Tom McLaren
South Weald

Conservative Councillor
Brentwood District Council

About me


About me About me
I could have grown up the middle-class son of two teachers, but fate intervened: when I was just a year old, a car accident killed my father.  My mother always retained a very clear memory of receiving that phone call in the middle of the night, and of the realisation that suddenly, at the age of 28, she was alone, a single parent with a small baby to care for. In an instant, our lives changed, as we moved from a small family home in the suburbs, to a shared house in a North London.

When we finally got our own place, a small Victorian terraced house, we could only live in one room. The rest of the place had missing floorboards, no plaster on the walls, and one of the rooms had a small fire. Over time that shell of a house became a home, and in the same kind of hard work I was finally able to overcome my disadvantages and made it to university. As a mature student I valued the opportunity I had been given. Late nights in the library led to a 1st class degree, a distinction grade MSc, and a career in Finance.

The neighbourhood I grew up in was tough, with poor schooling options, systemic unemployment, and high levels of crime, but I’m focused on using those experiences positively, to make a real difference to the country.

I am in politics because I am determined to work to help improve the lives of those who can’t get out, no matter how hard they try. I have worked hard and been fortunate, but the environment that I grew up in will always stay with me.

My Priorities and Vision


Working in the Communiy

My approach to community activism was forged during my period as an opposition councillor. During that time I ran a number of successful campaigns , including the “Save our Suburbs” campaign in 2015 against aggressive development proposals in Labour’s Local Plan, soliciting a 2500+ signature petition and chairing a public meeting for 500+ residents. I also led a Stop Street Drinking campaign which delivered, amongst other things, a Public Space Protection Order covering four wards.

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South Weald and Brentwood

My first responsibility is to the residents of South Weald Ward, but as Chair of the Community, Health and Housing Committee my portfolio includes ambitious plans for Brentwood, including up to £32mn of new and improved social housing, and a 3 year programme of new leisure developments, including up to £10.8 million in new facilities.

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Britain, Europe and the World

My vision for Britain is that of a confident, progressive and outward looking country. Delivering on Brexit doesn't only mean respecting the result of the referendum, it means creating a new relationship with the EU, Europe and the World. It means creating new partnerships from old relationships within Europe, and harnessing the opportunities that the return of sovereignty and control to Britain will provide. And it means trusting the creativity and ingenuity of the British people to seize those opportunities, overcome the challenges, and deliver a successful, truly global, Britain.

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Charity Work and Volunteering

Volunteer extensively, primarily with charities and groups focusing on children, including “REACH”, a local charity providing therapy using horses for mentally and physically disabled adults and children. I am also a Mentor with the Social Mobility Foundation, supporting a gifted A Level student from a disadvantaged background.

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