Meet Councillor Nigel Atkinson
I’m Nigel Atkinson, Conservative Councillor for Ascot ward.
I live in Winkfield and Cranbourne and I’m a Chartered Civil Engineer.
Where would you like to be right now?
I’m working pretty long hours at the moment and spend a lot of time travelling between Manchester, London and Cambridge. As a result, I’m very happy to just chill out at home whenever I get the chance.
Chilling out involves taking the dog for a walk or maybe some DIY if I’m in the right frame of mind. The dog used to like coming cycling with me, but at 9 and a half she’s getting a bit old to run along beside me!
Where’s your favourite place in Bracknell Forest?
I enjoy walking through The Lexicon and looking at the lights. I start the evening with a pint in The Bull, then dinner at Bill’s or something. It’s even better at this time of year as we can cycle there.
Tell us something not many people know about you
I can speak a bit of Dutch. I lived in Holland from age 12 until I went to university, attending an English school.
It’s a great country and I enjoyed much more freedom than I would have had in the UK. However, cycling in Holland isn’t as easy as you’d think – it’s flat so there’s actually a lot of wind, and many of the cycle lanes are cobbled!
What makes you angry or gets you annoyed?
Lack of ownership, which I see as people not being reliable and not delivering on their promises.
Who or what inspires you?
Attention to detail. I enjoy things that people have put a lot of thought or effort into, whether that’s a piece of art or a well-curated museum. I’m inspired by anything that’s done well as a result of someone’s perseverance.
Which local charity are you passionate about?
St Martin’s Church in Chavey Down, Ascot. It’s desperately short of money and the hall needs a lot of updating.
I used to be church warden so I know how important the hall is to lots of people and groups - it’s a great community resource.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
I really got the buzz for civil engineering when I was in Holland. I was so impressed by the huge dams - they’re amazing demonstrations of civil engineering.
Throughout my career I’ve always enjoyed being out on site. You can enjoy fresh air and freedom, and a real sense of satisfaction in seeing something being built.
If you could invite anyone, living or dead, for lunch who would it be?
The engineer in me says Isambard Kingdom Brunel or George Stephenson. They had no technical books and had to work it out themselves. I’d love to hear how they went about it.
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this week?
Sometimes it’s not about things going right, just nothing going wrong! There are hundreds of things that can go wrong on a construction site but there have been no problems this week.
The trains to work have also been running well so it’s been a good week.