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Haverhill: Councillors pay tribute to outgoing town clerk

PUBLISHED: 16:02 22 January 2014 | UPDATED: 09:32 23 January 2014

Archant

Councillors have paid tribute to a “marvellous” council clerk after he handed in his resignation.

Haverhill Town Council clerk Will Austin resigned from the council on Tuesday after almost three years with the council, to spend more time with his family.

Betty McLatchy, who became a councillor around the same time Mr Austin took up his post, led the tributes to the town clerk.

She said: “He’s done a wonderful job. He’s been very supportive of all of us.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better town clerk and I don’t think any of the councillors would have a bad word to say about him. I used to get emails from him after midnight so I dread to think what time he was working until.

“He put so many hours in and was totally devoted to his work. I think he’s marvellous and I will miss him greatly.”

Mr Austin took the job in November 2011, moving to Haverhill from Devon. He had previously worked for Leicestershire and Dorset County Councils and Exeter City Council.

He will remain in the post until March, when he will take up the town clerk role with Barnstaple Town Council and move back to Devon, where his family still lives.

Maureen Byrne, Haverhill’s deputy mayor, said: “Will Austin was not only a great town clerk and had the respect and support from many, many organisations and residents; his commitment and support to all the town Ccouncillors, regardless of political groups, was professional, and he worked hard for us to work as a collective, which we did.

“His expertise and contribution to our town was over and above expectations. He helped us achieve great progress during his period as our town clerk.

“Above all, he is a very decent man, a man respected by many. I will truly miss him as a colleague and friend. I have learnt much from his expertise.”

Mayor Roger Andre added: “He has become a prominent force in the local community and has robustly defended the interests of our community.

“I shall miss Will as a dedicated, valued town clerk to the town council and as a staunch adviser and friend during challenging times.”

Haverhill Town Council is the biggest third-tier authority in Suffolk, with Mr Austin overseeing a transition of services over to the town from the borough council, such as running Haverhill Arts Centre.

He said: “I would like to place on record my sincerest thanks to council staff and town councillors, who have made this such an enjoyable and satisfying role. It is with great regret I am leaving.”

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