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End of an era for Chipstable parish clerk Sheila Newman
8:00pm Thursday 3rd October 2013 in News
IT was the end of an era for Chipstable Parish Council this week as clerk Sheila Newman retired after a 32-year stint.
Sheila, 78, moved to neighbouring village Waterrow in 1969 with her husband before taking up the post as parish clerk in 1981.
Mum-of-two Sheila said she has enjoyed every minute of her 32 years with the parish council but did admit that she never intended to join.
She told the County Gazette: “In a way, I was bulldozed into being parish clerk because I was just at the old post office one day and I was told there was a position and to go to the next council meeting - before I knew it I was the clerk.
“I have found my time as clerk very interesting, realising how Taunton Deane Council works and the people that you need to contact when you have a problem and there have been excellent and so helpful.”
Sheila said the most notable change in her time as clerk is the development of computers.
She said: “I remember when computers were coming out and my husband wanted one but I wondered why on earth he would want one.
“Once I was shown how to use the computers and made the odd mistake I was fine.
“Now, I would be lost without it because emails are so fast compared to long-winded letters which you had to write.”
Sheila handed over the role to Karen Winter, 39, from Waterrow, at a meeting last night (Wednesday) and Sheila joked that she would have her spare room back now, which was full of council documents in boxes.
She added: “I am sure the new clerk will be splendid.”
Karen, who is a publisher and baker, moved to Waterrow around six years ago and lives with her husband and four-year-old daughter.
She said: “I am looking forward to being parish clerk because we like to be part of the community.
“It is a tight knit community here and this is a good opportunity to get involved and fill a valuable position.”
David Grandfield, chairman of Chipstable parish council, has worked with Sheila for the last ten years.
He said: “Sheila is extremely helpful and efficient and has dealt with any problems that have arisen.
“The parish councillors would like to thank her for all her hard work and wish her well for the future.”
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