New look town council set for first full meeting since election

Halesworth Thoroughfare

Halesworth Thoroughfare - Credit: Archant

A town council is set to meet for the first time since being restored to full strength following the resignation of five members earlier this year.

Five new councillors will take their seats at Monday’s full meeting of Halesworth Town Council, having been elected at the beginning of August, following the resignations of five councillors in May, when former chairmen Ezra and Sandra Leverett stood down with David Fosdike, Andrew Jones and Janet Wright.

The five newly elected candidates, who join six others on the town council, are Nat Bocking, Stephen Burroughes, Dr Andrew Payne, David Thomas and Maureen Took.

Mr Burroughes, a district and county councillor, said: “I wanted to get involved because a lot of the villages I represent are on the doorstep of Halesworth. It has been a difficult time for the town council lately but I was happy to put my name forward. The council has faced criticism in the past for a perceived lack of transparency, so I want to ensure that we engage the whole community. ”

Dr Payne, who is due to retire at the end of September as a scientist with the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), said: “Although I have had no involvement before, I am prepared to give back to the community I have lived in for the last 13 years. I am apolitical but I have strong views that I believe the town council can benefit from. My involvement will be based strictly on evidence. It has to be. I can’t make everyone happy but I will listen to all arguments and advance the town forward.”

David Thomas, former town, district and county councillor, and one-time Euro MP, said: “I’ll be trying to work with the rest of the members to bring more to Halesworth.

“Having been on the council before, I was asked by several people in the town to stand again following the resignation of five members.”

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Councillors agreed that a major development for the town over the next year will be the continuation of work on the Halesworth Campus Project, set up to transform the town’s former middle school into a community resource centre and sports complex.

Nat Bocking and Maureen Took were unavailable.

The new council will meet from 7pm on Monday, September 2, at the Day Centre Room of the local council office in London Road.