Is there really a need for a deputy town clerk?

SIR I fully agree with the letter from Charles Lee. (Town precept money should pay for necessities, Herald, March 21).

SIR - I fully agree with the letter from Charles Lee. (Town precept money should pay for necessities, Herald, March 21)I also most strongly object to the increase of the town precept, rising by £26,000 plus, most of which is to be used to employ a deputy town clerk. Our present clerk has taken on the prestigious appointment of President of the Town Clerks Association, for which I am pleased, and the town council has been allocated the powers to decide on trees and signs, from EDDC. Because of this we are told we need a deputy town clerk. My grandfather, the late Reginald Pickard, was town clerk of the Urban District Council for 21 years and, at the start of the war, and for the duration, he was food executive officer, fuel officer, Civil Defence liaison officer, chief billeting officer, and official Civil Defence umpire for Devon County Council. He was responsible for all wartime services from Dawlish to Lyme Regis, and the scheme he prepared for the co-ordination of the services was adopted by the county, and extended throughout the area, including the regional headquarters at Bristol. He was also chairman and treasurer of the Devon Urban Councils Association, honorary secretary of the Society of Clerks of Urban Councils, south western branch, which he represented on the National Executive for England and Wales. Now, apparently, we need both a town clerk and a deputy for the town council. My, how times have changed. We must be given a clear explanation for the need for yet another appointee. I have yet to meet anyone who agrees with the proposed appointment. Garland PickardRiversideSidmouthEditor's note: Sidmouth Town Council will hold the annual town assembly at 7pm in the Arts Centre, Station Road, on April 3. This meeting is open to the public and questions can be sent in advance by writing to Sidmouth Town Council, Woolcombe House, Woolcombe Lane, Sidmouth, EX10 9BB, or by sending an email to

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