Banburyshire parish council chairman retires after 31 years and a host of village improvements

A parish council clerk who ended up becoming chairman has stepped down after 31 years in the job.

By Roseanne Edwards
Monday, 23rd May 2022, 4:00 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd May 2022, 4:01 pm
Marlene Cowell, who has stepped down as Milcombe Parish Council after 31 years
Marlene Cowell, who has stepped down as Milcombe Parish Council after 31 years

Marlene Cowell was presented with a bouquet of flowers by the current Milcombe parish council as a thank you for her long-standing work for the village.

Mrs Cowell has been clerk, councillor and chairman, serving Milcombe during three decades as well as performing her duties as Church Warden.

Thanking the council for her bouquet Mrs Cowell offered her own grateful thanks to her colleagues and county and district councillors for their support of the village.

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"When I resigned as clerk, it wasn’t my original intention to become a councillor or to end up as chairman,” she said. “I need to pay tribute to Theresa Goss (the current parish council clerk) as it can’t have been easy for her working with the ex-clerk. However we have worked well together and supported each other.

“All this means that I have been a part of Milcombe Parish Council for 31 years and, although reluctant to make the decision not to stand again because it has been such a large part of my life, I know that I shall really miss it.

“When I first went to help out as clerk – it was only meant to be on a temporary basis as I had been living in Bloxham for quite a few years but always kept strong connections with Milcombe. I just went along to help Ken Wincott who was a long standing chairman and had been my neighbour when I lived in Milcombe.

“So, the temporary position turned into something more permanent. After Ken Wincott, I worked under Beryl Whing, James Smith and Cliff Potter. I pay tribute to them all. There were very few computers and mobile phones, so all correspondence came through the post and there were paper plans for all developments.

"The Play Area was donated to the village by Automotive Products for the sum of just £1. The Parish Council took it over along with all the maintenance,” she said.

“Early on the PC had the church tower clock installed plus the extension to the churchyard and they had agreed to be responsible for future maintenance of both. The first dog bins appeared plus waste bins which were paid for by the PC and then the bus shelter on Bloxham Road. A second bus shelter was recently installed on New Road with funding organised by Cllr Kieron Mallon.”

Mrs Cowell mentioned the parish council’s Millennium map, delivered to every house with reproduced paintings of the village by Jill Revie, and the Millennium lighting for the Dovecote. Bollards on verges and gates on each approach road and 30mph flashing speed signs were also organised by the PC as well as updating of the play equipment

She also mentioned the forthcoming installation of a defibrillator at village hall and work on a new church clock mechanism.

“These projects make up the PC’s contributions for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee,” she said.

Mrs Cowell was honoured in 2012 and 2013 with invitations to two Royal Garden Parties for services to the community. She appealed for new members to help the council with work on its Neighbourhood Development Plan.