Parish Councillors
Currently serving on Shipham Parish Council:  Iain Shaw (Chairman), Ken Chalk (Vice-Chair), Sam Peake (Parish Clerk),
                    Neil Bisdee (Chairman of the Burial Ground Committee), Peter Downing, Maggie Fiske-Jackson, 
                    Simon Leader, John Popham, Charlie Riches (Chairman of the Open Spaces Committee),
                    Abigail Scotcher, Peter Tratt (Quarry Liaison Officer), Mark Watson.

Here are some brief biographical details of the council members:

Dr Charlie Riches

An agronomist, Charlie has worked for 33 years on the development of cropping systems in sub-Saharan Africa, Central America and south Asia.  He is currently on the staff of Natural Resources Institute (University of Greenwich), managing a research grant programme for southern Africa on behalf of the McKnight Foundation of Minneapolis, USA.  He has been a Parish Councillor since 2003 and is immediate past-chairman.  He was once leader of Shipham Scouts.  Charlie has two grown up sons who both attended Shipham First School and on through the Cheddar Valley school system.

John Popham

John moved to Winscombe from London in 1975 when his Life Assurance Company employers relocated to Bristol.   In 1987 he moved to his current home in Star.   His son and daughter completed their primary education in Winscombe before going on to schools in Bristol and then to University.  John retired when he was 60 in 2003.   He stood for election to the Parish Council to help where he could with the work of the council, at the same time ensuring that at least one member of the council was from Star.


Simon Leader


Simon has lived in Rowberrow since 1995.  He has spent most of his life living in the Mendips and is a keen walker with his two dogs.  He is married with two children who are educated in Shipham and Fairlands.  Simon has a keen interest in the locality and village life.




Ken Chalk

Ken has lived in Shipham since 2006 after moving from Clifton.  He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1970 in London and worked in Australia from 1971 to 1973.  From 1975 to 2000, he was a partner in Deloitte and predecessor firms working in Bristol, Manchester, Thames Valley and London.  He specialised in corporate recovery and insolvency from the early 80s.  He moved to Bristol in 2001, and was managing partner of Bristol office of Begbies Traynor from 2005 to 2008, when he retired.  He is a former Governor of Churchill Community School, past Chairman of St John’s Residents Association in Clifton and is Treasurer of Shipham Youth Club.   Ken lives with Debra and their daughter Olivia.  He has three other grown up children all living in Bristol. 


Neal Bisdee

Neal has lived and worked on the family farm, Yew Tree Farm, Rowberrow, all his life.  He also works as an HGV driver.  He is a third generation Bisdee to serve on the Parish Council and is also a trustee for Shipham Football Club.  Neal has four children.







Peter Downing


Peter has lived in Shipham for over 30 years and has served on the Parish Council since 1999.  His background is in Information Systems marketing and as a naval officer.  He is actively involved in several charities, having been Treasurer of Shipham Village Hall and its predecessor (the Community Hall) for over 10 years and is also one of three District Councillors representing the Ward of Cheddar and Shipham on Sedgemoor District Council.