New Dorchester Town Clerk chosen
New Dorchester Town Clerk chosen
ADRIAN Stuart has been chosen as the new Town Clerk of Dorchester, taking over from Dennis Holmes who retires in June.
Mr Stuart, 49, of Winterborne Kingston, has spent all his working life in local government, mostly in Dorset.
But surely no other post has the prestige and history that the role of town clerk of our county town conveys.
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Mr Stuart will be the 30th town clerk since William Derby was appointed in 1629.
Mind you, it is not that easy to tell from the list of names as it is possible that it was the same Robert Colson who held the post twice in the early 18th century.
And fathers and sons with the same surnames feature - Loder, Colson, Stickland and Symonds pop up several times.
The 26 years served by Dennis Holmes is particularly impressive but others were long-serving too, notably Adrian Hands who served as town clerk from 1922 to 1949.
Mr Stuart is currently the director of corporate services with the West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council shared services partnership.
Mr Holmes retires on 30th June and the new boy will join the council in June in a shadow role, taking over full responsibility for the management of the town council's activities on 1st July.
Mr Stuart said: "Dorchester has a very exciting future ahead of it and the town council is well placed to support the town's development.
"The town is growing significantly with the Poundbury and Brewery Square developments adding to its population.
"At the same time the town is facing the challenge that the change in the national economic picture is forcing on the public sector, which is the biggest employer locally."
He said his appointment represented a fresh and exciting challenge for him.
Among his new duties could well be dressing up as Wee Willie Winkie for an annual children's event at the Borough Gardens - a role Mr Holmes played surprisingly well - along with formal and ceremonial occasions.
Councillor Trevor Jones, chairman of the council's policy committee, led the recruitment process and paid tribute to Mr Holmes.
He said: "Dorchester is a very different place now to what it was then and he has helped the council deliver a host of improvements during his time here."
Small change adds up
A CERTAIN supermarket likes to tell us how every little helps and that was the case at the Dorchester branch of HSBC the other day.
A man had so many coppers to feed into a charity box on the counter that there was time to hold a conversation with him about it.
As he continued to pump pennies and tuppences into the cancer charity box it emerged that it was change left by customers at the Works bookshop where he works.
What nice people, the cashier and I agreed, to gather the money to donate to charity.
And, in these times when banks have few friends, how lovely that this one should do its bit to help a good cause.