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Meet a Councillor: Milly Chen 6 Jun 2022 How well do you know the councillors on your Parish Council? Find out more about Milly Chen in our quick Q&A

When did you join the council?

I joined in February 2020 because I wanted to contribute to the local community where my family and I live. I am hoping to be able to have a positive impact on the lives of local residents and improve the local environment for the many generations to come.

What do you enjoy about being a councillor?

The best thing is working with my amazing fellow councillors. As no one gets paid for being a councillor, they have all given up their precious time to be part of the Parish Council, in addition to their own work and life demands. We’re united by a common desire to serve the community and it’s an inspiring group to be part of. 

What issues/projects are you most passionate about?

As a mother of two, I am very passionate about engaging with the younger residents in our village, providing learning opportunities and creating amazing environment for them. One of my favourite activities so far is being involved in the creation of the Food Forest Garden with the children of Eynsham Primary School. We had about 30 parents and children join us for the first day of planting and I was thrilled by their enthusiasm, despite it being so cold!  

What has been the biggest challenge as a councillor?

When I first joined the Parish Council, I found it frustrating that we spent time discussing a topic that mattered to us but then had to let the decision be taken elsewhere, at a district or county level. Not everything is within our power to change. Over time, I have learnt that what we do still matters. Even when we are not the ultimate decision maker on a certain issue, it’s still important for the council to represent the voice of our local residents in the discussions, especially on the projects that can impact our village.

What misconceptions do you think people have about the Parish Council?

I think there is a misconception that we have all the power – or none at all! Somewhere between the two is probably where the truth lies. While the Council doesn’t have the power to change everything, there are a lot of local things that we are able to do to make living in Eynsham a positive experience.

Why do you like living in Eynsham?

There are great local shops, a lot of activities around for kids and the community is full of amazing and really friendly people.

What has been your favourite community activity in Eynsham so far?

Gosh, there are so many great events here! I enjoy the Art Week as you get to meet local artists and be inspired by their amazing work. I also like the Open Garden Week as, again, you meet lovely local people. I have a passion for gardening and biodiversity so I pick up loads of great tips! But I have to mention the Shirt Race – I have never seen anything like it! It reminds me that life doesn’t always have to be serious. Everyone can have fun and be creative, even the ‘big kids’!

What is your profession and why do you enjoy your work?

I am Executive Director of Strategic Development at Exscientia, an AI-driven drug discovery company with a headquarters on the Oxford Science Park. I really enjoy the innovation in my job; there is always an opportunity to do things differently.

How do you like to spend your spare time?

I like gardening, mushroom-hunting, being creative and learning new things.

Do you have a question or a concern you’d like Milly to raise with the council? Contact her via  

If you're interested in becoming a councillor, we have vacancies and would encourage anyone with an enthusiasm for making a difference to their community to apply. Read more on our Councillors page. 



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