Alex Chalk MPSecretary, Alex Chalk, Conservative

Cheltenham is my home town. I live in Charlton Park with my wife and two children, and both go to nursery nearby. I was brought up locally in Foxcote, just by the Kilkeney pub – a well-known landmark to many Cheltonians! My parents still live nearby.

I am not a career politician. I am 40 years old and have fourteen years’ experience as barrister specialising in counter-terrorism, homicide and serious fraud cases.

I believe that to be an effective politician, political experience can be a huge bonus. It teaches you how to get things done. Whilst building my legal career in London, I was twice elected as a councilor in Hammersmith & Fulham. There I chaired the Planning Committee for four years, during which time I helped adjudicate on multi-billion pound planning applications which brought investment and regeneration to many deprived areas. I also helped drive down council tax to historically-low levels. It was an invaluable training. But that apprenticeship is now over. I have come back home, and I want to put my experience to use to help make Cheltenham the greatest town in Britain.