Halesworth Town Council appoints new chairman

Chairman of Halesworth Town Council, Peter Dutton. Picture: Halesworth Town Council

Chairman of Halesworth Town Council, Peter Dutton. Picture: Halesworth Town Council - Credit: Halesworth Town Council

A man who decided to join a town council after being asked to “put up or shut up,” has now been elected as its chairman.

Peter Dutton was elected as chairman of Halesworth Town Council at the recent annual general meeting.

The 75 year old was a keen campaigner in the town before he decided to join the town council around two years ago.

He said: “Nothing seemed to be happening at the time in regards to threats over the closure of the Patrick Stead Hospital and this was something I campaigned over.

“It was at that point people asked me to ‘put up or shut up’ and that’s when I decided to put up and try and join the council and see if I could do anything.”

At the time there was around six independents, including Mr Dutton, who got in automatically without an election as there was 12 seats on the council.

Since then among the things he has been involved in was the reinstatement of the Halesworth throughfare.

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The one hour free parking spaces in the town’s throughfare was last year brought back until at least March 2018.

Improvements at Halesworth crossing was also another feature that was needed.

Now in his new role as chairman of the council, he said there are many things that will be part of his attention in the future.

He said: “I was quite suprised but happy to be elected as chairman.

“Halesworth is a rapidly growing town and its expected to grow by 20pc and that number could potentially increase.

“This is going to put a significant demand on the infrastructure in the town and facilities such as schools and doctor surgeries which wouldn’t be able to take the extra numbers.

“That’s something as a town council I expect will take a lot of our time over the upcoming years to come.”

During Halesworth Town Council’s AGM, councillor David Wollwebber was elected as vice chairman.

The council now has a full complement of councillors since the recent co-option of Keith Forster.

Do you have any Halesworth stories? Email amy.smith@archant.co.uk.