SERVICE: David will be hard to follow

Although my wife and I live in south east Northumberland we always buy and enjoy the local newspaper.

I particularly admire and appreciate the coverage given to the various parishes and look forward to the reports.

It pays tribute to the hundreds of residents within the area who give up their time, voluntarily and unpaid, to make their community a better place to live. On Saturday, October 17, some 30 parish councils came together for their annual conference.

Among the business was a presentation by the guest speaker Dr David Francis, former Chief Executive of Community Action Northumberland and Secretary of the Northumberland Association of Local Councils. David also chairs Newton and Swarland Parish Council. He is due to retire from his employment on March 31, 2016. After 30 years of service he regaled to us stories and anecdotes of those years.

Just like many parish councillors, his enthusiasm and support shone through. Similarly, not originally from this area, he has grown to not just appreciate the diversity and many features the county has to offer, but quickly learned it is the people, our communities, that knit us together.

Through those years there have been many changes, which he has overseen. Many of which have bonded many communities together as neighbours working for each other. Along the road many new contacts were made and the contact list became exhaustive, networking to achieve the best for every individual. He will be hard to replace, but on behalf of thousands throughout our wonderful and unique county who have benefitted from his dedication, wish both him and his wife many more years of enjoyment within Northumberland.

Alex Wallace

Vice-President

Northumberland Association of Local Councils