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Council duo notch up combined 50 years' service on Stansted Parish Council

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Two Stansted parish councillors have marked a combined 50 years service to their community.

Liberal Democrats Geoffrey Sell and John Hudson both joined the authority on May 10 1995 and have retained their seats ever since.

And their 25-year milestones have not gone unnoticed by their colleagues. Council chair Maureen Caton said: "We are very grateful for their very dedicated and committed service to the community."

Geoffrey Sell (35828848)
Geoffrey Sell (35828848)

Mr Sell, of Spencer Close, who celebrated his 66th birthday on Tuesday (June 2) has lived in the village since the age of four and following in the footsteps of his parents, Jane and Ken, who were both involved with community life, had been an obvious step.

"My mother in particular was very involved in voluntary work and was a founder of the day centre, so I grew up in a household where it was normal to get involved and I felt I wanted to do something for the community," he said.

"I had a degree in politics and was interested in Local Government and knew a few parish councillors so it was a natural thing for me to do. I care about Stansted and wanted to help and it has certainly been extremely interesting and quite rewarding in many ways and I have been able to make a small contribution."

Parish councillor John Hudson (35829036)
Parish councillor John Hudson (35829036)

He served as chairman from 2006-2014 and became an Uttlesford district councillor in 1998. Aside from a break between 2011-15 he has served on this authority for 18 years.

The highlight of his parish tenure was working with residents of Save Stansted Village to defeat Taylor Wimpey's proposed development at Bentfield and the introduction of a new PCSO for Stansted.

"It's nice to see things like that start off and coming to fruition - that you can make changes which will be of benefit to the residents."

John Hudson, 76, of Lower Street, said Stansted Parish Council tackled some big issues including airport expansion, transport infrustructure and planning and when he arrived in the village from Leicestershire in the '90s, the Lib-Dems were very active in the area. "I remember the main issue at the time was the building of Forest Hall Park and the airport trying to grow and now, we still haven't got a Local Plan and developers are making plans to build all over the place.

"The countryside apect of the village is gradually being lost and this is a constant pressure on the parish council. We do serve a valuable purpose in relaying local opinion to the district council and it has been interesting, difficult at times, but it's certainly not a quiet parish council by any means!"

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