HOLBEACH PARISH COUNCIL: New councillor elected to represent St Johns

NEW COUNCILLOR: Rita Patchett is to take over from Kay Piccaver as a member of Holbeach Parish Council for the St Johns' Ward.  Photo supplied.
NEW COUNCILLOR: Rita Patchett is to take over from Kay Piccaver as a member of Holbeach Parish Council for the St Johns' Ward. Photo supplied.
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Parish councillor Rita Patchett.

Coun Rita Patchett was elected to succeed Kay Piccaver and join existing councillors Paul Brighton and Rita Rudkin to speak for Holbeach St Johns and the surrounding area.

An ex-staff member at Tonwood Home Hardware in Holbeach, Coun Patchett was elected on the casting vote of parish council chairman Coun Martin Howard after deadlock when members voted seven to seven for her and fellow candidate Geoff Donley.

Coun Patchett said: “I am delighted to have been co-opted onto Holbeach Parish Council and although it is a voluntary position, it is also a privileged one and I pledge to do my best whilst undertaking this role.”

Parish council vice chairman, Coun Paul Foyster, said: “We are quite pleased to have new blood on the council, but it also needs a balance between older and younger members which Coun Patchett will help to address.

“We look forward to working with our new member but we also hope that Mr Donley, who stood as a councillor with her, will consider applying again or standing at the next election.”

• Parish councillors have relaxed their rules to allow a new memorial bench to be donated at Hallgate Cemetery.

The bench is in memory of George Morfoot who passed away in August, aged 87, and who sold the land on which the cemetery stands.

Mr Morfoot’s family will also be allowed to scatter his ashes around a tree he donated to the cemetery which opened ten years ago.

New guidelines for the cemetery were introduced in April 2016 to help council workers in maintaining it.

But Coun Terry Harrington said: “Mr Morfoot was very supportive when we struggled to find land for a new cemetery 13 or 14 years ago.”

• The work and people of Holbeach Parish Council will be available on computers and laptops across towns and villages in the near future.

Councillors have adopted a new “social media strategy” to include a Facebook page and YouTube channel, as well as policies on the use of both tools.

Any material will only be of “council business and not associations” members are part of.

• The manner in which paperwork, websites and other information tools are used by Holbeach Parish Council is to be tightened in line with new laws.

Fresh data protection guidelines, to be applied next May, will see the council adapting to a more “paperless” model.