Councillors

Lucy Montgomery 

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Ron and I moved to Whatley between Bishopswood and Birchwood in 2018 and have been bowled over by the warm welcome we’ve received.  Not a stranger to living on the west coast I grew up in rural South West Scotland. Wet weather is in my bones!  Recently retired, I have been a Speech and Language Therapist, a Teacher and a Teacher of the Deaf.

I have been on the Parish Council since May 2019 and hope I’m making myself useful.

I also volunteer for the Neroche Woodlander Wild Learning groups, for Taunton Foodbank and am a trustee for the Otterford Charity.

I enjoy singing, playing tennis and can’t get enough of our new home in the Blackdown Hills.


Mike Canham

I have lived in Bishopswood for ten years.

Now retired, I have become involved in a number of voluntary activities – In addition to the Parish Council I am a member (and past chairman) of the Hall Committee, and a Trustee of both the Otterford Charity and the Blackdown Hills Trust.

I have also undertaken a range of projects for local organisations, and helped to run a kids club in Taunton.

I have also discovered beekeeping, Exeter Chiefs rugby, travelling, and two very good pubs in the parish.

I joined the Parish Council in 2011, and became chairman in 2015. I was – and still am – keen to see necessary works and projects undertaken (including some which the County Council can simply no longer afford) and to support social activities. I hope we have achieved that to date, and can continue to do so.


John Marsden 

After many years working in the media industry, ultimately as Executive Producer for children’s TV, I retired several years ago.  My duties involved negotiating large contracts and leading remote, complex teams.

I have lived in Otterford for 6 years.  Since retiring I have completed several courses with the Lyme Regis Boat Academy and have improved my practical skills.

Previously I served on the Whitchurch Canonicorum Parish Council for three years.

I joined the Otterford Parish Council in the latter half of 2019 and am hopefully using my skills and experience to good effect…

Phil Wright

I come from a local farming family and have lived in the area, man and boy, for longer than I care to admit!

I am a self-employed farmer and one of the ‘Five Farmers’ who carry out estate management locally for non-farmer landowners.

I have been on the parish council for over 20 years and like to think that my local knowledge is useful in helping the council with its work.

In my limited free time, I am a keen skittler and play for a local team. I also help out every summer at the Blackdown Hills Beer and Music Festival.


Charlie Field

Helen and I moved to the village of Bishopswood in 1999 and were married at St Leonard’s Church, Otterford. I am a Chartered Surveyor and work locally managing a large property portfolio for Somerset County Council.

I recently completed a 10-year stint on the Otterford Parish Hall committee and have been an Otterford Parish Councillor for over 10 years.

My spare time is largely taken care of watching my two sons’ show jumping exploits around the country and looking after our smallholding.

Penny Hart (Clerk)

I like to think of myself as a west country girl, having grown up in West Dorset, not so far away.

I have been a nurse, a civil servant and a library manager in the past, and Clerk here since 2011. I have lived in Otterford since 2007 and I love it.

I hope I have made a difference to this community by volunteering, running a local community choir, being on the PCC at Buckland St Mary for several years and being a first aider, among other things. I am also a volunteer at Exeter prison, which I very much enjoy.