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Old Hunstanton parish clerk Glynis scoops county award

From left, Old Hunstanton Parish Council vice-chairman Julia Mackinder, chairman David McLeod, Shirley Matthews, Glynis Allen and Catherine Moore
From left, Old Hunstanton Parish Council vice-chairman Julia Mackinder, chairman David McLeod, Shirley Matthews, Glynis Allen and Catherine Moore

There were celebrations at Old Hunstanton’s parish council meeting on Thursday as Glynis Allen was named as Norfolk’s top clerk in the small parishes category of the annual award.

A surprise presentation was made just ahead of the meeting by Shirley Matthews, chairman of the Norfolk Association of Local Councils (NALC).

Mrs Matthews, a member of the Swaffham town and Breckland district councils, told her: “It was an outstanding submission.

“The judges’ decision was unanimous and you are a worthy winner of this prestigious award.”

Old Hunstanton parish council came into existence about 10 years ago and, since then, Glynis has worked tirelessly towards achieving some really important ambitions.

This year saw the council achieve a big milestone when it opened its new children’s playground, following a campaign of fundraising and securing grant support, as well as the backing of both Norfolk County Council, West Norfolk Council and the landowners, the Le Strange Estate.

Initiated by a young local girl, Jade Sandy and her mother, the challenge was taken up by the then chairman, John Dobson, with Glynis assisting at every opportunity.

Other supporters of the project included the Parochial Church Council, local Masonic Lodges, the Tesco Bags of Help campaign, the Geoffrey Watling Charity, the Shelroy Charitable Trust, the Paul Bassham Charitable Trust and the Hunstanton & District Ladies Circle.

Glynis was also a key figure in the “David and Goliath” legal battle, in which the parish council successfully argued that planning permission awarded by the government for a controversial affordable housing development on the edge of the village should be quashed.

In that, the parish council was pitched against the borough council, the Hastoe Housing Association and the Department for Communities and Local Government, as the planning consent had been granted by the former communities secretary, Sir Eric Pickles.

And, virtually single-handed, she also arranges for a SAM (speed awareness monitor) system to be erected on the main road that runs through the village.

One comment made by councillors who nominated her for the award said: “Glynis goes the extra mile in everything she does.”

Other praise included: “Always smiling and a great help to her councillors”, “Always runs an efficient office” and “Researches many issues way beyond the norm, finding an answer somewhere.”

Glynis was first shortlisted and then proclaimed the winner of the award by a joint panel of representatives from NALC and the Norfolk branch of the Society of Local Council Clerks, whose chairman is Catherine Moore.

Glynis now goes forward to be considered for the overall Norfolk Clerk of the Year award, along with the winners of the medium and large parish categories.

The winner of that award will be announced at County Hall in Norwich on November 20.

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