THE man who helped to transform Pegswood Parish Council’s fortunes has retired.
Peter Basnett joined the authority as Clerk in 2003 during a time of financial difficulties and after getting it back on track, he contributed greatly to the development of its projects and community standing.
The vast improvements were rewarded in 2009 when it achieved Quality Status through the National Association of Local Councils.
He has stepped down to spend more time with his family, including his wife Barbara and their growing number of grandchildren. His replacement is former Deputy Clerk Kevin Cassie.
“The parish council was at a very low ebb when I joined and my first task was to get it on a sound financial footing,” said Mr Basnett.
“Once this happened, I worked with councillors to make things better and increase our activities for the benefit of the village.
“We’re a pro-active authority and while others are taking on a lot of services from the county council, we were already running most of them and there are only a couple left for us to take over, such as the cemetery.
“I had a great deal of job satisfaction, the councillors were fantastic with me and the people of Pegswood are very friendly and helpful. The icing on the cake was getting Quality Status as it meant we’re among the best performing parish councils in Northumberland.
“The council is in good hands as Kevin is very experienced in local government and I’m sure he’ll take it forward to new heights.”
Mr Cassie has previously worked for Newcastle City Council, primarily in the planning and highways department.
He said: “I have over 35 years’ experience in local government and want to help make a difference to the wellbeing of the residents of Pegswood.
“When I started working with Pegswood Parish Council I quickly understood that Peter would be a hard act to follow.
“When I finally hang up my working boots in favour of retirement I hope the same will be said of me.
“One of the things I will be looking to do in the next few months is build up connections with all the county council departments and some of its officers, as well as other organisations such as the police.”
An Assistant Parish Clerk has also been appointed. Jenny Tindale has more than 30 years of experience gained in the voluntary, community, statutory and private sectors and she has specialised in community consultation, project management and regeneration initiatives.