East Devon councillor appointed temporary deputy town clerk of Axminster

  Posted: 12.10.21 at 13:32 by Francesca Evans

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East Devon district councillor Paul Hayward has been appointed the temporary deputy town clerk of Axminster.

Cllr Hayward is an Independent East Devon Alliance member of East Devon District Council (EDDC) representing the Yarty ward, which includes some of the villages on the outskirts of Axminster.

He serves as deputy leader and portfolio holder for economy and assets at EDDC.

Cllr Hayward is also currently the clerk for All Saints Parish Council, Chardstock Parish Council and Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Council.

He was appointed the locum deputy town clerk and responsible financial officer of Axminster Town Council at this week's meeting, following the resignation of both town clerk Hilary Kirkcaldie and deputy town clerk Zishan Adamson-Drage.

Miss Kirkcaldie will not technically be leaving the council until the end of the year, but has a lot of holiday to take between now and December, and Mrs Adamson-Drage has already left to take up a new job.

The council needed to appoint a locum to ensure council business continued to be carried out smoothly in their absence.

The Mayor of Axminster, Cllr Jill Farrow, assured the public that Cllr Hayward "did not have a conflict of interests" in taking up the position, despite his roles at East Devon and at various other parish councils in the area.

She said, however, he may have to exclude himself from some issues relating to Axminster discussed by EDDC.

Mrs Kirkcaldie, who has been town clerk of Axminster for more than 20 years, officially announced her resignation at this week's meeting.

Paying tribute to her, Cllr Farrow said: "The town council will be a very different place without you. Your expertise and massive knowledge of the town will be greatly missed."

The mayor added that the long-standing clerk had "served the town diligently" and she thanked her on behalf of all former mayors.

Speaking in the public forum, former councillor Brian Watson also thanked Mrs Kirkcaldie for her long service and hard work on behalf of all those who had previously served on Axminster Town Council.

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