I was a Liberal Democrat councillor from 1997-2010, representing the ward of Chessington North and Hook in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.
During that time I served as Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames for the year 2006-2007. From 2004 to 2006 I held the Executive portfolio for Children and Young People's Services, and before that, for two years, my portfolio was Participation and Communication. From 1997-2010 I served as Chair of the South of the Borough Neighbourhood Committee.
Free from the demands of being a councillor, I am now the Chair of Kingston Borough Liberal Democrats, a member of the Executive team of the Social Liberal Forum and a day editor of Liberal Democrat Voice.
I have a deep interest in e-government, and in e-democracy in particular. From November 2003 to March 2006 I served as Chair of the Local e-Democracy National Project. When that project ended I joined the Board of the International Centre of Excellence for Local e-Democracy as Vice Chair. I am currently Chair of e-Democracy.org, a US based, international organisation that fosters neighbourhood forums and other online projects for democratic interaction.
Another passion of mine is the Rose Theatre, of which I was a trustee for eight years. This unique and very special theatre finally opened in Kingston in January 2008 under the inspirational guidance of Sir Peter Hall and Stephen Unwin.
Professionally, I worked in further education for many years, but I now spend my time writing educational books under the name K Mary Reid. These are all on ICT and are mainly targeted at the post 16 market. I have also designed a number of websites, including that for Edward Davey MP.
During my year as Mayor I set up Young Kingston, a charitable fund which continues to award grants to local young people to support projects that benefit the community.
To keep sane I sing with Kingston Choral Society.
My husband Ian was also a councillor. We are both active members of St Pauls' Church, Hook (one of my designs). We have two married sons who both work in the music/entertainment industry, and two very lovable grandsons.
A long time ago I gained a BA Hons degree in Philosophy and Mathematics from the University of York, and followed that with a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and an MA in Philosophy of Education from the University of London Institute Of Education. I returned to academic studies in 1990 when I achieved an MSc from Imperial College London in Intelligent Knowledge Based Systems. I am a Chartered Information Technology Professional.