Handside: Fiona THOMSON

I have been a Conservative Councillor  for Handside Ward since 2008, representing residents on issues as diverse as housing, planning, parking, education, health, refuse, trees, neighbour disputes, noise nuisance and ASB.

I stood for election in 2008 concerned about several local issues,  and wanting to make a difference in my community, especially for those residents who don’t have a voice.

As a parent, Nurse, and a Midwife who trained at the QE11, I was very concerned that our local hospital was earmarked for closure by the then Labour government; I wanted to see good facilities and support for children and families in the Borough; and I was also concerned about the environment, particularly the lack of recycling across the Borough at that time.

Having worked at Barn Close Pre School for 10 years, I have seen the difficulties some parents face, and became a founding Trustee of HomeStart WelwynHatfieId. Over the years of being involved with the charity I have seen first hand the difference a HomeStart volunteer and timely support can make to families who are struggling to cope.
The environment also needs to be protected for future generations, and I am proud to be part of the Conservative Council which introduced kerb side recycling to Welwyn Hatfield, helping to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

My husband and I have lived in Handside for almost 30 years, bringing our 3 children up in this lovely Garden City community.
Over the years I have enjoyed volunteering at our childrens’ schools, Applecroft and Stanborough, guides; and at Community events like the Olympic Torch relay and National PlayDay. It is always fantastic to see our community come together at events like these.

I am passionate about health and wellbeing, particularly mental health;  and as Lead Member for Health, a member of Hertfordshire Health Scrutiny,  and a Mental Health Champion I enjoy working with colleagues, partners and  residents helping to improve health and wellbeing across the Borough and County.
In 2014 I created HealthFest, a bi annual health and wellbeing festival held in Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City, for residents to find ways of improving their health and wellbeing, in a fun and interactive way.

Having personal experience as a carer for someone living with Dementia, I was involved in setting up the Welwyn Hatfield Dementia Action Alliance (WHDAA) in 2016 and was honoured to be appointed Chair of the Alliance. The DAA encourages local businesses and community groups to work together to raise awareness and understanding of dementia, supporting the Alzheimers Society Dementia Friends initiative, and making life easier for people living with dementia and their loved ones and carers. My wish is for Welwyn Hatfield to be recognised nationally as a Dementia Friendly Borough.

Since 2008 I have represented residents on many different Council committees ranging from Planning to Hackney Carriage, Estate Managements Appeals to Community Safety Partnership, ensuring their voice is heard; and I have also been the Council’s representative on the Hertfordshire Armed Forces Community Covenant Board, working with partners to ensure veterans are not disadvantaged as a result of their service.

This year I have been appointed to Cabinet as Executive Member for Governance and Public Health. I look forward to continuing to represent residents, and to working with colleagues and partners to improve our Borough for everyone.