215 years of public service between them

Eleven former East Devon district councillors who have carried out an extraordinary 215 years of public service between them, have been appointed as Honorary Aldermen in recognition of their valued contribution to the communities they represented and to the council they served.

Roger Giles served on the council for 24 years representing Ottery St Mary and held a number of positions of responsibility, including chairman of the scrutiny committee (2007/2009 and 2015/2019). 

Peter Burrows represented Seaton for a total of 13 years, and among some of the senior posts he held, was chairman of the scrutiny committee from 2005/2007.

Douglas Hull and Jill Elson are the longest serving councillors of the Aldermen appointments, each having represented their communities for 36 years. Mr Hull, who represented Axminster, has served on many committees on the council and was vice-chairman of the Housing Review Board in 2009/10/11.

Jill Elson, who represented Exmouth, served on a wide range of committees, panels and forums and was portfolio holder for communications (2002/03), communities (2003/11) and sustainable homes and communities (2011/19).

Paul Diviani, served on the council for 20 years, representing the Yarty ward. During those two decades, he took on many positions of responsibility, including chairman of the council from 2007/2009, economy portfolio holder 2002/05, economy and regeneration portfolio holder from 2005/07, leader of the council from 2011/2018 and strategic development portfolio holder from 2018/19.

Graham Godbeer, who represented Axminster for 12 years, held several posts within the council including chairman from 2013/15, portfolio holder for the economy from 2010/13 and chairman of the licensing and enforcement committee (2009/10).

Steve Hall, also represented his Budleigh ward for 12 years. Among the many posts he held, he was vice chairman of the licensing and enforcement committee from 2007 until 2011, when he was elected as chairman - a position he held until the end of his tenure in 2019.

John Humphreys who represented Exmouth, was member champion for asset management (2010/11) and member champion/lead councillor for Exmouth Town from 2013/18) and held a number of other posts during the 12 years he was with the council.

Former Seaton councillor Jim Knight represented the town for 18 years and served on a number of committees, panels and forums including licensing and enforcement where he was vice-chairman from 2017/19 and scrutiny vice-chairman from 2007/09.

Former Exmouth councillor Pauline Stott served on the council for 20 years and held many posts including deputy portfolio holder for communities in 2005/06, vice chairman of the council in 2007/08, and chairman of the housing review board from 2009/10 and 2010/19.

Mark Williamson who represented Exmouth for 12 years, served on several committees, panels and forums including the development management committee where he was chairman from 2011/13.

Cllr Ben Ingham, Leader of the Council, said: “It has been a privilege to serve with each of them over the years. They gave given so much to their communities in different ways. I believe this is a fine tradition we have of recognising their work and saying thank you.”