Councillor David Beaman

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in September 2000. I ran my own bus company until 2010. Because of my condition, I would struggle to maintain a traditional full-time job, but I was always interested in politics, and it is important to me that I remain as active as possible.

Councillor David speaking to a resident at a community art group

I was first elected to Farnham Town Council in 2011 and to Waverley Borough Council in 2018. I am also Chair of the Disability Empowerment Network for South West Surrey which is funded by Surrey County Council. 

I’ve always been interested in politics as an independent rather than any of the main political parties, and it keeps my mind active. I always like to help people, and you have to try and do the best for local people. My group is made up of people who want to change the local environment and make things better. 

If I am having a bad day due to my condition, I can take it easy as long as I am responsible to myself and my constituents. I try to do six hours a day, responding to local concerns and attending meetings. 

So what is a typical day like? On Wednesday 30 March the day started with attending a two hour Options Workshop at Farnham Museum on how to continue to run the museum and carry out the repairs needed on the Grade 1 listed building. 

Then it was down to Mead Lane to look at the problems being caused to several residents by flooding when it rains resulting in a wall collapse. Off then across Bishops Meadow to meet a constituent who is experiencing problems with young people riding motorbikes through the meadow at high speed (last year it was a pony and trap!). The police have been made aware and CCTV has now been installed. 

A visit to Creative Response of which I am a Trustee and is an organisation devoted to using arts to help people with various disabilities express themselves. Then popping into Farnham Town council (where I am also a town councillor) to say hello to officers there. 

I caught the bus to Godalming (I no longer drive) and had some time to eat a sandwich before going into a pre meeting of the Western Area Planning Committee I Chair. There were three planning applications that required determination by members and keeping control of the debate can be difficult at times. I finally got home at 9pm – I had been out for 13 hours, and it was a longer day than usual. 

Being a councillor brings new challenges every day and you get out of it more than you put in with the satisfaction that you are helping people. My Parkinson’s causes increasing problems with mobility but all being well I am looking forward to standing for re-election in May 2023.