Ex-magistrate steps up to town council role

A former magistrate who spent 30 years on the health and safety executive has filled the vacancy on Ottery Town Council.

Martin Thurgood, 65, said he has always been interested in serving the community, and was co-opted earlier this month.

The retired civil servant, who also worked in the construction industry in the UK and North America, moved to Ottery two years ago with his wife.

Cllr Thurgood said despite being brought up in West London he has always thought of Devon as being his roots, after his mother moved from Holsworthy during the Second World War.

He said he used to come back to the county every year to see family and friends, adding he and his wife ‘felt that Ottery was the natural choice in retirement’.

Having spent many years on the Youth Bench as a magistrate he said he was ‘well aware of the challenges that some young people face as they grow up’, and was interested in working with the community as a councillor.

Cllr Thurgood also said he has a keen interest in planning, ‘because of an affinity with the built environment’, and previous experience with contributing to local plans, and is looking forward to getting stuck into making a difference for the people of Ottery.