Dear Residents of the village of Huish Episcopi                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Over the many years that I have served on the Huish Episcopi Parish Council up until the last year or so, all Council business had been conducted in a supportive, respectful and efficient manner. The effects of the resulting decisions made will speak for themselves; however this positive environment is increasingly under stress.

Recently a significant atmosphere of mistrust and discourtesy has surfaced, mainly directed at me. Following the April Council Meeting, a member of the public remarked, “I was thoroughly disgusted, you did not deserve to be treated like that.” If allowed to continue unchecked, it is inevitable that this disruptive behaviour will have a detrimental impact on the quality of Council decisions and outcomes.

This depressing outlook has led me to conclude that it is timely for a younger individual to take on the mantle of Chairman of the Parish Council. I have, therefore, taken the decision to retire from the Council that I have served for more than 44 years, the last 16 of which as Chairman.

During my time, the Council has made every effort to ensure that parishioners’ money, the precept component of the community rates, is used diligently for the benefit of all residents and not squandered on ill-judged or impractical projects. Coupled with this, Councillors have endeavoured to ensure that reserves have steadily been built up in the hope that one day, together with any grants attracted, we might have our own village hall similar to those found in many of the villages that surround us. Whatever the use of these reserves it should be carefully monitored by all, especially the Council’s ratepayers - after all it is your money!

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all parishioners to attend the Huish Episcopi Parish Council meetings, or at least read the agendas and minutes, which are available on the Parish Council website and notice board in the Parish Council car park opposite St. Mary’s Church.

Finally I would like to express my sincere thanks to all who have supported me, and by extension the Council, over the years and I hope you feel that the trust that you placed in me has been proved well-founded.

 

Shirley Nicholas

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