Parkside Ward 2019-04-13T12:49:10+00:00

Parkside Ward

Toni Ryan – CBC candidate

Toni was elected councillor for Parkside in Houghton Regis, her home town, in 2015. As a councillor, she most enjoys working with other people who also want to make a difference locally. She says “The enthusiasm from the community keeps me motivated, as does seeing change happen and fighting to improve lives for the people who are the most in need. This consists of highlighting issues, not only to the Council but also to the public on cuts to early help, lack of social mobility, the impact on schools of changes in funding. In all these areas, I have managed to gain support and acknowledgement through the Council. Most of our progressive strategies locally have been overshadowed by the current cuts and funding difficulties imposed by this right-wing government.”

Toni fits her council duties around a full-time employment for an organisation that represents the employment rights and conditions of global transport workers’ unions. “Fighting for peoples’ rights is at the core of everything I do,” she says.

Don Dixon-Wilkinson

Having lived in Houghton Regis for 33 years as a parent and debt counsellor/arbitrator, Don has practical knowledge of the many challenges and achievements of this community. The experience and knowledge he has gained whilst serving as a town councillor has reinforced his passion for the progress of Houghton Regis as an expanding town and confirmed that councillors are accountable, working together for the long-term benefits of all the residents.

Tim Welch

Currently serving as a Town Councillor, Tim is married and a father of three. He has been living in Houghton Regis for a decade and cares passionately about the vulnerable and disadvantaged of his hometown. Tim is known for being a good listener and readily supports local residents. After recently being elected as Disability Officer for the local Labour Party, Tim is looking forward to raising awareness of the daily challenges faced by the disabled. He has enjoyed his time on the Town Council, particularly on the events working group where he has actively supported events such as the Carnival, Houghton Rocks and the fireworks in Tithe Farm.

Clare Copleston

Clare lives in Parkside and chose to set up her business in the heart of our community. She is a successful businesswoman who has responded to the needs of the community by setting up the first Hate Crime reporting centre, and the first mental health peer support service. Clare is passionate and committed to empowering local people while creating a movement of fairness, opportunity and compassion. She contributes to positive change for an improved quality of life through her role in her job.


Rigerta Ahmetaj

Over the last few years, Rigerta has become a small business owner in Houghton Regis where she has worked hard to get to know the strong and dedicated community that surrounds her. She has had the pleasure of offering a community space where the public can access the education programmes, community mental health services and the Bedfordshire Dignity Network. Rigerta believes that great things are done together, with the thoughtful and committed citizens of Houghton Regis she says “we can create community cohesion through positive actions”.