Working for the Community 

Nine  councillors make up the Colton Parish Council, supported by the Parish Clerk.  The Parish is divided into 3 wards, with 3 councillors for each:

East Ward  This covers Finsthwaite and Lakeside.

Central Ward  This covers Bouth and Rusland

West Ward  This covers Colton, Oxen Park, Nibthwaite, and Spark Bridge (Colton side of the Crake).

All councillors sign a Code of Conduct to which they must adhere. See the  Governance, Finance and Administration pages for further information, including the List of Representatives on Working Groups and Outside Bodies.

The Council is supported by Cumbria County Councillor and South Lakeland District Councillor David Fletcher. The Council also receives valuable advice and support from our Lake District National Park Rangers for the South Distinctive Area, Sara Spicer and Andrew Wilkinson.

Members of Colton Parish Council, June 2014, outside Colton Church Hall.

From left to right: Cllr John Milburn, Cllr Katherine Patterson, Cllr Chris Potts, Cllr Anne Robinson (retired), Cllr John Watson,
Cllr Vanessa Champion (Vice-chair), Cllr David Hoyle, Cllr Colin Barr (Chairman), Cllr Ken Dean,  Mandy Lane (ex-Clerk)



John Milburn
Stock Farm, High Nibthwaite, LA12 8DD. Tel: 01229 885626
Register of Interests (Code of Conduct 2012)

John Milburn farms at Stock Farm, High Nibthwaite and has lived in the area all his life. He went to school at Satterthwaite and then at John Ruskin, Coniston. After leaving school he was a farm worker at Lowick for 5 years and then became a groundsman for Cumbria Education, looking after schools in the south lakes area for 11 years. He took over the tenancy of Stock Farm in 1988 when his father retired. He is a member of the Bethecar Moor Commoners Association, running a hefted flock of Swaledale ewes, along with a  beef suckler herd. He has been a member of the Lowick & District Agricultural Society for the past 20 years.


(Contact the Clerk if interested in becoming a Councillor)

(Contact the Clerk if interested in becoming a Councillor)


David Hoyle
New House, Thwaite Moss, Rusland, LA12 8JZ.  Tel: 01229 860390
Register of Interests
(Code of Conduct 2012)

David has been involved with the Rusland Valley for over twenty years and now lives at Thwaite Moss, having grown to love the area. He has a small holiday cottages business on Cartmel Fell and a retail business with his wife, Judi, in Marple, Cheshire. He has been chairman of Marple`s regeneration partnership, its local business forum, a local football supporters trust and is currently on the committee organising a local Arts Festival. He is experienced at working with local authorities and related organisations, has a background in financial management, tourism and retail, and interests in music, sport and the countryside. He joined the Parish Council in 2010.

Walter Oates
The Woodlands, Lakeside LA12 8AS  Tel: 015395 30397
Register of Interests (Code of Conduct 2012)

Walter is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, now retired. He was born and raised in Barnsley, Yorkshire, and worked for several Civil Engineering Contractors on motorway construction, including the M6 at Shap, and other heavy civil engineering projects around the UK. He then worked overseas in Hong Kong and Malaysia, including employment as a Contracts Manager on the new Hong Kong Airport.


Walter moved to Lakeside in 1998 as an 'initial attempt at retirement', to be near to his family who live in Barrow and South Walney, as well in a 'desire to return to and live in a beautiful part of the world'. However, he was called to take on various short-term contracts in the far and middle east, and also India, and so real retirement was delayed until 2012. During a break from work in 2008, he underwent sail training and participated in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, crewing on the section from Fremantle, Australia to Qingdao, Northern China via Singapore.


Both he and his wife are active members of the local community and volunteer with 'Fix the Fells', an organisation sponsored by National Trust, Lake District National Parks and Friends of the Lake District and consisting of local people who give up their time to build, repair and maintain the high fell footpaths around the Lakes. He joined the Parish Council in July 2016.


(Contact the Clerk if interested in becoming a Councillor)


Ken Dean
Pinebrook, Bouth, LA12 8JB.  Tel: 01229 861435
Register of Interests
(Code of Conduct 2012)

Ken was born in Accrington and has lived in Bouth for 33 years. He is married to Sue who has lived in Bouth for most of her life. Her mother was born in Finsthwaite and her father in Bouth. He has two daughters who were educated at Leven Valley School, Cartmel Priory and Barrow Sixth Form College. He is a Chartered Accountant and prior to retiring at the end of 2006 was a Finance Director for Kimberly Clark. Ken's interests include playing golf, gardening and local communities and in the past has been a governor of Cartmel Priory School and ran the local Leven Valley football team. He joined the Parish Council in 2008.

Marion Brown
High Cottage, Bouth, LA12 8JB.  Tel: 01229 861690
Register of Interests
(Code of Conduct 2012)

 Marion was born in Lanarkshire in Scotland and has lived in Bouth for fourteen years. Marion runs her own small consultancy business from home after working in the insurance industry for twenty years. She is actively involved in the local community including as a committee member for Hay Bridge Nature Society, secretary for Bouth Village Green, member of Bouth Women’s Institute and has also supported the Rusland Horizons Green Trails project. When not working Marion enjoys fell walking, cycling and writing children’s books.


John Watson
New Close Farm, Oxen Park, LA12 8HQ.  Tel: 01229 861450
Register of Interests
(Code of Conduct 2012)

John was born at New Close, and went to school at Colton and then Cartmel.  He left school at 15 and worked with his father on the farm for 10 years.  In 1973 he set up in partnership with his brother, keeping 200 plus pedigree Ayrshires.  He is a member of the Ayrshire Cattle Society and a member, and at one time chairman, of the North West Ayrshire Breeders Club.  He is the present chairman of the Rusland Show Committee and has served on that committee for about 40 years.  He has been a member of the Parish Council since 2002.

Karen Birch,  Clerk
3,Home Farm Cottages, Grizedale, Ambleside. LA22 0QN Tel: 01229 860115

Karen moved to live at Grizedale after 13 years of living on the North Devon coast. She has previously lived in various parts of the Lake District moving around with her work. She grew up in Staffordshire and went to Wolverhampton University where she obtained a first-class honours degree in Hospitality and Licensed Retail management. Karen also works for the National Trust in the South Lakes area. She is a school Governor for Hawkshead Esthwaite Primary and helps on their PTA fundraising and providing activities for pupils. Karen has twin girls who are attend Hawskhead School. When time allows Karen enjoys cycling, walking and kayaking.



County and District Councillors

Matt Brereton (Cumbria County Council)
Inglewood House, Foxfield, Broughton-in-Furness, Cumbria. LA20 6BX
Tel: (not yet available), Email: (not yet available)

David Fletcher (SLDC )
Tel: 01229 860234. Email (SLDC):


David Fletcher is the Liberal Democrat member of South Lakeland District Council, Hawkshead Ward, and the Liberal Democrat member of Cumbria County Council, High Furness Ward.