Cllr Francesca Shirley
First elected in May 2019
Infrastructure and the vital role it plays in all our day to day lives and the heartfelt effect it has on our quality of life has fascinated me since I was a young teenager.
Optimising our indoor environments to work for us: efficiently, reliably, and most importantly, I believe, with no detrimental impact on our health and external ecosystems, can support residents in a community in the present while simultaneously safeguarding their future.
Unlike the other Councillors, I have only lived in Wimborne Minster for a short while. I was born in Cape Town, South Africa, Cape Town, where my father is from, and moved to the UK, where my mother is from when I was three. I grew up in the Cotswolds, where my profound love of nature and the beauty of wild spaces captivated me.
Starting college, I made it my mission to contribute to finding ways in which people and nature can prosper. And where my first interest in joining my local council began, being too young; however, I focused on my education. I studied physics at King’s College London. I went on to Imperial College London to specialise in Optics and Photonics, where my research to enhance the efficiency of solar panel technology was published.
I now work from home in Wimborne for a solar energy company focused on enhancing access to solar energy for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, helping young people and their families transition from toxic and polluting homemade kerosene lamps to safe, clean, bright solar lights. As Schools Programme Manager, I deliver activities I designed for young people to learn about solar energy and sustainable living and donate solar lights to their peers in low-income countries without electricity, facilitating quick and scalable impact for young people to reduce global emissions.
Wimborne and the surrounding areas are stunning. I feel so fortunate to live here, and I am honoured to hold a position on the Town Council. I hope very much to get to know the community and assist you in making your homes and businesses more energy efficient for cheaper energy bills and the comforts that follow.