Cllr Melanie Whitehand, Chairman

Melanie has lived in Woking for twenty years. She is married with two girls who both now live and work away from home. Melanie was brought up in Bethnal Green in East London and she attended Spitalfield’s Girls Grammar School located in the City of London. Upon leaving school she joined Barclays Bank in their Head Office also in the City. Later in life she worked in the health sector in various administrative positions. She had the opportunity to live in Germany for some years as a result of her husband’s position within his company.

Melanie has done much voluntary work in the communities she has lived in. This included organizing and assisting with volunteer drivers taking old people to hospital appointments, as chairman of the school PTA organizing fund raising events, being a ‘class room reader assistant’. She was also in the British Wives Club in Germany where she helped with various charitable fund raising and social events. Incidentally she also found time to learn to speak German.

Melanie strongly believes that councillors are here to act on their ward residents' behalf. The residents come first in her book. Indeed, since being elected in 2007 she has championed some difficult and contentious causes. A notable success being the gaining of commitment to finish off the housing in Coresbrook Way so that the residents can see their estate completed. Melanie has also managed to get the attention of builders of the Brookwood Hospital Estate to work with Woking council to ensure, after a long period of neglect, that the roads are adopted for repair and maintenance.

 Email: cllrmelanie.whitehand@woking.gov.uk

Melanie was elected Chairman in March 2017 and was previously Deputy Chairman Political.

She has also been a Borough Councillor for Knaphill since 2007.

See Also

Baroness Anelay of St John's - President

Prior to her appointment to the House of Lords, Lady Anelay held a number of senior posts in the Conservative Party organisation. She was Chairman of the Conservative Women's National Committee from 1993 to 1996. She was made OBE in 1990 and raised to Dame Commander in 1995. She was made a life peer as Baroness Anelay of St Johns in 1996.

Steve Dorsett - Deputy Chairman Political

Steve has been our Deputy Chairman Political since March of 2019, after serving as our Election Strategy Officer. Steve grew up in the Woking area, going to school at Fullbrook in New Haw, has lived in West Byfleet and Pyrford and now resides in Knaphill. He has spent most of his career as an actor and musician, performing in shows in London, national tours of the UK and in international European Tours. His "claim to fame" is that he appeared on a singing reality game show back in 2014 and ended up winning the series! He still performs with his band "In Deep" around the South East. He entered the political world in 2016 and has slowly climbed the ladder, running for borough council in St. John's Ward in 2018. He is a school governor and also manages our rapidly growing Facebook pages.

Mike Hopgood - Treasurer

Mike has been a member of the officer team for a number of years having previously served as Deputy Chairman (Fundraising). He has responsibility for raising the money the Association needs to carry out its activities.

Charles Croker

Charles is a professional accountant having been a financial director of a large manufacturing company. He has set up his own software company and managed software companies for other international organisations.

Jonny Cope - Election Strategy Officer

Jonny is our Election Strategy Officer responsible for assisting the Deputy Chairman Political with our preparations for election campaigns.  Away from politics, Jonny works as a solicitor and is a big Fulham fan.