'I want the best' - New town councillor’s pitch for change

Kendra Cogman

Kendra Cogman was co-opted onto Dereham Town Council by a unanimous vote on Tuesday. - Credit: Submitted

A Norfolk town council has welcomed a new member who said she wants “the best” for her area.

Kendra Cogman, who has lived in Dereham for more than 12 years, was co-opted by unanimous vote onto the council on Tuesday.

Ms Cogman, a Labour member, said in her pitch to the council: “I want the best for Dereham. 

“I’d like to be involved in keeping what works for us already and also to be a part of making the most of opportunities for positive change.

“I think that’s particularly important at the moment - hopefully, post-pandemic - because there will be a lot of opportunities that we don’t want to miss, in order to make improvements and bring people together and to make the council, and politics with a small ‘p'... More accessible to a wider audience." 

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Professionally, Ms Cogman works as a regional officer with the National Education Union and previously taught in a west Norfolk primary school. She has also volunteered as an independent visitor to a child in foster care.

With an ecology degree, the self-described “40-something-year-old mum-of-one” said she had been involved with wildlife trusts and cares “very much for the environment”.

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Ms Cogman, who grew up in Suffolk, said she moved to Dereham as a single, young woman but now has a daughter, and a husband who recently started a local business. 

Alan and Kay Grey are setting up shop in Dereham. Picture: Nick Butcher

Councillors Alan and Kay Grey resigned from the town council in January. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Ms Cogman was the only person to put herself forward for the role, following the January resignations of Kay and Alan Grey. The second vacancy is yet to be co-opted. 

Hilary Bushell, mayor of Dereham, has voiced concerns over the impact of 255 new homes in Dereham. P

Former mayor Hilary Bushell resigned from the town council in February. - Credit: Archant

Former mayor Hilary Bushell’s February resignation left a third vacancy. If fewer than 10 requests for a by-election to replace her are received by Breckland District Council by March 16, then Dereham Town Council will co-opt a third new member. 

Residents interested in being co-opted to fill the second vacancy should contact Dereham Town Council at generalenquiries@derehamtowncouncil.org or on 01362 693821.

Voters in Dereham Neatherd requesting a by-election to replace Hilary Bushell should write to The Returning Officer, Breckland Council, Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham, Norfolk, NR19 1EE.

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