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Alpheton Parish Council clerk retires after 39 years of service

PUBLISHED: 11:26 12 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:26 12 April 2018

Julie Rix with long-serving councillors Graham Maskell and Richard Kemp. Picture: ALPHETON PARISH COUNCIL

Julie Rix with long-serving councillors Graham Maskell and Richard Kemp. Picture: ALPHETON PARISH COUNCIL

Archant

A Suffolk parish clerk has said goodbye to councillors after 39 years of serving a village community.

Julie Rix, clerk for Alpheton Parish Council, retired at the parish meeting on April 4 and councillors past and present paid tribute and said farewell.

Mrs Rix, who was appointed in 1979 on a salary of £25-a-year, worked with six chairmen and 25 different councillors during her time, three of whom are still members of the parish council.

Mrs Rix said: ““Truda Simpson was the clerk before me, and she wanted to hand it on, and she just asked me. I’d not long moved to Alpheton.

“She said it was a doddle, so I said ‘yes’. She came up with a small cardboard box with a few bits and pieces in and left me to it.

“I was lucky enough to have Bunny Morris as my first chairman. It was great because he was very knowledgeable and had been doing it for a while, and I learnt it as I went along. Going on courses as necessary, but learning on the job really.”

Mrs Rix says the main change she has noticed in 39 years is “masses more red tape, much more paperwork”.

She said: “I think the village has changed since I became clerk. Perhaps that’s what villages do. They ebb and flow, and you can’t expect everyone who moves in to join in everything.

“But it’s a nice village, everyone is supportive of each other. It’s a good community.

“We’ve had new things pop up, like Coffee Pot, which has been very successful. We had a youth club at one time which has stopped, but other things take their place.

“The school, the pub, shop had gone before I moved here. The church is still going. We haven’t lost or gained anything major in the time that I have been clerk.”

Mrs Rix and husband Peter have always been involved in village life. “We were on the village hall committee for 30 years between us. Peter was chairman and I was secretary,” she said.

“I had the children – Katie and Chris – when I was parish clerk, and was a local authority appointed school governor at Shimpling, and then Lawshall. The nice thing is that Katie is following on. She’s a councillor at Shimpling, and a governor at Lawshall.”

The new clerk and responsible finance officer is Nicola Smith, who is a parish councillor in Lavenham and is also clerk to Bradfield St Clare Parish Council and Preston St Mary Parish Council, and is finance officer to Monks Eleigh Parish Council.

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