Town council appoints new town clerk
Wednesday, 30th November 2011.
Haverhill Town Council last night agreed the appointment of a new town clerk to take over from Gordon Mussett, who retires next year.
Will Austin, a 47-year-old father of three currently based in East Devon, will work alongside Mr Mussett from now until his retirement, which has already been delayed after a hiccup with the first attempt to find a replacement.
Mr Austin was born and raised in Leicestershire, and lived there until his move to the south-west 14 years ago.
He is a graduate in public administration and managerial studies, from the De Montfort University, Leicester.
He has had a career in local government for the last 21 years – at Leicestershire County Council between 1990 and 1997, at Exeter City Council between 1997 and 2005, and then until this year at Dorset County Council.
He has occupied a variety of senior managerial positions in that time, in financial and administrative ‘back office’ roles, and managing services provided direct to the community.
He says perhaps his most significant achievement at work was in leading Exeter City Council’s successful bid to be rated as an ‘excellent’ local authority by the Audit Commission in 2004 which enabled the council to take on greater responsibilities and financial freedoms.
Socially, he enjoys sports – cricket and football in particular – and is a keen runner. He has run the London Marathon twice, raising £5,000 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research in the process. He is a lifelong Leicester City supporter.
Other personal interests include music, and news and current affairs.
"I am of course honoured to have been appointed as town clerk," he said, "and am very much looking forward to becoming part of the Haverhill community.
"In the short time have known Haverhill I have already found it has great community spirit and the town council has a real bond with the community. I've been deeply impressed with what I've seen."
"Filling the shoes of Gordon Mussett, for so long a remarkable asset to the town and the Town Council, is a daunting prospect.
"However, it is my aim to keep up his wonderful work, and in time to become as valuable a part of the fabric of the town as he has."
A former councillor, George Hatchell, attending the meeting as a member of the public, paid tribute to Mr Mussett's work, even though he won't be going quite yet.
"I remember the beginning of the town council," he said, "and since Gordon came he has lifted the town council to a different level and really piut Haverhill on the map."
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