Putting the village first for 50 years

PUBLISHED: 16:00 31 May 2014

John Westlake (right) being congratulated by fellow councillor Mike Williamson

John Westlake (right) being congratulated by fellow councillor Mike Williamson

Archant

A PARISH councillor has clocked up half a century dedicating his time to improving village life and has seen the area transform.

John Westlake, then aged 34, was persuaded to join the Winscombe Parish Council in 1964.

He helped to set up a flood relief fund in 1968 following severe floods in which a female drowned off Nye Road.

He vividly remembers what he calls the Sandford Riots over the positioning of a travellers’ camp, which was eventually rejected.

In the 1970s the parish had few pavements and street lights, but after many years of battling for funding with other authorities the council managed to introduce them. John was also chairman of the parish council from 1984-1998, and in his time serving has seen a parish office, a community centre, allotments and a cemetery appear.

But what he considers his major achievement is the development of the Award Land, which is now a pleasant area to walk and view the surrounding countryside.

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