DEDICATION: All the best to departing chief

Although my wife and I live in South East Northumberland, we always buy and enjoy the Gazette.

I particularly admire and appreciate the coverage given to the various parishes and look forward to the reports. It pays tribute to the hundreds of residents within the area who give up their time, voluntarily and unpaid, to make their community a better place to live.

On Saturday, October 17, some 30 parish councils came together for their annual conference. Among their business was a presentation by the guest speaker, Dr David Francis, former chief executive of Community Action Northumberland and secretary of the Northumberland Association of Local Councils.

David also chairs the Newton and Swarland Parish Council. He is due to retire from his employment on March 31, 2016.

After 30 years of service he regaled to us stories and anecdotes of those years in service.

Just like many parish councillors, his enthusiasm and support shone through.

Similarly, not originally from this area, he has grown not to just appreciate the diversity and many incredible features the county has to offer, but quickly learned it is the people and our communities that knit us altogether.

Through those years there has been many changes which he has overseen. Many of which have bonded many communities together as neighbours working for each other.

Along the road many new contacts were made and the contact list became exhaustive. Networking to achieve the best for every individual.

He will be hard to replace, but may I on behalf of the thousands throughout our wonderful and unique county who have benefitted from his dedication, wish both him and his wife many more years of enjoyment within Northumberland.

Alex Wallace,



Association of Local Councils