WHAPLODE PARISH COUNCIL: Targets for new chairman Merchant

Coun Bob Merchant, chairman of Whaplode Parish Council.  Photo by Tim Wilson.  SG180114-146TW.
Coun Bob Merchant, chairman of Whaplode Parish Council. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG180114-146TW.
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A project to improve and expand Whaplode Cemetery is the main priority for new parish council chairman Coun Bob Merchant.

One of the longest-standing council members, Coun Merchant succeeds the only person to have been a councillor longer than him, Coun Morris Stancer.

Plans for Whaplode Cemetery are something that’s been ongoing for two or three years and it would be nice to see them finalised

Coun Bob Merchant, chairman, Whaplode Parish Council

Coun Merchant, who represents Whaplode ward, will have Whaplode St Catherine member Coun Tim Clay as vice chairman alongside him.

“I’ve been chairman several times before, having been a parish councillor for in excess of 40 years,” Coun Merchant said.

“Plans for Whaplode Cemetery are something that’s been ongoing for two or three years and it would be nice to see them finalised.”

“We’re at the stage now where we’re working on the spare piece of land that we’ve had for years to extend the cemetery space.

“As part of that, we intend to demolish the chapel and build a garden of remembrance that will have one of the village sculptures, Buttercup World, and improve the road down to the cemetery which is in a bit of a state.”

Coun Merchant also paid tribute to former colleague Mike Pullen who passed away earlier this month, aged 82.

“Mike was very active as far as Whaplode Playing Field and the youth club were concerned and he did some sterling work, both as a parish and a district councillor,” Coun Merchant said.

“He was a wonderful guy and we held a minute’s silence for Mike at our Whaplode Playing Field committee meeting last Thursday.”