Dewlands South Ward

Councillor Toni Coombs (Deputy Mayor)

Toni Coombs


Councillor, Dorset Councillor, Potterne Park User Group Representative & Verwood Heathland Heritage Trust Representative

c/o Town Council Offices
28 Vicarage Rd
BH31 6DR

Toni has represented Verwood on the Town Council since 1999. She also represents Verwood on Dorset Council (previously East Dorset District Council since 1999-2019 and Dorset County Council since 2001-2019).

Since moving to Verwood in 1991 she has seen the Town’s population double and has been instrumental in obtaining the funding for many of the developments in the town over the years.

She cares passionately about the town and the need to keep that village feel, that we all treasure; and is happy to roll her sleeves up and get involved in the community volunteering.

Her two adult sons went through our local school system each attending one of our Upper Schools after leaving Emmanuel.

Outside of her council responsibilities she enjoys photography and gardening – when time allows.

Councillor Charmaine Crossley

Charmaine Crossley


Councillor & Verwood Memorial Hall Trust Committee Councillor

c/o Town Council Offices
28 Vicarage Rd
BH31 6DR

I was born in Laleham-upon-Thames, but our family moved to Surrey, where I spent most of my young years.

I attended St John Bosco’s Grammer School for Girls, now The Salesian School, and took a shorthand and typing course whilst studying for my foreign language A-Levels.

I worked initially as secretary to the Director of a construction company. As he was promoted within the organisation, I accompanied him, taking on new challenges and responsibilities along the way as his Personal Assistant.

My boss, one other Director, and I were the founding members of a new international branch of the company, for which I worked for many years in London until my boss was promoted to Chairman of the entire corporation and also a member of the P & O Main Board of Directors.

I was married for a few years but, very sadly, found I had made an unfortunate mistake and, therefore, have now been divorced for many years.

After many happy years, but tired of commuting to London every day, I found myself a more local job working for the President of an American company. This entailed arranging and attending conferences overseas and liaising with the staff of the many overseas companies based in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa who reported to our Surrey-based HQ.

After seven extremely busy and challenging years, I decided to make a move to Dorset. My parents had retired from Surrey to Woodlands, and on frequent visits to them, I realised that I really liked the quality of life and friendliness that I found in the area.

I moved to Verwood in 1992 and held various local PA and administrative roles until my retirement at the end of 2019. I have always enjoyed life here in Verwood and the fact that, although technically a town, it has very much the heart and soul of a village, which I would like to see preserved for the benefit of all.

I joined the Town Council with a view to assisting in this aim and to endeavour to give something to the community in which I live.

Councillor Spencer Flower

Spencer Flower


Councillor, Dorset Councillor

c/o Town Council Offices
28 Vicarage Rd
BH31 6DR

Born in Dorset, Spencer spent his working life in engineering, taking him to London where he became Managing Director of an American owned Engineering Company.

Returning to Dorset 32 years ago he became Managing Director of an Engineering Company in Poole.

Spencer served as a County Councillor between 2005 and 2019 (2 years as leader), an East Dorset District Councillor between 1999 and 2019 (8 years as leader) has been a Verwood Town Councillor since May 2007 and following the May 2019 Dorset Unitary Council Elections he became a Dorset Councillor for the Verwood Ward.

Spencer became the Leader of Dorset Council in May 2019.

Using his business experience Spencer has dealt successfully with many local issues and is renowned for his support of your Town Council and the general wellbeing of the Town.

Married, he has two grown up children and two grandchildren.

Councillor Sandra Grove

Sandra Grove


Councillor, Citizens Advice Bureau & Town Twinning Association

Oak Cottage
14 Aggis Farm
BH31 6QD

I was born in Hayes Middlesex in 1951 and was educated at Townfield Secondary Modern School in Hayes. I am married to Clive and have two Children Johanna and Matthew.

We have lived in Verwood since 1989 when it was still very much a village and have watched it grow through the years into the town we have today. Although we are now called a town Verwood still has a wonderful village feel.

After moving here I took advantage of the excellent adult education system and passed City and Guilds – Maths and IT and Computer Studies at Ferndown school.

I have owned my own Restaurant in Ringwood and am now retired doing voluntary work.

I am on the Finance and Policy, Community and Plans Committees for Verwood Town Council, and am the Representative for Citizens Advice, Town Twinning and the Heathland Heritage Centre.

I was privileged to be Mayor of our Town for 2015/2016 & 2018/2019 and am also Vice Chairman of Governors for Hillside School.

My voluntary work involves Treasurer of the Verwood and Three Cross Twinning Society, Treasurer of the Heathland Heritage Centre where I also work every other Thursday serving our community. I also help to run a Community Group for people over 55.

My interests are cooking, gardening, travel, fundraising and looking after our grandchildren.

Councillor Elizabeth Ingram MBE

Elizabeth Ingram



c/o Town Council Offices
28 Vicarage Rd
BH31 6DR

I was born in Somerset and educated in Bristol and Hull University, where I gained a BA in Psychology and Sociology.

After varied career experiences in Voluntary Sector Agencies, I was appointed Education Psychologist to Warrington Health Authority. I then moved to Verwood and took up a post as Educational Psychologist in the Dorset County Education Service.

While living in Verwood, I married, and my son was born.  I enjoyed being near my family, Bruce and Jenny Porter, who were well-known in the Verwood community for business and music activities. Later, while living elsewhere, I visited regularly and watched Verwood grow into a lively, welcoming community, which I am now very pleased to be a part of.

My professional journey took me to Peterborough and Northants, where I served as a Director of a large charity. In this role, I ran support services for struggling families. This involved close collaboration with the Local Authority, Health, Police, and Churches, to ensure comprehensive planning and support for those in need. During this time I was very proud to be awarded an MBE.

On retirement, I returned to Verwood and continued to deliver Safeguarding training and support to local churches and the voluntary sector.  I am a member of St Michaels Church and sit on the PCC.

As a Councillor, I look forward to recognising and supporting the variety of strengths and needs of the thriving communities of Verwood and Three Legged Cross.

Councillor Carol Traves

Carol Traves



8 Dewlands Road
BH31 6PL

I was born and raised in South Wales, but had visited Dorset all of my life. My Mother was born in Shaftesbury where I still have close family.

I always had a mind that I would like to live in this beautiful County and so, having completed my honours degree in City & Regional Planning and Post-Graduate Diploma in Town Planning at Cardiff University, I was keen to move.

I started my career as a Planning Officer obtaining promotions at Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch Council. In 2008 I moved to Verwood with my now husband who is a locally born Architect. In 2009 we decided this was where we wanted to put down our roots and so we established our architectural and town planning practice.

We have built our home, our business and our lives in Verwood and I am grateful for the opportunities that the town has given us. Along with our small dog and rescue ducks, we are proud to call Verwood home.

I look forward to being part of the team that continues to make Verwood and Three Legged Cross the lovely thriving communities we enjoy living in.

Councillor Lindsey Dedden

Lindsey Dedden


Councillor, D.A.P.T.C. Eastern area, D.A.P.T.C. Larger Councils, Verwood Heathland Heritage Trust

25 Vicarage Road
BH31 6DR

I was born in Edgware Middlesex, and after school, I attended Loughborough University of Technology, obtaining a degree in Chemistry and Management Studies.

In 1973, I worked in Personnel Management in Aerospace, Local Government, Insurance (USA), and the Water Industry. I am a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

My husband Alan, our son Ross, and I moved to Verwood in 1985. I was elected to the Town Council in 1990, and I was Mayor in 2003/04 and again in 2017/18. I served as an East Dorset Councillor from 1995-1999.

From 1997, I was a Non-Executive Director at the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals Trust until 2005 and then at the Foundation Trust until 2009.

I have been involved in many local organisations in various capacities, including as Chairman of the Memorial Hall Management Committee. I also helped produce the “Viewpoint” when it was a voluntary magazine.

I am an active member of Verwood U3A. My current interests include archaeology and family history, and I was delighted to find that some of my ancestors were born and lived in East Dorset.