Your Earley Councillors


Dept. Mayor Cllr de Jong
I was born and grew up in Cape Town South Africa during the apartheid years. I first became interested in politics at the tender age of 10 years old, when chatting with a school friend of mine about the inequality of the people in South Africa. I then developed very liberal views, and when l met my husband he also shared my views. Once married we emigrated to the UK as we could not stand to live under the apartheid regime. I was first elected onto Earley Town Council in 2011 and was honoured to be elected as Mayor in 2015. It has been fantastic to be re-elected at ETC this year and I have been extremely honoured to be elected as Deputy Mayor for 2023/24. I am passionate about youth services and would very like to see a local youth centre open again. I look forward to meeting and engaging with as many residents during my term, so don't hesitate to get into contact.
Cllr Ryan Browne
I'm Ryan, one of the newer Councillors on Earley Town Council. I first became interested in politics in 2010, but had to set my interest aside during my time in the Army. I left in 2022 to study at the University of Reading to become a Physician Associate, and successfully ran in the 2023 Local Elections to become your local Councillor. Over the years I have seen polititians awkwardly dance around difficult questions, which has made me more determined to do what I feel is right. I am particularly focused on promoting youth engagement in politics and promoting community spirit.
Cllr Nicola Brock: I became interested in politics when the sitting MP gave a talk to the 6th form at school. As an adult I have travelled to several parts of the UK to help out with bye elections & have been appalled by some of the inequalities I have witnessed between regions. I was honoured to be elected on to ETC in 2015 & have been chairman of Amenities & Leisure for the past 2 years, and am passionate about ETC doing the best it can do to enhance the resident's experience of living in Earley.
Cllr Andrew Long: Andrew's interest in politics started in the late 1980s as a member of the local residents association. Andrew was elected to the then Wokingham District Council in 1990 followed by a stint on Earley Town Council between 1995 and 2003. He served as Mayor between 1999 and 2001. After a lengthy gap, Andrew was elected onto Earley Town Council in 2019 and again in 2023 for Cutbush Ward. Andrew is the Vice-Chair of the Amenities and Leisure Committee. In terms of interests he brings to the Town Council, these include green issues (recycling/use of solar power/retention of open spaces) and encouraging residents to switch journeys from car to public transport. He is a keen walker and had a major influence in the publication of Earley walks on the Town Council website. Andrew is keen for the Town Council to be more modern in its operations through the use of social media to publicise its services to all residents. Also he is keen to contain costs by harnessing the benefits of green technology such as solar power and battery technology.
Cllr Mike Smith
Cllr Mike Smith: I have lived in Lower Earley for 40 years and my three children all went to the local schools. I represent Redhatch Ward for Earley Town Council, being first co-opted in 2020 and then elected for four years in May 2023. Currently I chair the Planning Committee which is a statutory Consultee for all Planning Applications in Earley. I represent Maiden Erlegh Ward at Wokingham Borough Council, being elected in May 2022. In addition to the usual Council activities, I represent residents at the Fire Authority that oversees the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service with its three parallel aims of prevention, protection and response. I spent my career as a professional engineer from originally training in the Merchant Navy and then dealing with all aspects of the built environment and construction industry. Since retirement in 2019, I have become much more involved in local affairs and am particularly interested in protecting our Earley green spaces.
Cllr Tahir Maher
Cllr Tahir Maher: Tahir has been a member of the Lib Dems since 2002, and in that time, has been a Town Councillor for 12 years (and was previously the Group Leader) and was a Wokingham Borough councillor for four years. Tahir has been Chair of Wokingham Constituency and was the Regional Chair for the Liberal Democrats. Tahir is keen to engage with all Earley residents and strives to improve all the facilities in Earley. Like many residents, Tahir is keen to reduce our carbon footprint and promote Earley across Wokingham. Tahir is an Accountant and currently works in business transformation.
Cllr Rosemary Cook: I have lived in Earley since 1982 and we have brought up our family here. I have watched Lower Earley grow from being a “raw” new housing estate to the more mature suburb that it is today. I became interested in local affairs through being a representative of a local residents association. This broadened into an interest in politics, particularly Liberal Democrat politics. I was elected to Earley Town Council in 2019 and again in 2023. As a geography graduate I have a life-long interest in social, environmental and planning matters. My main objective now is to work hard to enhance Earley’s green credentials, in terms of both the built and natural environment. This is particularly important as we face up to the challenges brought on by climate change.
Cllr Anne Bassett
Cllr Anne Bassett: I grew up in a small village in Derbyshire and moved to Manchester to train as a teacher. I later completed two years V.S.O (Voluntary Service Overseas) in Nigeria and continued teaching there for three more years on contract. I met my husband and after returning to the U.K we eventually settled in Earley, Reading, where we have lived for forty years raising our two children. I joined the Liberal Democrats and was elected onto ETC in 1996 for 8 years, serving on Planning and the Amenities and Leisure committees. After retraining as a specialist dyslexic teacher, I returned to teaching in local schools. I continued to support the Liberal Democrats locally and in 2019 I stood again for election to ETC. I was honoured to be elected Deputy Mayor and then Mayor in 2021. It is a privilege to be re-elected at ETC again this year to serve the town I love. I am passionate about protecting our environment, maintaining Earley’s green spaces and helping the council- and our residents- make changes to address the climate emergency we find ourselves in.