I moved here from Croydon with my partner Mary in 2018. We had fallen in love with Devon whilst holidaying with our dogs, but finding Axminster was pure chance. We quickly realised that the sign on Minster Green “The Home of Community Spirit” said it all.
At the 2019 Annual Parish Meeting the forthcoming local elections were discussed, and I decided to stand, secure in the knowledge that as a newcomer I’d never be elected. In the event not enough candidates stood so I was elected unopposed! Serving on the Town Council gave me the opportunity to use the skills I’d learned as a career Civil Servant, though the some of the vocabulary was different.
Within two months of joining the Council I was lucky enough to be part of the team visiting our twin town of Douvres la Delivrande in Normandy to mark the 75th anniversary of D Day. Both of my late parents served in the armed forces during the war, and my father remained in the RAF until retirement, so the celebration on Juno Beach was hugely poignant.
When COVID hit in 2020 one of the first people we knew to become unwell was David Moore, the Deputy Mayor, and he had to stand down. Anni Young, the Mayor, proposed that I replace him; we had worked together on a few projects by then and she thought we would make a good team. Which we did, not always agreeing but always being able to support each other and doing our best for the rest of the team and the town. Then in December Anni passed away suddenly in her sleep. I became acting Chair until the next full Council meeting when I was elected Mayor.
It continues to be an enormous honour to serve this community.