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Bishop's Stortford councillor Tim Page steps down as chair of East Herts Council development management committee

Bishop's Stortford councillor Tim Page has stepped down as chairman of East Herts Council's development management committee (DMC) to make way for a "fresh pair of eyes".

The member for Silverleys has been replaced by fellow Conservative Cllr Bob Deering, who represents Hertford Castle ward.

Cllr Page, who was first elected to the district council in 2011, held the post before May's local council elections.

He said: "When I was asked in May if I was prepared to continue as DMC chairman in the new council, I was happy to accept the invitation but cautioned the leader [Linda Haysey] that I did not think it was in the best interests of the council for me to remain in post throughout.

"Planning is a fast-evolving discipline, particularly in East Herts, with many strategic sites for development identified in our new district plan, including the ground-breaking Harlow and Gilston Garden Town project.

"Having chaired the DMC through a period of uncertainty awaiting district plan examination, the appointment of a new head of planning and building control, and assimilating new members, I acknowledged that, at the age of 73, it was likely to be in the best interests of our residents for a fresh pair of eyes to take over the role."

Cllr Page, who is also a town councillor and was mayor in 1997-98, added: "Challenging times lie ahead with new technologies, climate change adaptation and sustainable transport solutions forming essential foundations for the building of new communities.

"I am sure that my successors will be able to add additional energy, skills and empathy to this tremendously important undertaking."

When Cllr Deering's appointment was confirmed at the latest meeting of the full district council, leader Cllr Linda Haysey paid tribute to Cllr Page's hard work and dedication.

Cllr Page remains a member of the committee and is also a member of the licensing committee, serving as the authority's member champion for gambling.

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