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Former Sheringham mayor vows to fight for a “united” council

PUBLISHED: 18:16 14 November 2017 | UPDATED: 18:32 14 November 2017

Former Sheringham mayor David Gooch, who has promised to continue as a town councillor. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Former Sheringham mayor David Gooch, who has promised to continue as a town councillor. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

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Sheringham’s former mayor David Gooch, who resigned last week citing a lack of support, has pledged to continue as a town councillor, and work towards mending divisions within the council.

Sheringham’s former mayor David Gooch, who resigned last week citing a lack of support, has pledged to continue as a town councillor, and work towards mending divisions within the council.

Mr Gooch thanked those who had backed him, adding that because he did not have the support of some councillors, he chose to step down.

“Without the full support of the council, you can’t do the job efficiently,” he explained. “I felt that maybe somebody else would be able to reunite the council into a single entity so that we could work fully for the residents and businesses of Sheringham.”

After working as an assistant district manager for Halifax Building Society in Exeter, former high school teacher Mr Gooch moved to Sheringham with his family in the late 1980s to take on the Chocolate Box sweet shop in Church Street, which he and his wife Christine ran for ten years.

The couple, who have two children and four grandchildren, then headed back to his childhood home of Lowestoft, before retiring to Sheringham in 2005, when they quickly threw themselves into community life.

They are both long-standing members of Sheringham in Bloom, with Mr Gooch also a member of the town’s Patient Participation Group and a past member of the Sheringham Players amateur dramatics group.

A chance meeting with a town councillor friend ten years ago led to Mr Gooch attending an open meeting and, keen to support his adopted home town, he agreed to go along with his friend’s suggestion and stand as a councillor.

Mr Gooch, who has been a council finance officer “from day one”, went on to serve as deputy mayor for four years, before being made mayor two-and-a-half years ago.

The role, which so far this year has seen him attend 66 meetings and 52 events, has taken up a large part of his spare time, with Mrs Gooch also helping by taking on administrative tasks.

“It is a fairly intensive job, but I do it for the good of Sheringham; I’ve had benefits from the town, and I would like to think that I have been able to put something back,” he said.

“I have tried to represent the town for locals and visitors to the best of my ability.”

Mr Gooch, who, as a town councillor, will continue as a financer officer, also sitting on the employment, community centre and allotments, commons and cemetery committees, thanked all those who had sent messages of support and said his greatest hope for the future of the town was to see the proposed new leisure centre and hotel built.

“It has been an absolute privilege to be mayor,” he added. “I have had a chance to meet so many different people from all walks of life, all of whom are interesting in their own right.”

Thanking Mr Gooch for the time and commitment he had given as mayor, town councillor Madeleine Ashcroft said: “Saddened as I am that David has tendered his resignation mid-term, I quite understand the reasons. The time we spend on the council is entirely voluntary and I wish to thank David on behalf of us all.”

Apology

The photograph used to accompany the news of Mr Gooch’s resignation on the front page of last week’s North Norfolk News was of another gentleman with the same name. We sincerely apologise for any upset or embarrassment this may have caused. Mr Gooch has also asked us to point out that he is in good health and his decision to stand down as mayor was in no way due to medical reasons.

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