Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Former cricketer batting for council

Former cricketer batting for council

A FORMER professional cricketer says he is enjoying his latest role as a Sonning Common councillor.

Michael Cann, 55, joined the parish council in August because he found he had more spare time and “wanted to give something back to the community”.

He lives in Grove Road with his wife, Caroline, who runs the Herb Farm in Peppard Road.

He was a top-order batsman with Glamorgan from 1984 to 1991. He then spent 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry. His last full-time job was vice-president for Europe at Accord Healthcare, which he left in 2017. He now works part-time for Day Lewis PLC.

Mr Cann said: “My first month on the council started with an induction which was, I’m pleased to say, pretty rigorous and I had to do a fair bit of reading, including the good councillor’s guide and the code of conduct.

“This brought home to me the responsibility carried by councillors and the range of activities undertaken by the council working groups and the parish clerk, Philip Collings, and his team.

“This was far more than I expected, which was equally pleasing, with a wide range of projects as well as day-to- day activities.

“The village is growing through the neighbourhood plan so there’s plenty of opportunity to be involved.”

Mr Cann has joined the council’s finance committee and said: “The council has just undertaken its annual audit and with my background, I am helping with some of the process recommendations, another great way to fast-track my understanding of how the council works.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all council meetings are held via Zoom.

Mr Cann said: “In normal circumstances I would have hoped to have met the other councillors personally but this has been difficult.

“I’m hoping to meet those that I haven’t met yet in the coming weeks, perhaps over a coffee, as I continue my education and seek ways to help and support.”

Mr Cann said he had been most impressed by the council’s response to Reading Borough Council’s strategic transport strategy which proposes a third Thames bridge and a north Reading orbital road which would affect Sonning Common.

He said: “The response was excellent and well
co-ordinated with other parish councils. It made complete sense to me to push back on this proposal, which would undoubtedly export traffic congestion to South Oxfordshire and does not take into account covid-19, environmental impacts or the impact of additional traffic routed towards a third bridge.

“A call for visibility on the traffic modelling information makes absolute sense so the true impact on this environmentally sensitive area can be fully understood.”

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