Julie Flenley, the newly-appointed clerk to Hambledon Parish Council, has attended her first meeting, having taken up her appointment on January 1.
She replaces Caroline White, who resigned after serving as clerk for a year following the retirement of her long-standing predecessor, Jane Woolley.
Julie brings a wealth of experience in the public sector to the job and said she was looking forward to working with the seven elected Hambledon parish councillors and for the benefit of the village.
Julie was born and raised in County Londonderry, in the north west of Northern Ireland. After school and college at Limavady she left Derry to study business at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, where she obtained a degree in travel and tourism management.
She then moved to Manchester where she worked for what was then the Countryside Agency (now Natural England), the statutory body with responsibility for the rural environment.
She went on to join English Heritage, a non-departmental government body responsible for the protection and management of more than 400 historic monuments, buildings and places.
Julie’s work included assessing grant applications and she had a particular involvement in managing funding in relation to secular historic buildings and places of worship. Her duties required her to make financial needs assessments and also brought her into regular contact with local authority planning departments. This experience should stand her in good stead as she takes up her role as clerk to Hambledon Parish Council.
Julie said: “I think my background makes me suited to the job of clerk and I am looking forward to it very much”.
During her time in Manchester she met and married her husband Richard, who works in the legal profession. A move in his job resulted in them relocating to the south of England, with Julie taking a career break. They have lived on the outskirts of Chiddingfold for seven years. They have three sons, Joshua, William and Oliver, aged 12, eight and six who are, or were, educated at St Mary’s Primary School in Chiddingfold.
Julie and Richard are regular distance runners and frequently compete in local and national events. Julie said: “It would be wrong to call me an avid runner as I think I am a reluctant runner. But I am competitive and determined.
Last year she was part of a team of “mums from St Mary’s” who competed in the Three Peaks Challenge, which involved climbing the three highest peaks in England Wales and Scotland. Between them they raised funds for the school and a mental health charity.
“This year I will be taking part in eight half marathons and my husband will be undertaking two back-to-back full marathons.”
Her passion over many years has been horses and horse-riding. “My horse died last year so I am currently between horses, but it is something I love and will return to.”
Julie was welcomed to her first meeting as clerk on Wednesday (Jan 9th) at Hambledon Village Hall by chairman John Anderson and his councillor colleagues. Already very active in village and church life in Chiddingfold, Julie will now be closely associated with life an Hambledon as well.
- The clerk is a salaried position, councillors are unpaid. Julie’s contact details, and those of councillors, can be found on the village website under “Organisations” and “Hambledon Parish Council”, and in the Parish Magazine on the “Useful Information and Telephone Numbers” page.