About Paul Hopfensperger

Tollgate Primary - October 01 2018

Paul with the children of Tollgate Primary School on October 01, 2018 at the opening of the £25,000 nature reserve in Oakes Road Woods which Paul organised and helped fund with his Bury St Edmunds Town Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council Locality Budgets.

Post Office Assembly Bury Free Press

Paul with Ernie Broom, the Chairman of the H.E.A.R.T. Residents Association, and local campaigners when the St Olaves Ward Post Office was suddenly closed down in February 2017. It is hoped the new Post Office will open in late 2019/early 2020. Photo: Bury free Press.

Since 2003 Paul Hopfensperger has served as a Bury St Edmunds Town Councillor, St Edmundsbury Borough Councillor, West Suffolk Councillor and Suffolk County Councillor in Bury St Edmunds. Since June 2019 he has been serving his second term as the Deputy Mayor of Bury St Edmunds, the first time was from 2005-2006. Full political career details can be found by clicking here




Paul has lived and worked in central Bury St Edmunds for most of his life. He was educated at The Convent of St Louis, Moreton Hall Preparatory School, and Culford School gaining GCE O Levels in English Language, Mathematics, Geography, History and Metalwork with Technical Drawing. He gained an ONC and HNC in Mechanical and Production Engineering from the West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds, and graduated with an HND in Mechanical and Production Engineering/Computer Aided Engineering from the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology (CCAT - now Anglia Ruskin University) in Cambridge. From 1994 until 2013, he was a Chartered I.T. Professional and Elite Member of the British Computer Society. He holds a Certificate in Legal Studies which he studied at Homerton College, Cambridge via the Open University as well as many qualifications relating to the Diet and Nutrition and Personal Wellness industry.




Paul served a six year Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship at E. Rand and Sons (Milling) Limited before becoming a Design Draughtsman at Barber Greene (England) Limited both in Bury St Edmunds. Having started his own part-time computing business after graduating, he became a Computer Programmer, then Project Manager, then International Sales and Marketing Manager at Sound Techniques Limited (STL Technologies) in Mildenhall, suppliers of computer software to the UK Magistrates' Courts Service and both National and International Police services. In 1996, he formed his own I.T. Company, ACS Business Systems Limited supplying I.T. Equipment and services throughout the U.K. He also formed a subsidiary company, ACS Legal Systems supplying specialised computer software to the U.K. police for collision recording and both roadside screening and evidential breath testing procedures.


Having been interested in the diet and nutrition industry since becoming a part-time Independent Herbalife Distributor in 1987, Paul sold his I.T. company, re-trained and formed Body and Mind Studio Limited in 2009 where he is currently a Naturopathic Health Coach


Sporting Achievements


Paul was a competitive swimmer for Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, West Suffolk Masters and twice represented Great Britain in the FINA World Cup Open Water Grand Prix series, finishing the 2008 season being ranked number 57 in the world. He is a former Suffolk County Record Holder for 100 Metres Freestyle as well as County Champion at 100 Metres Freestyle and County Age Group Champion at 100 Metres Backstroke. He was the Club Captain for the former Bury St Edmunds Swimming Club (Bury Beavers) on three separate occasions (see below). He also represented Bury St Edmunds at Water Polo and Rugby. On July 10, 2007 he successfully completed his first crossing of The English Channel in 13 hours and 3 minutes, followed by two more in 2008 and 2010. Further information can be found on his Openwaterpedia page here.


Charity Fundraising & Voluntary Work


For as long as he can remember, Paul has raised money for charity. One of his early activities aged 15 in 1978, was a sponsored swim raising £400 towards a new guide dog for blind telephonist Dorothy Cook who worked at the then Department for Health and Social Security in Bury St Edmunds. Since then the activities have included Roller Skating around every single pub in Bury St Edmunds on a sponsored pub crawl for Comic Relief in 1991, walking for 5 days on the Great Wall of China with his wife Beccy in 2001 raising £5,000 for Whizz-Kidz children's wheelchair charity, helping raise over £35,000 in his year as Chairman of Bury St Edmunds Round Table, raising £1,000 for Children's Cancer Charity CLIC Sargent by being "arrested" then "bailed", and over £16,500 for St. Nicholas' Hospice and CLIC Sargent by swimming the English Channel (3 times) for his wife, the then Mayor of Bury St Edmunds' charities and completing a Firewalk on 533 Degrees Centigrade coals in 2011 for The Stroke Association (Bury St Edmunds branch) to name but a few. From 2010 to 2015 he served as an Honorary Commander for the USAFE 100th Maintenance and 100th Aircraft Maintenance Squadrons at RAF Mildenhall. He has also served on the board of the Bury St Edmunds Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Bury St Edmunds Town Centre Management Group. He is currently a member of the Bury St Edmunds Carnival Committee who are working to re-instate the Bury St Edmunds Carnival in 2020. In January 2016 he created the very successful We Really Love Bury St Edmunds! Facebook group which discusses local political issues in Bury St Edmunds and has well over 5,000 members in it. 




Hopfensperger, Paul J.  “Computerising drink/drive procedures to reduce Police time and eliminate errors in procedure”. First published in the Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety, Volume 1, Published by NHMRC Road Accident Research Unit, August 1995, The University of Adelaide, Australia. <Click here to access>


Hopfensperger, Paul J.Hand Held Computers for Roadside Screening Procedures, Incident Reporting and Other Police Applications”. First published in the proceedings of the 14th International Conference of The International Association for Chemical Testing (IACT), April 22-26, 2001, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. <Click here to access>


Bury St Edmunds Swimming Club 1978

Paul (centre aged 15) with the winners trophy at the Bury St Edmunds Sports and Leisure Centre as the Bury St Edmunds Swimming Club Captain in 1978, the first of three times he served as club captain.

Bury St Edmunds Fireworks 2001

Paul with the Mayor of St Edmundsbury, Cllr. Brian Bagnall, at the 2001 Bury St Edmunds Round Table Fireworks display in The Abbey Gardens, which he helped organise as a member of the Round Table.

Bury St Edmunds Round Table 2001

Paul presents cheques for £19,690 to Bury St Edmunds charities in his year as the 2001-2002 Chairman of Bury St Edmunds Round Table. The money was raised from the Annual Fireworks and Hot Air Balloon Festival.

St Nicholas' Hospice _Jail & Bail_ 2005_

Being "Arrested" as Deputy Mayor of Bury St Edmunds in 2005 to raise money for CLIC Sargent in Bury St Edmunds as part of their "Jail & Bail" fundraising Activities, watched by The Mayor, Cllr. Mike Ames.

Quadricentennial Procession 2006

Paul with his wife, Cllr. Rebecca Hopfensperger who was the 2006-2007 Mayor of Bury St Edmunds, leads the Bury St Edmunds Town Council Quadricentennial celebrations on July 8-9, 2006.

Paul Hopfensperger - English Channel 200

Paul Hopfensperger swimming from England to France on July 10, 2007 in 13 hours and 52 minutes. The 1st of 3 crossings (2008 & 2010) raising over £16,500 for his wife, the 2006-2007 Mayor of Bury St Edmunds's Charities.

USAFE Change of Command 2013

Paul served as an Honorary Commander for the 100th Maintenance and 100th Aircraft Maintenance Squadrons at RAF Mildenhall between 2010-2015. Here he accepts command from Lt. Colonel Joe Giuliani in 2013.

Bury St Edmunds Carnival 1984

Paul (left) outside his late father's Fish and Chip shop in Bury St Edmunds during the 1984 carnival. Paul was a member of Bury St Edmunds Round Table who organised the annual carnival until 2000. Photo: Paul Burgess.