'I feel very honoured' - New town councillor co-opted

Alan Greenwood

Alan Greenwood said he felt "very honoured" to have been co-opted onto the council. - Credit: Noah Vickers

A Norfolk town council has welcomed a new member, as it seeks to fill vacancies left by resignations.

Dereham Town Council has been advertising two vacancies for several months, following the twin resignations of Alan and Kay Grey in January - one of which was filled by Kendra Cogman in March - and the resignation of Hilary Bushell in February. 

At a Tuesday meeting, the council decided to fill one of the remaining vacancies by co-option.  

Mayor Stuart Green explained that they would do the same at a later date for the other vacancy, because a candidate had been unable to attend this month’s meeting and it would be unfair to exclude them from a chance to join the council.

In a speech to the council, Alan Greenwood explained why he should be chosen.

Alan Greenwood gave a speech explaining why he should be chosen for the role.

Alan Greenwood gave a speech explaining why he should be chosen for the role. - Credit: Noah Vickers

Married to his wife Alison for 18 years, Mr Greenwood said they had three children and one grandchild.

“I have lived in or around Dereham all my life,” said Mr Greenwood, adding that he had worked for Tesco for the last 25 years, rising to become a senior night manager, and more recently taking on fewer hours as he works towards retirement. 

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Outside of work, Mr Greenwood is an allotment holder, and is learning to play the guitar.

“I’ve always been interested in politics and the importance of democracy, but never felt the need to join a political party," he said.

"When I learned that the town council was short of members, I really felt the time was right for me to volunteer."

Also running for the position was Tony Hunt, who in June raised a complaint against the council, saying that he had been unfairly treated on a host of allotment-related issues.

He said: "I've had some disagreements in the not-so-distant past with the council and its officers, but as far as I'm concerned, the past is gone and I'm now looking forward to the future."

In a secret ballot, councillors voted to co-opt Mr Greenwood. 

Alan Greenwood is sworn in to join the council.

Alan Greenwood is sworn in to join the council. Mr Greenwood will sit as an independent. - Credit: Noah Vickers

After the meeting, Mr Greenwood said: “I feel very honoured and I look forward to working to make Dereham a better place.

"I think a lot of towns have suffered with being run down over the last few years, and I think there is work to do to improve the environment in Dereham, so I look forward to working with everyone to deliver it.”