Sudbury: Deputy town clerk Jacqui Howells promoted as town heads for new era of transparency
- Credit: Gregg Brown
A new town clerk has been appointed in Sudbury putting an end to a “difficult period of uncertainty” following the dismissal of the former clerk in February.
Jacqui Howells has held the role of deputy town clerk for the past six years but took on the top job on a temporary basis when long-standing clerk Sue Brotherwood was sacked for gross misconduct relating to procedural irregularities.
Following a “rigorous selection process”, Mrs Howells, 58, has now been awarded the role on a permanent basis and she has pledged to work with the local community in a new era of transparency.
She said: “It has been a very difficult period of uncertainty for the staff and councillors since the beginning of the year and I am grateful for all the support they have given to me.
“We are looking to change some of our processes, to become more transparent and tighten up procedures.
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“I am committed to working with the people of Sudbury and would like to see more people involved with the council.
“I would encourage residents to come along to the monthly council meetings where they can say their piece on anything that’s worrying them.
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“That way we can work together to make Sudbury a really good place in which to live and work.”
The role of the former town clerk has been split into two and the council will shortly appoint a deputy clerk/responsible finance officer to handle the accounts.
Town mayor, Robert Spivey, who was involved in the recruitment and selection process said: “The council followed professional advice on recruitment and selection.
“I am pleased to say that we had an extremely strong field of applicants who we put through a rigorous selection process.
“Jacqui has the respect of the councillors and staff following a very difficult period – she has led the team that has kept the show on the road and she has represented the council well to the outside world during the past months.
“She has the skills to pull the operations of the council together to get us over the past difficulties and prepare it for the new things likely to come our way.”
Mrs Howells, who lives near Bury St Edmunds, previously worked as manger of Harwich Tourist Information Centre for seven years and was manager of student travel at Essex University for 16 years before that.