New chairman's hopes for year

Long serving councillor John Rogers is looking forward to an “exciting year” as Breckland Council chairman - and hoping he is not one of the last people to wear the chain of office.

Long serving councillor John Rogers is looking forward to an “exciting year” as Breckland Council chairman - and hoping he is not one of the last people to wear the chain of office.

Breckland and the other Norfolk district councils are under threat as part of the re-organisation of local government.

Mr Rogers - who has represented Templar ward in the Watton area for 18 years - has taken over in the civic role from John Labouchere.

“Despite plans to reorganise local government in Norfolk, I am firmly in favour of the status quo, and hope that the office of chairman for Breckland Council will remain for many years to come,” said Mr Rogers.

“This is an exciting year for the council and I hope to see further development of business schemes such as the A11 corridor to give employment and training opportunities for our residents. I am also looking forward to welcoming the Light Dragoons home from Afghanistan later in the year.”

Having started work as a trainee upholsterer, Mr Rogers went on to join the Army and then became a member of the police force for 25 years.

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He has been married to Betty for 49 years and the couple have three granddaughters and one great- granddaughter.

Mr Rogers will be raising money for diabetes and cancer charities during his year in office.

Mr Labouchere - renowned as a colourful character - gave an amusing farewell speech before handing over the chain.

“I thank the officers for supporting me when I have invariably got them in the poo and they have managed to extricate me and usually managed to get themselves out of it as well!”

He said the highlight of his year in office was the Pride in Breckland awards, and was also proud to have been involved with the graduate and practical apprenticeships scheme and the youth councils.

Linda Monument - a councillor from Dereham - has been elected as the new vice-chairman.

William Nunn has been re-appointed as council leader and Bill Smith remains as deputy leader.

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