User:Martin Turner

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Martin Turner was born in Todmorden, West Yorkshire on 2 April 1966. The family moved to Swadlincote in 1970 and to Stechford, East Birmingham in 1971. Martin attended Whittington Oval Junior and Infants School, St Chad’s Cathedral School Lichfield and King Edward’s School, Birmingham, from where he won a scholarship to Hertford College, Oxford University, to read English Language and Literature. Between school and university he spent a year in Belgium working with Operation Mobilisation in Liege and Charleroi, where he learned to speak French. He matriculated at Oxford in 1985, graduating in 1988 in the specialist course in Early English and English language, specialising further in archaeology, linguistics and Old Icelandic.

After a brief period working for Chloride Bardic in Southampton, he moved to Sas van Gent, Holland, and subsequently Gent, Belgium, again working with Operation Mobilisation, initially concentrating on learning Dutch and Flemish. He became Communications Coordinator in 1989, and was Communications Director for March for Jesus, Belgium in 1992-93. He married Marjolein Prins, a Dutch translator, in 1990. Marjolein is fluent in English, French, Dutch, Frisian, German and Turkish. In 1996 Martin and Marjolein relocated to Birmingham in the UK, where Martin took up post of Executive Officer for the Regional Arts Board, West Midlands Arts, and Marjolein set up a business as a translator. Marjolein became a qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting in 1996, and Martin became a member of the Institute of Public Relations in 1998, and a trustee of Stechford Baptist Church in 1997, a role he fulfilled until November 2006, becoming treasurer from 2000-2004. Martin and Marjolein joined the Liberal Democrats in 1998, and Martin stood as candidate for Hodge Hill ward in 1999, as parliamentary candidate for Sutton Coldfield in 2001, and as European candidate for the West Midlands region in 2004. He fought Halesowen and Rowley Regis in 2005, increasing the share of the vote by 25%, and was selected as Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Stratford upon Avon in early 2007. Martin Turner is Vice-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum (LDCF) and Chair of the Parliamentary Candidates Association, and was Chair of LDCF from 2002 to 2007. Martin left West Midlands Arts to become European Communications Manager for Lucas Automotive Aftermarket Operations in 2000. He left to be a full time parliamentary candidate in 2001, and became Communications Manager for Walsall Community Health Trust shortly after the General Election. Following the establishment of Walsall Primary Care Trust (now Walsall Teaching Primary Care Trust) in 2002, he was appointed Head of Communications, a post he was confirmed in during the top-line management restructure in 2004. Martin was appointed a LEA governor of Arthur Terry School, Sutton Coldfield, in 2000, and reappointed in 2004 for a second term. He stepped down in 2005 in order to become a governor for Bordesley Green Nursery School, stepping down from that in 2008 to become Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidates Association. He joined Sutton Coldfield Fencing Club in 2001, and subsequently also became a member of Birmingham Fencing Club. He has fenced for Sutton Coldfield in UK national open competitions and in regional team competitions. He fenced for Birmingham in the British Championships 2004, and for Warwickshire in Excalibur 2004-7. He is Communications Officer for the Birmingham International Fencing Competition. Under the guidance of Professor Peter Northam, he qualified as a fencing coach in 2004. He has been in the UK top 100 men’s foil rankings since 2004, and in the top 50 since 2007, and became the West Midlands region Fencing Captain in 2007. Martin Turner's website is http://www.martinturner.org.uk]]]]