Phil Starr

16 - Phil Starr.jpg

Phil Starr is currently Vice Chair of Unlock Democracy’s Council with responsibility for our property portfolio, which contributes a large proportion of our income. Phil was previously Chair of Charter 88 and was heavily involved in bringing NPN and Charter together to form UD.

During the last two years we have completed the renovation and improvement of the whole of our building in Cynthia Street. Improving our offices has increased our rental income four fold as well as increasing their asset value for the first time in our history. All this means that UD is now financially stable and in a position to look to expand it’s activities. The next stage in our plans is to redevelop our other property in Grays Inn Road which I want to see to fruition in the next two years.

This is probably an unusual appeal for votes in a political organisation but sound finances are vital to fund our campaigning and I’m happy to do the boring bits. The extra funds we have means that for the first time our income is enough for us to have a large element of choice over which campaigns to fight and a degree of independence from our funders.

Politically my priorities are to press for those activities that reach out to the wider public. There aren’t enough of us as campaigners to be as effective as we would want. Quiet, methodical lobbying is essential but people in power listen harder to us when we have public support or if decision makers feel we are in a position to affect public opinion. We can only achieve change by creating a public narrative and the first step is to actively reach out to recruit other reformers to our agenda and I’ll be a big supporter of any moves in that direction.

I am married with two children and live in Somerset. In a varied career I have worked in the electronics industry, became a science teacher and then a property developer. Politically I have been involved many single issue campaigns, mainly about youth issues and the health service before becoming a councillor in Reading, eventually chairing the Community Development Committee and briefly Social Services for Reading Borough Council.

I have been actively campaigning on Democracy issues since 1990 and as the Chair of Charter88 took a major role in bringing Charter 88 and NPN together to form Unlock Democracy.

Please feel free to contact me 01460 221594 (evenings are best)


CouncilSam Coates