I am very pleased to be part of this initiative to make members of the Parish Council better known to you all.
I became a member of Great Bentley Parish Council shortly after coming to live in the village in the days when Gordon Lord was chairman and have served continuously since then. On the Council I have specialised in Street lighting and Finance. I moved to this part of the country from Peterborough to work as an Electrical Design Engineer with Eastern Electricity and together with Janet brought up our family in the village. Our son Andrew now lives in a similar village to ours Gt Chesterford near Saffron Walden and daughter Catherine at Castle Donnington which also has a similar character to Great Bentley although a little larger.
There are few parts of village life where I have not taken part including Chair of School Governors and then District Councillor for 18 years. During this time I became Chairman of the Parish Council and later the Chairman of Tendring District Council.
My main attention has been focused on the work of the Methodist Church as it seeks to serve the Young and Old of our community. I also serve as a lay preacher in the Tendring area. I currently lead the village Youth club providing for those in early secondary school.
I have been Chairman of Great Bentley Good Neighbours since it began 33 years ago. This is why the picture selected is of me receiving the certificate with the current team running GBGN when it received the Pride of Tendring award from the Lord Lieutenant of Essex this January.
In the wider Tendring Community I am Chairman of the Tendring District Association of local Councils representing all the Parishes in Tendring. I also represent us on the Older Peoples Forum and the Essex County Tendring Locality Board.
We arrived in the village just after there had been upheaval with new housing estates being built and now we are again facing more as the Government demands that housing is built to serve the needs of families. Sadly Tendring District Council has not got its act together to plan where housing is to be built and thus we are at the mercy of developers. This leads to little thought going into where best to build, to sustain the communities. Thus there is so much upset when new areas are suggested by developers for housing. We therefore have to do all we can to ensure housing is best placed to serve Great Bentley and the whole of the Tendring District.
Whatever we do, we must ensure that the caring and sharing nature of the welcome we received when we came, is maintained as we welcome newcomers into the life of our village. We must continue to be a good place to live.