Sidmouth couple to step down from EDDC duties

The first married couple to both hold the office of chairman of East Devon District Council, to step down as district councillors

THE first married couple to both hold the office of chairman of East Devon District Council, will step down as district councillors in May after serving 37 years between them.

Graham and Ann Liverton, from Tyrell Mead, Sidmouth, have decided to step back from district council work, but both will remain town councillors if re-elected in the May elections.

“You have to make a decision whether you stand every four years. We sat down and wrote out the pros and cons for coming off and for going on,” said Ann, 65, who has served 16 years on EDDC and was chairman from 2003-2005.

“On May 4 I would have served 21 years on the district council,” said Graham, 58, who is currently chairman of the council.

“All our married life we haven’t stopped, we have both held all positions on the council, except that of leader,” said Ann. “Ever since being on the council we have played catch-up, now it is time to stop running.

“We are getting older, people around you become ill and then they are not there. It happens to everyone, you get to question what you want out of life.

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“Graham loves performing and can’t afford the time to do it. We want to give more time for ourselves and our family.”

She said EDDC had changed during her time as a councillor.

“There’s no money anymore. It delivers statutory services and there is no leeway to do much else.”

Both felt proud of being involved with the council’s affordable home provision and that of gypsy sites “against local opposition.”

Father of the town council, with 27 years service under his belt, Graham said: “The district council is close to my heart – as is the town council – and it has been an honour and privilege and I thank the electorate for giving us this opportunity to do what we have done.”

“We will miss other members up there, the camaraderie and some of the debate,” said Ann, who has been asked to take on chairmanship of the local Conservative branch.

Graham added: “It is not easy for us to say NO, but we will have to consider saying that, I want to go back to stage work and get my singing voice trained up. It is great fun, especially panto.”