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Page updated - 24 November 2008


Raj Nandi


Raj moved to this country with his family in 1959 from Calcutta, India and they settled in Ilford, Essex.   He was just seven years old and it all came as a bit of a shock! His father was a Wing Commander in the Indian Air Force and during the Second World War flew in the Battle of Britain before going on to join Bomber Harris and his team.


Raj joined the British Army in 1969, serving in the UK and Germany and did tours of Northern Ireland in the troubled 1970s. On leaving the Army he returned to Ilford where he married and had a daughter who is now 29 and lives in Berlin with her son, Rico. Unfortunately, Raj’s marriage didn’t last and in 1982 he moved to Cornard and bought a flat in Head Lane. He was elected to Babergh District Council and Great Cornard Parish Council in May 1983 and is very proud to have served alongside Betty Cocker.   He strongly supported the development of the Great Cornard Country Park, which he believes is a treasure for the people of Cornard and others to enjoy – despite some opposition at the time!  Reluctantly, he had to leave the village in 1985 due to work commitments but returned in 1987 and later married Maureen.


Raj was re-elected to the Parish Council in 1989 and later to the District Council. He is proud to have served as Chairman of the Parish Council from 1999 to 2003. He was a hard-working and approachable Councillor and believes Councillors are there to serve the public who elect them. He was a key player in the opposition to the Southern Link Road and was elated to see this proposal rejected by the Local Plan Inspector. He introduced an anti-poverty strategy to Babergh District Council, which was adopted by the Council.


He also got Babergh to extend the Special Landscape Area status to include the land bordered by Sheepshead Hill, Joes Road and Prospect Hill in the local plan. This was done to envelop the village with a green belt to deter further creeping development. Raj considers the decision to allow Persimmon homes to build houses on the land opposite Sheepshead Hill as ‘perverse’ and strongly believes that Babergh allowed this to happen by putting up an inadequate defence of the Local Plan.


His community spirit also involved him in volunteering as a detached youth worker for one night a week in Great Cornard – a role he thoroughly enjoyed and carried out for 12 years! Some of the young people he worked with now have families of their own and he still sees them about the village and in Sudbury.


In 2003 he refused to stand for election as a Labour Party candidate because of his opposition to the Iraq war but felt unable to stand against fellow Councillors with whom he had previously served, so he gave up his political work altogether. He still misses it.


He now works for GE Healthcare as a Chromatography engineer, working on machines that analyse proteins and peptides. His work is varied and requires a great deal of travel within UK and Europe. Between them Maureen and Raj have three children and six grandchildren who are a constant source of happiness for them both.


Raj continues to have a busy and fulfilling life; he still cares for the local environment and is interested in local issues. He has fought for his beliefs and for this village with honesty and integrity.



15 November 2009