Contact Robin Parker
8 Cameron Close
01438 724 746
I have lived in Stevenage since 1961, mostly in Chells, and attended Camps Hill School and The Nobel Grammar School. After that, I took an Honours Physics degree at the University of Birmingham (1973) followed by a Postgraduate Certificate in Education at Darwin College, University of Cambridge (1974). Since then, I have been a teacher of Physics and Science (and occasionally Biology, Chemistry and Maths) locally, including 7 years at Marriotts School when it was The Bedwell School.
I was a founder member of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1981 and when the SDP merged with the former Liberal Party in 1988, I was a founder member of the Liberal Democrats. I have held a number of positions in the local party, notably Chair, for many years.
I was elected to Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) at my first attempt in May 1982 for the (now abolished) Mobbsbury Ward and was re-elected in 1986, 1991, and 1996. When Mobbsbury was abolished in 1999, and the new Manor Ward created, I successfully stood for Manor Ward and have been re-elected for Manor in 2003, 2007 and 2011. Manor covers part of the old Mobbsbury Ward and all of Chells Manor.
I have now completed 30 years on Stevenage Borough Council. For most of that time, I have been Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group and for many years I was Leader of the Opposition, since the Liberal Democrats were the second largest party. At SBC, I have worked on a large number of committees, mainly concerning finance.
In November 2009, I chaired a successful Scrutiny Topic Group on Cycling in Stevenage. Since 1982, I have been the only local councillor who has consistently challenged the huge Labour majority on Stevenage Borough Council, when necessary, and held them to account.
As well as this, in May 2005 I stood for the Chells Division of Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) and was successful at my first attempt. I was re-elected in 2009 and 2013. Chells Division covers all of Manor Ward and all of Chells Ward.
At HCC, I served on the important Stevenage Highways Panel until its abolition in 2012 and I continue to serve on the Pensions Committee and the sub-committee of that, which is the Hertfordshire Pension Fund Investment Committee, which oversees the £3 billion investments of the Hertfordshire Local Government Pension Scheme members. I have also been a member of the HCC Customer Service, Performance and Libraries Cabinet Panel
I have spoken up for Chells and Stevenage on issues such as school closures, schools’ building projects, street light problems and in particular the Conservatives’ street light switch off and all sorts of highways, roads and footpath problems.
I was an active participant of the Chells and Manor Forums and Action Teams. These were discontinued from April 2011 by Stevenage Borough Council. Since then, along with Liberal Democrat colleague and Manor Ward borough councillor Graham Snell, I have organized and run Residents’ Meetings in both the Chells Manor and Mobbsbury areas. These have been paid for from our SBC Local Community Budgets. As well as this, my Liberal Democrat colleagues and I have often held Street Meets on Saturdays for all the streets in Chells Ward and Manor Ward.
We do this so that local residents can contact us easily and know who we are. To this end, we also produce, pay for and deliver newsletters to each door in the area as often as possible.
At the general election in April 1992, I stood as Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for the Welwyn Hatfield constituency. This was never a seat that the Liberal Democrats expected at that time to win, but I managed to increase our share of the vote and was the only one of the candidates to hold a number of free access public meetings in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield. I also campaigned at that time against the fact that our line into Kings Cross had the highest fares per mile in Europe – which is probably still true!
I am proud of the fact that, for a number of years in the 1980s, I was the only elected politician at any level in Stevenage who was not Labour – since at that time, the MEP, MP, all the county councillors and all the other borough councillors were Labour!
I continue to help thousands of local residents with problems or information or advice and I make a special effort to call at all houses in Manor Ward at least once each year and those outside Manor Ward but in Chells Division as often as possible.
I do not have a lot of free time, I never watch television but I do listen to the radio most of the time – and I have interests in broadcasting, astronomy/space and travel.
I try to avoid the politicians’ pitfalls of personal attacks on my opponents and promising things I cannot do – but I do promise always to represent my residents as well as I can and always try to reply to any enquiries or complaints that I receive.
If you really want to know more, then please contact me!