About the Ward
Southcote forms an electoral ward of the Reading West constituency, and has three seats on Reading Borough Council. It is seen as a safe seat for the Labour Party; the Conservative Party last won a council seat in Southcote in 1987. The current three councillors are Debs Edwards, John Ellis and Jason Brock. The ward has seen three by-elections: in 2006, in 2014, and in 2016 when Jason Brock was elected. The seat, which was contested by candidates from Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and the Conservatives, was held by the Labour party who gained 63.7% of votes.
Like all wards in Reading, the boundaries of Southcote ward were redrawn in 2004. The ward holds elections by thirds—three seats are available, and in three years in every four, one seat comes up for election.
Meet the Councillors
I have lived in Reading with my family since 1981. I have 5 children and am a grandmother of 6.
I have been Labour Southcote Councillor since 2006 and was re-elected in May 2008. I was honoured to be the Mayor of Reading 2011/2012.
I am on the Family and Friends Fostering Panel and the Parenting Panel. These all cover my areas of interest and expertise.
I have worked not only in the community sector but also in the public and private sector, all of which has given me a lot of working and life experiences. Since living in Reading, I have held a number of voluntary community posts, the most recent being:
- School governor for Manor Primary and Southcote Primary schools.
- Chair and tutor for Southcote IT Experience, an award winning UK Online community project. I write courses and train local people in IT skills.
- Chair of the Steering Group for the Southcote Children’s Centre.
- Governor of the Royal Berkshire and Battle Hospital NHS Trust until 2010
I run my own book-keeping business dealing with small business accounts. I have a passionate interest in life-long learning and personal development for all. In my free time, I swim, am an avid reader of detective novels and do crosswords to relax.
Deborah EdwardsCouncillor for Southcote
I have been a Labour Councillor for Southcote Ward since 2003.
I serve on the following committees that deal with day to day council affairs;
Licensing committee, Healthier Reading Partnership, Parenting Panel, and Health Board Tenants Participation Monitoring Group.
I am a member of the Foster Panel, which I find challenging yet very rewarding at times. I am also a Governor at Blessed Hugh Faringdon and at English Martyrs Primary School.
In Southcote I am Chair of the Southcote/Norcot Safer Reading Partnership and serve on the Southcote IT Experience (SITE) committee. I am particularly keen to visit Southcote residents/tenants to discuss their concerns, rather than just rely on contact through telephone or letter. I deal with a variety of issues, including housing, environmental and anti-social behaviour.
I have a particular interest in housing and tenant participation, shaping their living environment and increasing their influence over the services that affect them. I am also involved in health matters and reducing crime which can have a negative impact on residents.
I work full time as a Probation Officer in Slough and am Secretary of the Probation staff trade union, NAPO. I am also a member of NAPO National Executive Committee and Chair of the Children’s Trust.
When I am not involved in Council matters I enjoy being at home with my partner and two children. I am a keen sports fan and am a season ticket holder for Reading FC and regularly attend London Irish rugby games. Whilst I claim to be knowledgeable about sport, I must admit that I am a better talker than participator