Today is the day of the local elections 2022, so here are your candidates for the Coley ward.

The ward is newly formed due to council boundary changes which mean that the total number of councillors is going up from 48 to 46.

Coley is roughly in the same area as the old Minster ward, but now stretches as far north as Argyle Street off Oxford Road.

The old Minster ward is currently represented by three Labour councillors: Ellie Emberson, Liz Terry and Paul Gittings, all of whom are seeking re-election.

This year, voters get to vote for three councillors to represent them.

See all the candidates seeking your votes by party below.


Ellie Emberson

Reading Chronicle: Ellie Emberson, Labour candidate for Coley ward. Credit: Reading LabourEllie Emberson, Labour candidate for Coley ward. Credit: Reading Labour

Ellie Emberson said: “I was humbled to be elected Reading’s youngest ever woman Councillor four years ago at the age of 19. I’ve always been committed to making a difference and hope to continue working hard for Coley residents. I’ve had the honour of serving as a Lead Councillor too, delivering on Labour promises for Reading.

“Prior to party politics, aged 14, I campaigned for mental health education. I volunteered both with CAHMS and No5 young people’s counselling, developing a mental health treaty with schools. It became obvious to me, when lobbying local politicians for change, that my home was with the Labour Party and that was where I could make a real difference, fighting for fairness and equality.

“I grew up in Coley, attending Coley Primary School followed by Prospect School. When I stood for the first time, I promised to consult on issues that matter to residents, stand up for the ward and report back on my work with colleagues. I will continue to do this if I am re-elected.

“I am committed to standing up for all residents and hope Reading will vote for me and my colleagues to return a Labour Council so we can continue making a difference.”

Liz Terry

Reading Chronicle: Liz Terry, Labour candidate for Coley ward. Credit: Reading LabourLiz Terry, Labour candidate for Coley ward. Credit: Reading Labour

Liz has represented Minster Ward since being elected in 2012 and was re-elected in 2016 and for the third time last year in 2021. She was born and grew up in Reading.

Liz has been the Lead Councillor for Children’s Services and was previously Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods. 

In these roles she was directly involved in improving recycling and overseeing the significant improvement in children’s services including, in February 2021, confirmation from the Department of Education that children’s services were no longer in intervention.

Paul Gittings

Reading Chronicle: Paul Gittings, Labour candidate for Coley ward. Credit: Reading LabourPaul Gittings, Labour candidate for Coley ward. Credit: Reading Labour

Paul was first elected to Minster Ward in 2002 and is proud that residents have put their trust in him in successive elections, most recently in 2019.

As Lead Councillor for the Environment and Consumer Services he was instrumental in the formulation of the local Climate Change Partnership while as Lead Councillor for Culture and Sport the acclaimed Reading 2016 Year of Culture highlighted our rich artistic and historic heritage. 

He currently Chairs the Strategic Environment Planning and Transport Committee, driving initiatives on Active Travel and also leads the Labour Group on the Berkshire Fire Authority.


Reading Chronicle: The Conservative Party logoThe Conservative Party logo

David McMahon

David lives in Reading with his family and is passionate about protecting important green spaces.

Mas Shepherd

Mas grew up in Maidenhead in a working-class family and has lived in Reading for over 30 years. She has raised her own family here and currently works as a finance officer for her church, as well as being connected to other Christian charities as a self-employed bookkeeper.

Grace Taylor

Grace is a senior demand planner for a pharmaceutical company based in Reading. Grace has a passion for building better communities, especially focusing on youth engagement, education and personal growth.

Liberal Democrats

Benjamin Sims 

Reading Chronicle: Benjamin Sims, Liberal Democrat candidate for Coley. Credit: Reading Liberal DemocratsBenjamin Sims, Liberal Democrat candidate for Coley. Credit: Reading Liberal Democrats

Ben Sims is a technology entrepreneur who previously worked for the United Nations.

He believes that individuals and communities know best what solutions will work for them, and will fight to ensure their voices are heard when the council takes decisions.

In his spare time he enjoys exploring Reading and the surrounding countryside with his wife and young daughter.

If elected, his priorities are getting a fair deal for Coley residents and services, building the affordable housing we need, where we need it, and protecting our green spaces and woodlands from further development.

Green Party

Isobel Hoskins

Isobel Hoskins has lived in Reading for 30 years. She has worked in publishing. In her spare time she enjoys walking in the Chilterns and conservation work.

Isobel would like to see a fairer, greener, more affordable town. Read the Reading Green Party mini manifesto for 2022 here.