Introducing Councillor India Jayatillake (Chair)

How long have you lived in Kelvedon?
We have lived in Kelvedon for three years in March. I have family living in Witham and Braintree, though my family is far more connected historically to Kelvedon Hatch rather than Kelvedon – my great-grandfather was the head gardener at Kelvedon Hall and, when he first moved there with his young family from Quendon, wires got crossed and they were initially driven to Kelvedon rather than Kelvedon Hatch. The drive from one to the other in the late 30s took several hours! So Kelvedon was always a curiosity to us on the drive to Colchester or the beach for days out. 

How long have you been on the Parish Council?
​ I was co-opted onto the Parish Council in late 2016. I was Chair of Planning for 2017/18 and am now Vice-Chair and have been Vice-Chair of the Neighbourhood Plan committee since 2016. I have been the Chairman of the Council since May 2018.

I live with my husband David, who I have been married to for 9 years. We have two children, Max is three and a half and Lucy-May is 21 months. We have a cat named Delilah and four fish in our pond. 

What’s your “day-job” / career history?
I hold an honours degree in Linguistics from UCL and subsequently worked in the West End, then taught French, Spanish and English in a private school before starting to tutor. I’ve now tutored all three languages for about seven years and continue to be a self-employed tutor. I’m also a full-time mum to two  under the age of four.​

What other voluntary organisations have you worked with? 
​I have previously fundraised and supported grant applications for youth groups and a hospice local to where I grew up. 

Do you have any hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
As a full time mum I don’t have much spare time, but If I can find the time, I love gardening, painting, visiting English Heritage/National Trust sites and sewing/crafts.  

Why did you choose to join the Parish Council?
I chose to join the PC at the suggestion of a friend who was a Kelvedon Councillor at that point. I’d wanted for some time to get involved in local politics and it seemed a great way to serve the community we’d just joined and to get to know more people. It’s been brilliant for getting to know people I would otherwise probably not have had occasion to speak to. 

What do you hope to achieve in your role as Parish Councillor?
I hope to achieve a greater level of engagement with the local community than may have existed historically, to make everyone increasingly aware of the role of the Parish Council and to encourage others to become involved in serving their local community in some way. I hope that by being as visible as possible, we’ll help the residents of Kelvedon to have a say in how their village is managed and maintained.