Conservator Elections

The election takes place at the AGM at 7.05 pm Wed 19th Feb, King James school hall, junior site (old Greneway school)

Ben Harrop has been nominated as the Stintholder representative and there have been no other nominations, so there will be no election for this post.

Two nominations have been received for the Special Drainage District of Royston representative, so there will be an election for this post.

To be eligible to vote, you must a registered voter for Local Government elections and live in the “Special Drainage District of Royston”.

The two candidates are John Davison and Clare Swarbrick. Some information about each candidate is below.

John Davison:

I’m standing for re-election as a Conservator of Therfield Heath and Greens and I will be honoured if you would vote for me so that I can continue my work.
In the 3 years I have served as Conservator, I’ve done my very best to protect and develop the Heath, with all its sports and facilities, for the benefit of everyone that uses it.
These are some of my responsibilities and projects I’ve delivered:
  • Car park charging – I investigated what systems could be used and, in discussion with NHDC, what the effects would be. My recommendation that charging should not be introduced was accepted and avoided the cost to users and the potential chaos that would result on surrounding local roads.
  • Entrance widening – I sourced funding, tenders, approvals and oversaw construction to provide a safer, more welcoming arrival for visitors
  • I drafted new professional standard operating policies and procedures for the Conservators to adopt including Standing Orders, Code of Conduct, HR policies and Financial Reporting – making the organisation more effective.
  • I represent the Conservators in meetings with NHDC to establish a Mitigation Strategy which will form part of NHDC’s Local Plan. This might take the form of greenspaces in new developments as an alternative to the heath or developers paying money towards the upkeep of the heath.
  • I have responsibility for all leases and have re-negotiated leases for the Heath Sports Club and Royston Cricket Club and ensure that, going forward, all tenants pay equitable rents.
  • Conservator Colin Smith and I share responsibility for the Conservators’ communications and interactions with all sports and other groups that use the Heath.
The skills and experience I bring from my professional experience as a Civil Engineer, Town Councillor and Conservator have been, and will continue to be, valuable to the Heath and all that use it. I also have close contacts and working relationships with elected members and Officers at both the District and County Council, which will also be brought to bear for the benefit of the Heath.

I’m retired and able to give my time willingly. Over the last 3 years there have been long periods where I have worked more than 10 hours a week on Conservator business.

Conservators’ workload will increase in the coming years. Pressures on the Heath are growing with the increase in the population in and around Royston and more and more people using the Heath. Working with Natural England, we are commissioning external consultants to develop a Management Plan for Therfield Heath for the coming decades. To implement the plan the Conservators will need to be innovative and work closely with all stakeholders, including all the groups of people that use the Heath, to maintain the unique chalk grasslands and ecosystems, the playing fields and open spaces for the enjoyment of everyone.

Because of the contribution I have made in the last three years and that I pledge to make in the next three years, the Conservators want me to be re-elected.
If you elect me, I commit to continue to work with energy and passion to benefit of the Royston and everyone that uses and enjoys the Heath.
Thank you for your support.
John Davison

Clare Swarbrick

I believe it is essential for the future of this precious space that we develop a long-term sustainable strategy so that generations of people from Therfield, Royston and the surrounding area can enjoy this common land and special place.
Having lived in Royston for 16 years the Heath is one of the reasons I love living here, along with its people. As a working parent, with children who use the heath both for sports and general recreational purposes, I am confident I have lots to offer as a Conservator; particularly looking at a skills gap that seems to be missing at the moment. In this rapidly changing society, where openness and collaboration are increasingly important, I believe my 20 years of experience working in the charity sector will bring a different and new perspective.
Being at the heart of finding ways of encouraging activities on and involvement with the Heath excites me. Whether that’s through playing sport, preserving and ensuring its ecology and wildlife, or making sure the Heath is accessible to the whole community, including the four-legged ones.
Governance is something I enjoy; I have plenty of experience of working with government and others to change by-laws of royal charities and articles of association. I want to build on the commitment made by the conservators to be more open and transparent to work with the community to explore how best to fund and safeguard this precious jewel in Royston and Therfield’s crown, and ensure it is protected for all current and future users of the Heath.