Bishop Middleham & Mainsforth

Parish Council

Meet the People

Your Parish Council team is made up of nine volunteers from the community.
We all bring different skills and experience to the team and are a non-politicised group.

Harvey Neve (Chair)

I originally come from Norfolk and moved to Bishop Middleham in 1991 to work at the Castle Eden Brewery "for a couple of years". I fell in love with this place and decided to stay.

I left Whitbread in 2005 and became a Civil Servant working at the Department for Education and Public Health England for the next 15yrs leading operational delivery and digital transformation programmes. In 2020 I joined a technology company Fimatix. I also have my own management consultancy business.

I joined the Parish Council in 2012 to help out with the Parish Plan and now find myself privileged to be Chair of our wonderful and talented team of volunteers who all commit spare time and energy to help maintain and develop our community. We all recognise that we have something very special here, which makes this a great place to live, work and raise a family.

If you’d like to get involved, have feedback on how we’re doing or ideas on things we could try or do better, please contact me or one of the team, we’d love to hear from you. I’d also encourage you to come along to a meeting, you don’t have to stay for all of it and can just sit and listen if you like, it would just be great to see you.

Geoff Turner (Vice Chair)

I have lived in Bishop Middleham for over 16 years now with my wife Rachel and 2 children, Jasmine aged 10 and Lizzy aged 9 and I can’t think of a nicer place to live and bring up my two children. I have lived in the North East for 20 years and am a Northerner through and through, originally coming from Hessle near Hull.

I am an active member of the St Michaels primary school 'Friends of the School’ and so would love to hear from any parents or teachers with ideas that the Council can help encourage or support. I think this wonderful Parish has so much to offer with some fantastic walks and a great community spirit, I will endeavour to build on that during my time with the Parish Council. I will be supporting projects and events and exploring new ideas to improve the amenity of the village and further build the community experience.

In my spare time, I love walking the many rights of way that cross our Parish and can often be seen walking the fields with our little dog “Echo”.

John Robinson (Clerk)

My role in the Council is to undertake the day to day administration of the Council and to support and advise members. They make the decisions, my role is to implement them.

I have lived in Sedgefield all my life, and went to school with many residents of Bishop Middleham and also through working at Winterton Hospital, know many of you as former colleagues. Indeed I have had over 40 year working in/associated with the NHS.

I am married to Maxine, have 2 children and the jewels of my life, 5 grandchildren.

I am here as the first point for the Council so please feel free to contact me. If it is not in our remit I will try and forward you onto the appropriate body.

Jane Brownlee

Hello, I’m Jane. After many years teaching in Newcastle and Northumberland I have lived in Bishop Middleham since 2006. I came in the first place because my daughter was here, but I loved it from the start and it became my home.

My three grandchildren have all attended our village school. I have made many good friends here and so it was a privilege and a pleasure to be invited to become a co-opted member of the Parish Council last year. I am keen to preserve the beauty and the heritage of our Parish and to work with this great team of people towards ensuring the wellbeing and safety of everyone in our community.

Michele Maccallam

Bishop Middleham has been a great place to bring up our two children with its caring church school, activities for youngsters in the Village Hall, play facilities in the Park and wide open countryside to explore. My first contact with Bishop Middleham was through my role as a Landscape Architect with Groundwork to design and manage improvements to the Park in 1999, including new access road, car park and changing rooms. The Parish Council of the day organised the opening by Prime Minister Tony Blair. Little did I know that I would later be joining this august establishment!

Since coming to live here over 18 years ago I have met many talented and community-minded people and became drawn into groups and campaigns to preserve and enhance the character of our Parish. Over the years I have helped run the Brownie pack, played in the ladies netball team, tended an allotment, helped in the restoration of the War Memorial and become a school governor.

The prospect of a large housing estate in 2009 lead me to join a small committed opposition group and together we won the argument over inappropriate development. This team then became involved in Neighbourhood planning and went onto complete a Parish Plan, setting out the community's priorities. Becoming a Parish Councillor some 7 years ago has enabled me to continue caring for our heritage and countryside, and I feel privileged to be part of such a committed and active Council.

Vic Cooke

I have lived in Bishop Middleham since 1977 when I moved here after marrying Jan. I quickly settled into village life and over the course of 40 yrs have met many tremendous people whom I am honoured to call friends. My son, Mark, was born and raised here, attending our village school and secondary school in Sedgefield.

As many of you will know I am passionate about sport – football and golf in particular. I am a member of our village golf society, enjoying our regular outings to local courses. I am also a Durham FA observer supporting the training and development of our local non-league referees. I also enjoy gardening and producing vegetables.

I have been a representative on the parish council for about 20yrs. On the parish council I take a general interest in everything to support the community.

David Hardy

My family and I have connections In Bishop Middleham for over a hundred years including my grandfather who served on the Parish Council and my father who was the organist in the days when the village had a Chapel, and I am passionate about serving our great Parish.

I have lived here for 28 years and have 3 children who have all attended our well supported primary school. I have 10years experience in horticulture and grounds maintenance and that has allowed me to give input to projects my fellow councillor’s can take on board which will improve your village over the years.

After that I went into the home improvement and the building industry and eventually set up my own business for 7 years I gained vast experience understanding management and finance. I am Proud to be a councillor for Bishop Middleham and Mainsforth-We have a great team with vast experience and look forward to making progress on future projects.

Andrew Shaw

I am born and bred in Bishop Middleham, where I attended the Parish school as a child.

My family are well known within the village, with my Dad serving on the Parish Council for many years himself as well as being a school governor and treasurer for the horticultural show held in the village hall.

My background is in ground maintenance where I started working for Ferryhill Town Council after studying at Houghall College in Durham City.

I later joined Sedgefield Borough Council which merged into Durham County Council in 2009 where I still work today. Within my role for the County Council I work within the Parish on a regular basis. I joined the Parish Council in the Summer of 2019 after attending a meeting regarding a grounds maintenance issue.

We have such a close knit team with a broad range of skills and an extremely knowledgeable Clerk making us a good team.

Elaine Peeke

I am delighted to have been welcomed on to a team of dedicated individuals who are working together, in a voluntary capacity, to support our lovely Parish. I have lived in Bishop Middleham since 2018 and feel very envious of people who tell me they have lived here all their life or have been here for a number of years. How lucky we all are to live in such a beautify village in the equally beautify county of Durham.

Since moving to Bishop Middleham with my husband Martin, we have been busy renovating our house. As we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel with our home, I feel I have the time, enthusiasm and energy to help serve our community.

I retired a few years ago from the role of School Business Manager, which gives us more time with our three grandchildren, something we never tire of. My position at school involved setting the budget, budget management and forward planning, school buildings and grounds maintenance, health and safety, HR and managing all aspects of the school administration. I was also on the board of Governors for nearly 20 years. I very much hope some of my work skills and experience can be of use to the people and the Parish Council of Bishop Middleham and Mainsforth.


We are here to represent and respond to the needs of the community and we do this by liaising with and listening to the views of local people, groups and businesses to help inform the decisions we make.

Contact Us

Council Chair - Harvey Neve
Phone: 01740 651790
Council Clerk - John Robinson