Dunmow Town Council's clerk retires after 17 years service
LONG-STANDING town clerk Owen Wilson is retiring after 17 years service to Great Dunmow. With family roots in the town stretching back for more than 100 years, Mr Wilson, 60, said: Great Dunmow is my home town and that s what made my time as clerk so sp
LONG-STANDING town clerk Owen Wilson is retiring after 17 years' service to Great Dunmow.
With family roots in the town stretching back for more than 100 years, Mr Wilson, 60, said: "Great Dunmow is my home town and that's what made my time as clerk so special - it's more than just a job."
After taking on the role in 1992, Mr Wilson's tenure as town clerk comes to an end in October when he and his wife will move to Northern Ireland where they have family and friends.
"I have done the job for a long period of time because it constantly changes and is never dull," said Mr Wilson. "But it's time to let other people bring fresh ideas to the role."
The position of town clerk is as an officer to the council and is non-elected. The role is to advise councillors and requires a wide spread of knowledge in areas such as law, finance and politics.
"I have been very fortunate in that the vast majority of councillors I have worked with have been progressive and wanted to move forward, but at the same time value the town's traditions," said Mr Wilson.
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Throughout his 17 years, he was involved in a number of major projects in the town including the construction of the Dourdan Pavilion and the skatepark and the extension of Foakes Hall.
One of his many highlights was when the office of town mayor was created in 2000. The first mayor of Great Dunmow, Cllr Douglas James, received the chains of office from Lord Braybrooke the Lord Lieutenant of Essex.
Mr Wilson said: "The position was symbolic of the progress the council had made and how its role had become more significant in the town. The council has become more important in the life of the town. "
Some of the biggest challenges the council has faced during his time as town clerk have been fighting off attempts to close the post office and the ambulance station and a bid to build an asylum centre.
"The council has been a champion for the town," said Mr Wilson. "Great Dunmow will continue to grow, but the council must resist the pressures that threaten to spoil the environment."
"The town's motto is 'May Dunmow Prosper' - the challenge is allow Dunmow to prosper economically and keep it special."
Interviews for a new town clerk will be held in September.