The man who helped to steer Snettisham Parish Council through a difficult period marred by fraud has stepped down.
When Eric Langford took over the reins in 2010, the council had a black hole in its finances and a fight to keep a beach footpath as a public right of way.
But when he signed off for the final time last week, the council was back in the black and the footpath’s future is secure.
Mr Langford has decided to step down due to health reasons.
He said: “I would like to think that I’m leaving it in a better position than when I started.
“We have had some wonderful moments such as renewing of the war memorial and improvements to the Common.
“Three years ago the council met with Norfolk Green to get a Coasthopper service through the village. A lady contacted me a few days ago to say what a difference that had made.
“To my mind, the most wonderful thing is the impact that has had on the lives of villagers.
“I would like to thank councillors for their support to me and for their personal time and commitment to the council.
“I thank them for staying the distance with me and wish them all well in the future.”
Mr Langford joined the council in 2009 while still working as a school inspector. He retired in 2010 and had been looking forward to a peaceful retirement.
But, soon afterwards, he found himself in the council chairman’s seat.
Since then, Mr Langford dedicated a lot of time to improve the council’s finances along with holding negotiations with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and banks.
A highlight of his term in office was securing a £72,000 good will gesture payment from Barclay’s Bank.
The council also took part in a public inquiry to ensure the beach footpath was a public right of way.
While all this was going on, villagers volunteered to undertake improvements around Snettisham. The village also has LED lighting.
Mr Langford said: “I am hoping to start to get more time to myself and enjoying a retirement that has been on hold for five years.”