TWO leading business people from the Cookham community went head to head to try and win a seat on the parish council.

Estate agent Caroline Romero, 48, of Whyteladyes Lane, and Jon Fisher, business manager of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) in Moor Hall, School Lane, both hoped to replace Simon Sinclair, who left the parish council and the village to move to Oxford.

It was a close call for the two contenders but in the end it was business manager Mr Fisher who was co-opted on Tuesday night, when the council elected him by six votes to five.

Mr Fisher, 46, who lives in Cliveden View in Maidenhead, said: "I am very pleased to be on the parish council and like to think that I would be able to contribute to the good work the council already does to protect the local environment and to the way of life in the Cookhams. I'm very much looking forward to it."

The businessman was hired by CIM - the professional body for marketers - three years ago to head the £250,000 renovation project that is taking place at Moor Hall.

Before he stepped in there were rumours flying around the village that the hall would have to close.

But Mr Fisher dismissed the rumour as nothing but a myth.

He said: "It was a mistaken view but we are having to bring the hall up to date.

"We have tried to do everything in an eco-friendly way, which is why, having been aware of the local community and aware of the environment from a business perspective, I will be able to help the local community by having an objective view and not a vested interest."

The refurbishment of the 19th century house has already seen the renovation of 60 of its 80 bedrooms - and the other 20 are being refurbished in the next two months.

It is also seeing the making of a new, contemporary-styled bar and lounge area, new gym facilities and new training rooms for the delegates who use the centre for training courses.

Mrs Romero, runner up in Tuesday's contest, has lived in the village for five years and thought it was "about time she put something into the village rather than take out of it".

But on the night she lost gracefully, congratulating Mr Fisher on his success.