Saturday, 19 June 2021
BENSON’S new parish clerk says she is relishing the role.
Former teacher Dianne Brooks began work on January 1 following the retirement of Pete Eldridge after more than four years. She works 25 hours a week.
Mrs Brooks, 59, lives in Whitchurch with her husband Keith, who is the chairman of the village’s parish council.
She said: “I’m already very fond of Benson, I must say. The people I’ve met have been lovely.”
She said that although she had not done this type of work before she had acquired administration and communication skills in her previous roles and she knew a little bit about how parish councils work through her husband’s role. “It takes a while to get your head round it because there are so many different facets to it but I’m really enjoying the challenge,” she said. “I’m even enjoying doing the minutes!
“My role as clerk is to support and advise the councillors because we do have to remember they are all volunteers and most of them have other jobs. Liaising with the community and good relationships generally are really important.”
Mrs Brooks worked at Chiltern Edge School in Sonning Common from 1980 to 1995, firstly teaching maths and then as the school’s head of careers.
She then worked for publishers Dorling Kindersley in direct sales until about 2000 when this arm of the business was closed. She then joined the Central Berkshire Education Business Partnership, where she worked on the alternative curriculum programmes it runs and worked with young people who were struggling in mainstream education.
More recently, she managed its work experience scheme.
She left in December. “I felt it was the right time for me and the education partnership,” said Mrs Brooks. “They needed some new blood and I needed a new challenge.
“I’d seen the work that Whitchurch Parish Council does on behalf of the community and I also understand the challenges and the skills that you need in this sort of role, so thought perhaps I had the right skill set — time will tell!”
13 February 2017
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