Philip Whitehead

Philip Whitehead

About Philip

I was elected in 2013 to represent Urchfont and The Cannings, which includes Urchfont, All Cannings and Bishops Cannings, Easterton, Etchilhampton, and Stert. During the last eight years I have attended the regular parish council meetings in each of these villages and represented the residents and parish councils when required...

I have been able to support my parish councils in a number of ways, introducing 20mph speed limits, hard standings and crossings for school children, and supporting local sporting facilities through Area Board funding.

In 2014 I was selected to be Cabinet Member for Highways and Public Transport covering the whole of Wiltshire. In 2018 I left the Highways portfolio and became Cabinet Member for Finance and Economic development and in 2019 I was elected Leader of Wiltshire Council, which is my current position.

My values

I believe that local authorities should work as efficiently as possible as they are spending the residents’ hard earned money. It was during my time working in the computer industry that I saw many Labour controlled Local Authorities wasting huge sums of money on outrageous and unnecessary projects, rather than concentrating on running the authority in an efficient, supportive manner. This was the reason I became a Conservative and believe in running an efficient council that is responsive to its residents without wasting money.

General background and experience

After going to my local grammar school, I gained a degree in Physics at London University. Having completed my degree, I spent the first seven years of my working life teaching, becoming Head of Physics in a large 11-18 comprehensive. 

I then made a conscious career change and move into the commercial world, working for several large multi-national computer companies. 

I left the multinational world about 10 years ago and set up my own business in Wiltshire. This experience has made me acutely aware of the pressures put on local businesses and local people by local government. Having been elected in 2009, I subsequently sold my businesses allowing me to give more time to my role as a councillor.

Council work

As well as serving on Wiltshire Council, whilst in Wiltshire I have also spent 11 years on a Parish Council serving as Vice-Chairman and I have always taken an active part in the local politics, regularly attending parish meetings, often being the only member of the public to do so. Unfortunately this is an indictment of the failure of local politics to reach the public. We must all make more effort to get a grassroots involvement in local politics – otherwise democracy fails at the starting line.

In my various roles for Wiltshire Council I have visited many parish councils and Area Boards over the last 8 years working to support the wishes of the local community or at least explain in person why it cannot be achieved.

Personal and family background

I have been married to my lovely wife Michelle for over 30 years and have three grown up daughters, all of whom went to school at St John’s in Marlborough. We have now lived in Wiltshire for over 25 years.

In addition to politics I enjoy taking part in many sports, having played village cricket in Wiltshire for many years and I still play competitive squash on a weekly basis. Recently I have increased my cycling and running, which allows me to experience the quality of Wiltshire roads first hand. 

I am convinced that the best way to serve my local communities as a councillor is to be available and listen. If I can help, do so, and if I cannot, be honest and explain why. As your local councillor I will:

  • Listen to you, meet with you, understand your concerns and be available to you;
  • Attend local discussions on the issues that affect where you live;
  • Attend local Parish Council meetings regularly, meeting you there if you prefer;
  • Represent your views at Wiltshire Council and campaign on your behalf;
  • Give advice on council matters when asked, and clarification when needed;
  • Ensure that Wiltshire Council focuses on delivering efficient services and spends your money wisely – at all times minimising its own internal costs and ensuring that money is never wasted. 

Please get in touch with me if there is anything I can do to help you:

Community and council work

Devizes Area Board Video

Devizes community area board video by Wiltshire Council