THE TOWN clerk of Hailsham is stepping down after a mammoth 31 years of loyal service.
Liz Jones, who started working for the council way back in 1980, will cut her ties with the local authority at the end of the month.
And during her more than three decades of service – including as clerk since 2000 – she has helped oversee Hailsham Council’s expansion to an authority with a turnover of more than £1million and 30 members of staff.
The current mayor, Councillor Jeff Bentley-Astor, described her as “the beating heart and nerve centre of the town.”
He added, “Liz has served the council for many years and it is the end of a long tradition of her supporting the town, its councillors and the public.
“She will be missed and my fellow council members and I wish her much happiness and enjoyment in her retirement.”
While at the council, the hard-working Ms Jones learned that no day is exactly the same - and to expect anything in her busy office role. She told the Gazette, “It has been a great privilege to be involved in the town for so long.
“The role of town clerk has been very interesting and a formidable challenge getting considerably bigger over the last few years, but one that I have relished and will miss when I retire.”
And, looking back at the changes she witnessed during her long stewardship, she added, “Seeing the local community thrive and develop into what it is today has been extremely rewarding and there have been some quite special personal moments over the last 31 years.
“I wish Hailsham Town Council every success for the future and would like to thank all staff and members past and present for their unflagging support during my period as town clerk.”
Once she steps down on November 30, she says she plans to take up a host of hobbies and interests that she admits have been “on hold” while working at the town hall.
Replacement John Harrison will take the helm on January 3 and has experience in a host of management positions, including some at East Sussex County Council.
Ms Jones will be the third long-term council worker to retire this year, after receptionist and burials administrator Liz Mason stepped down from her role in July and Richard Diplock announced his retirement from the role of responsible finance officer, after 22 and 17 years of dedicated service respectively.