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Q&A

PUBLISHED: 12:55 18 March 2011 | UPDATED: 08:57 21 February 2013

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson Leader of Harlow District Council

What do you do for a living?
I am the Leader of Harlow District Council, which could easily be a full-time role, but the way local government works, it is not a salaried position (it comes with a small allowance) so I also work in the NHS as a business and performance manager

How long have you been based in Harlow?
I have lived in Harlow all of my life, except for some time away at university. I have been a councillor for ten years.

What is the best thing about working in Harlow?
It's the town I have grown up with, and I love it. Harlow is a place that tries really hard. You can tell it has a really pioneering spirit, with a lot of East End grit still very apparent, from its genesis as a relocation area for those who lost their homes in the Blitz.

What do you love about your job?
I love being able to have a strategic overview of everything happening in my town and being involved in making my town a better place.

What has been the proudest moment in your career so far?
It would have to be taking control of the council in 2008. It is the first time the Conservatives have ever been in control of Harlow, and having been the only Conservative in 1998 and spent ten years building a great group up on the council it was wonderful to finally see the rewards of that hard work.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Hopefully still very involved in the political life of Harlow; but they say a week is a long time in politics - who knows about five years.

Tell us about your family...
I am married to Shona, who is a teacher and also a councillor in Harlow, and I have a 2-year-old daughter, Alexandria. I also have lots of other family living in Harlow; there are four generations of us here. It's nice having so many family members only a few minutes away, and I get to see them all regularly.

What are your hobbies?
I enjoy playing computer games when I get the time, football manager games are a constant favourite, and I love cooking and having friends come over for dinner.

How do you relax?
My wife would say that I don't - I take my Blackberry and laptop on holiday. The idea of a day away from communications is frightening. I often feel most relaxed at what others would consider stressful times.

What is your worst habit?
Playing with my Blackberry. I have been known to be sending and answering emails at all times of the day and night.

What is your favourite piece of music?
My all-time favourite piece of music is Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits. There is something about it that still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and the lyrics are really moving.

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