Monday, 15 August 2022

Village should look like one says councillor

THE new chairman of Sonning Common Parish Council says he wants the village to look like one.

Councillor John Stoves was elected unanimously at the council’s annual meeting when Councillor Michael Cann stepped down.

He was nominated by his predecessor, who was nominated for re-election but said he didn’t want to serve another term.

Cllr Stoves, 76, has served on the council for about 10 years and is a former vice-chairman. He lives in Woodlands Road and worked in the finance industry until he retired in 2006.

He said his election was unexpected and Cllr Cann would be a hard act to follow but he hoped not to let down his fellow councillors.

Cllr Stoves said he looked forward to getting Memorial Park, the village’s new recreation ground, in full use.

He would also work on the Sonning Common neighbourhood plan to “get the village looking as much like a village as possible”.

Cllr Cann, a former professional cricketer, joined the council in 2020 and became chairman last year. He lives in Grove Road with his wife Caroline who runs the Barn Café at the Herb Farm.

He thanked the council and apologised for not having the time to continue being chairman.

Cllr Cann said: “It has been an honour to have been chairman of the parish council at such an important time for the village.

“Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to spend as much time on the role in the last number of months due to personal and professional commitments.”

He said he would be happy to help the council but wanted to put more focus into his business and his cricket career.

He was a top order batsman with Glamorgan from 1984 to 1991.

Last summer, he was selected to play for the Wales over-50s cricket team, which has a number of tournaments coming up, including the Caribbean Cup in Barbados in November and the Cricket World Cup in Cape Town in March.

Cllr Cann said: “As a former professional cricketer, this is a wonderful way for my playing days to wind down. Unfortunately, this and my continued work commitments have meant I haven’t had as much time as I believe the role deserves.”

He added: “John Stoves is an excellent parish councillor and he has been involved for many years.

“He is a man of great integrity with concern for the parish. I will continue to support John and, as chairman of finance, will still be able to play a smaller part in parish matters.”

Councillor Brian Robinson was voted on to the planning committee and appointed as Sonning Common Primary School liaison, a position which was vacant.

Cllr Cann stepped down as Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge School liaison and was replaced by Councillor Leigh Rawlins.

Councillors agreed there should be three people on the HR advisory group and elected Cllr Stoves as well as re-electing Councillors Carole Lewis and Vicky Boorman.

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