leaving broadcasting... I set up an international communications training company, based in Cheshire. We advise private, public and voluntary-sector clients from global to grass-roots, on the value and importance of communicating better with staff and stakeholders, through the media. We also worked with many Local Authorities on public consultation programmes.My voluntary work focuses mainly, but not exclusively, on women, developing their personal communications, presentation and confidence skills. I am an Ambassador for Women in Business; a Cheshire committee member of the IoD; and a committee member of my son’s Air Training Corps squadron.