Framlingham: New chairman for town council

A LONG-serving chairman of a town council has stepped down after eight years at the helm.

Stephanie Bennell has handed over the reins of Framlingham Town Council to Steve Lovett.

She had been chairman of the authority for eight years but decided it was the right time to take a step back.

She said she would like to thank her fellow councillors for their support as well as town clerk Eileen Coe.

“Framlingham Town Council has for some time had a reputation for being pro-active; aiming to give good value for money, providing services way beyond the statutory minimum and taking care of and enhancing the town,” Ms Bennell said.

“To my mind, the most important quality a town council chairman needs is the highest moral integrity – and it is also useful to have lots of patience and not be too attached to one’s own point of view.

“Therefore I am delighted to hand the gavel over to Steve, an excellent choice, and I give him all my good wishes and support for the future.

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“The main challenges ahead include ensuring that services that support the prosperity and well-being of the town are still provided if they should be reduced further by cash-strapped county and district councils.

“The other is trying to ensure that the future development of the town is balanced, and driven by what the town needs to maintain its special quality of life, rather than economic considerations alone.”

Mr Lovett, who has three grown-up children with his wife Julie, moved to a small-holding on the edge of Framlingham in 1993 and joined the town council last year.

He is chairman of the governors at the town’s Thomas Mills High School, vice-chairman of Framlingham Country Market and a First Responder.

As well as a qualified archery teacher, he is also assistant county commissioner for the Scouts, having previously been a Cub leader in Earl Soham for 17 years.