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Coventry City Council

Meet the scientists!


Councillor for:

Westwood Ward- 5 years



Council job:

See description above. I never want to be in Cabinet- too much time in the Council House, not enough out with the people


First military; then career Foreign Service officer; Served on a Royal Air Force station and in Central Planning Branch; then as a Foreign Service officer, I served in Congo; Gulf; South Africa; Nigeria; Germany (twice); Foreign Office, etc.


David Skinner

Me and my council work

Individual queries from residents; Health Scrutiny; much contact with Police; great emphasis on keeping people informed, etc

As a Ward Cllr, you cover anything from social service queries;people being threatened; noise; roads; building plans, etc. I work on a permanent 7 day/ night week basis, and try to answer any query within maximum 6 hours. I am on Health Scrutiny, subsitute on other bodies as necessary; was formerly on Planning and Licensing Committees but unfortunately site visits were too dangerous for my legs- I am permanently on crutcches. When I fell about 3 weeks ago, my wife was really worried. I believe that disabled people should be fully involved in local affairs. I am very proud to be a Director of Whitefriars Housing Group- 17,000 residences throughout Coventry; say 60,000 residents. There is an enormous need for more affordable housing.

My Typical Day

Never a typical day, since I do permanently Sunday to Saturday inclusive and regard midnight as a normal working time

Sometimes in meetings with residents; Canley Regeneration, etc; sometimes in Council House; sometimes with Whitefriars; I am the only Cllr to run a permanent email update service for Ward residents and receive a non-stop barrage of enquiries

What I'd do as "Youth Champion"

Try to keep in touch and help young people where I can

I think that many young people suffer unfairly because a few mindless vandals spoil the image of the rest. I believe very strongly that everyone is born with certain abilities and my message would always be; BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE” So to help where I can,and always tell people the truth, even if it is sometimes unwelcome

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

I try hard

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Garth Brooks- that dates me!

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Possibly transferring by line between two Royal Navy warships travelling at speed . You hang a few feet over the water and try not to think what would happen if the wire snapped.

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

To see my grandchildren grow up as healthy, sensible members of society; to see them marry good people; to find my glasses without always having to ask my wife where they are

What did you want to be after you left school?

Either MilItary or Foreign Service. If I had my time again, I would still say the same, even though doctors in a Military Hospital thought I had no chance of survival.

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Not that I remember. I grew up just South of London. Life was just too serious then and people were being killed or injured by bombing.

What's the best thing you've done as a councillor?

Helped a gentleman dying of cancer and his disabled wife to live in peace.

Tell us a joke.