Norfolk County Council leader delivers as husband’s deputy
- Credit: Archant
As a town, district and county councillor, Methodist lay preacher and chairman of Cromer's twinning association, community stalwart Hilary Cox has a busy diary.
But she has now added another job to her daily schedule after taking on husband William's paper round while he recovers from a heart attack.
Mr Cox, 69, was rushed to hospital last Tuesday after suffering from the attack and underwent surgery to have two stents put in. He is recuperating at home in Clifton Park and been told to take it easy.
But the pair did not want to let his boss from The Treat Shop newsagent down, and wanted Mr Cox to be able to return to the round once recovered so Mrs Cox – who is also chairman of Norfolk County Council – is now doing it in his place.
For six days a week she laces up her trainers, loads up her fluorescent bag and sets off around the town.
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The 62-year-old said: 'I get up at six o'clock when Willy goes out anyway. The round starts at 6.45am and takes an hour.
'I have to say the last couple of mornings I have done it it's really been quite relaxing to go out there in the fresh air. Where better can you have a paper round than by the sea?
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'I like the exercise and you meet different people that time of the day as well.'
And she thought the round also represented an important part of community life.
She added: 'I'm a great believer in keeping things local and keeping the newspaper. There's a communication with taking the papers out and meeting people.
'There's a lady who's housebound and you take the paper into her and have a two-minute chat.
'That makes such a difference, seeing people in their gardens or kitchen window in the morning.'
Mrs Cox said she had been able to fit the round into her packed diary, mainly due to its early start, but admitted some days had proved to be particularly full on.
'Monday was probably the busiest,' she said.
'I did the paper round in the morning, had a full council meeting up until 1.15pm, then some training, then had an hour's meeting with my PA and a full town council meeting (in the evening).'
The round also marks a nostalgic return for Mrs Cox, who had a job delivering papers as a teenager, and she said she would miss the work once Mr Cox is back to full health.
'Perhaps I'm just lucky with the time of year as the weather's nice,' she added. 'He's welcome to have the round back when the weather breaks again.'
Mr Cox is set to recover over the next six weeks but vowed he would 'be right' before then.
He said: 'There isn't a finer fitness than walking and I've been doing it so long I've got to recognise people's snoring.'
The couple, daily EDP readers, had been together more than 20 years before tying the knot at St Paul's Cathedral in London in January.