Meet Councillor Thomas Parker
I’m Thomas Parker - always Thomas and never Tom, so I’m not confused with my grandfather.
I’m the Liberal Democrat Councillor for Wildridings and Central Bracknell
Where would you like to be right now?
I usually have a lot going on so I like peaceful green spaces where I can take a break. I enjoy watching the boats pass through Boulter’s Loch in Maidenhead - it’s calm and feels very removed from the busy town around you.
Where’s your favourite place in Bracknell Forest?
For the same reasons, I enjoy walking in the Mill Pond area. It’s very close to me so it’s like a bit of nature in your back garden.
It’s always peaceful and you wouldn’t think you were near a busy industrial estate. There’s lots of wildlife and I often see herons, which remind me of my grandma and grandpa.
Tell us something not many people know about you
I’m a volunteer marshal at Brands Hatch motor racing circuit. Becoming a marshal was a natural progression for me to give something back to a sport I love.
Also, I once had lunch with Tiff Needell. I was about 12 and it was in a busy café at Thruxton race circuit. I sat in the only available space and didn’t realise the other person at the table was Tiff!
Share something you’re proud of
At secondary school I spoke on behalf on Bracknell Forest Council at a citizenship ceremony. I’m proud that I was able to welcome new citizens to the area, talking about the great community that they would find in Bracknell and in Britain.
I’m very pleased that I could get involved at a young age and make a difference in my local area. That has continued as I’m now the youngest ever Bracknell Forest councillor, which I’m also quite proud of.
Who or what inspires you?
John F Kennedy has inspired me ever since I was a little kid. He came from a wealthy background but always took the time to understand what it was like for others.
He inspired people to public service, like his famous quote: “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
His speeches are available online and sometimes I listen for inspiration - you can apply so much of his thinking to today’s problems.
Which local charity are you passionate about?
The Ark, which supports people with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups, and particularly their Forget Me Knot shop in Wildridings.
They have a café where they provide free hot drinks and encourage vulnerable and lonely people to come in. It’s great to see the support they provide so that vulnerable people have a place in the community.
If you had a warning label what would it say?
I do drink a lot of coffee…maybe, “Functions better when caffeinated”.
If you could invite anyone, living or dead, for lunch who would it be?
Lisa Su, of AMD, an American microprocessor company.
She was the first woman CEO of an electronics company and came from the production line. That’s pretty historic and I’d like to hear how she overcame any obstacles, and where she thinks technology will take us in the future.
Of course, I’d like to invite JFK - to hear his thoughts on what we’ve done, particularly on things like climate change and technology.
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this week?
I recently received a high mark for my final dissertation. I’m very pleased as I poured everything into it and I see that my hard work paid off (I had my doubts at some points).
My family don’t have a university background so telling my Nan and Grandad was great. They were very proud and it was very special.