I grew up in Suffolk where my family has farmed outside Ipswich for several generations. I have a long-standing interest in politics. I worked as an advisor to David Ruffley MP, then Shadow Minister for Police Reform, before setting up my own political consultancy business working for MPs and Think Tanks both regionally and nationally.
I was first elected to represent the Hardwick Division on Suffolk County Council in May 2017. Since being elected to the Council, my consultancy work has taken more of a back seat, but I continue to have other business interests across Suffolk. I run a gym and supplement firm in Newmarket, have a share in a wedding venue just outside Ipswich, and I still have a role in the family’s small farm in Belstead.
Since May 2018, I have served as the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection. This role encompasses a wide range of services including planning, trading standards, our bid to make Suffolk the Greenest County, and the fire service. I also serve on West Suffolk Council, and served on its predecessor authority the St Edmundsbury Borough Council, where I previously chaired the Sustainable Development Panel. I am a Bury St Edmunds Town Councillor and chaired the Town Council in 2009/10.
My main priorities for my Division include successfully accommodating the planned growth of Bury St Edmunds, tackling the state of our highways, curbing illegal parking, enhancing our natural environment, and delivering more opportunities for members of our community to be physically active.
I can be contacted at Richard.Rout@suffolk.gov.uk