Tributes paid after retirement of long-serving parish council clerk at Ditchingham

John Smith, who has retired after serving as clerk to Ditchingham Parish Council for 56 years.

John Smith, who has retired after serving as clerk to Ditchingham Parish Council for 56 years. - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to one of the region's longest serving parish council clerks who has recently retired.

John Smith was clerk to Ditchingham Parish Council for 56 years and served alongside many councillors and chairmen over the years.

Unfortunately due to his ill health it has not been possible to hold a function in the village to honour Mr Smith's long and devoted service.

One of the village's longest serving parish councillors, Vic Cossey, lead the tributes to Mr Smith.

'His courteous and professional manner when dealing with sometimes contentious issues was much appreciated by those with whom had dealings.

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'As a Ditchingham councillor for many years, I know that he undertook many tasks which were far beyond the duties of a parish clerk.

'He was diligent in obtaining grants for various projects, free skips for the annual village clean up and keeping the cemetery tidy,' said Mr Cossey.

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'He saved the council tax payers money by erecting footpath signs, dog and rubbish bins and by enlisting the help of villagers who were prepared to do work such as litter picking and hedging either voluntarily or at a minimal cost,' said Mr Cossey.

A statement issued on behalf of all parish councillors said: ' Councillors, past and present, and the whole community are deeply appreciative of the conscientious service John provided over all those years; nothing was too much trouble if parishioners needed the clerk's help.

'Unfortunately, at the time of writing, John is very poorly and a small reception, at which we would have expressed our thanks, could not be held.

'On behalf of the village, we send our thanks and best wishes to John Smith.'

The new clerk of Ditchingham Parish Council is Sally Chapman who can be contact by email at

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