New and outgoing vice chairman of Sidmouth Town Council praised

The town council's new Vice Chairman Cllr Ian Barlow with the Chairman Cllr Ian Mckenzie-Edwards.

The town council's new Vice Chairman Cllr Ian Barlow with the Chairman Cllr Ian Mckenzie-Edwards. - Credit: Archant

The incoming and outgoing vice-chairman of Sidmouth Town Council have been praised for their commitment to the town.

For personal reasons, Councillor John Dyson has made the difficult decision to step down after a year in the role.

At the annual town council meeting on Monday, Cllr Ian Barlow was elected to take on the position, while Cllr Ian McKenzie-Edwards was reelected as chairman for the second term.

Cllr John Rayson said that Cllr McKenzie-Edwards had performed his duties in his first year with ‘dignity’ and that he had an ‘enviable knowledge of Sidmouth’.

Cllr Barlow also praised him for chairing council meetings very ‘effectively’ and for being an excellent ambassador for the town.

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Cllr David Barratt, who put Cllr Barlow forward as the new vice-chairman, said: “When Ian joined the council in 2011, he brought the qualities of a dynamic business entrepreneur with a real ‘can-do’ attitude.

“He has channelled an initial frustration with the speed of the democratic process into taking the lead on a number of projects, not least bringing the Red Arrows back to Sidmouth, as well as vastly improving the town’s Christmas lights.

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“He has also been a very effective chair of the planning committee.

“Ian is exactly the man to help move our council forward as vice-chairman.”

Cllr Barratt also paid tribute to Cllr Dyson, who plans to continue as a member of the council.

He said: “His reasons are personal, but his decision is, he feels, in the best interests of the council.

“I think that this decision is truly selfless and indicative of the character of the man.”

The comments were echoed with much support and applause from fellow councillors at the meeting.

Cllr Dyson, who has been a member of the authority for around a decade, said he wished Cllr Barlow the best of luck and added that he was an excellent choice, bringing invaluable experience to the council.

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