March 8th 2023 is International Women’s Day and we would like to take this opportunity to celebrate the fabulous work of our female Councillors. Great Torrington Town Council currently has good representation of women and we hope this continues. We would encourage any women considering becoming a Town Councillor to get in touch – 01805 626135.
Current Deputy Mayor, Councillor Keeley Allin says ‘My proudest moments on the town council have been serving two years as Mayor, especially leading the town and the council through the covid pandemic and working with other councillors including Councillor Clayton to set up the Town Tidy. I followed in my mum’s (Councillor Sue Mills) footsteps when I joined Great Torrington Town Council and then became Mayor too and I’m so proud to work alongside her and other strong and passionate women who care so much about our town.’ This mother and daughter team have represented the council for many years, and are very proactive in supporting local community groups and representing local issues.
Our current Chair of the Environment Committee, Councillor Gill Clayton has been on the Town Council for many years. Gill is proud of her contribution in bringing environmental considerations to the forefront of the council’s work, particularly working alongside the technicians to create more environmentally friendly areas on council owned land. Gill is also proud of achievements at Jubilee Wood where alongside volunteer Alan Williams and his team, Councillors have supported the development of a beautiful and valued space that celebrates the biodiversity of Great Torrington. Jubilee Wood was recently recognised with an award from ‘Devon Local Partnership’: with First prize in the ‘Parish and Town Council Award’.
Two of our female councillors are also Torridge District Councillors; Councillor Margaret Brown and
Councillor Cheryl Cottle-Hunkin are actively involved in committees at both District and Town level. Councillor Margaret Brown has recently been awarded the honorary title of Freewomen of the Town, which makes her the first woman to be given this honour in Great Torrington. Cllr Brown has been one of the trailblazing women on Great Torrington Town Council along with Cllr Mills, Cllr Davey and many others who became councillors during times when it was more difficult and less common to have female voices heard in local government. Councillor Di Davey is a retired nurse who has been a member of the Council for many years, and was Mayor in 2018 and is always working proactively to represent the needs of the NHS, and other health and wellbeing focussed community groups.
Councillor Cottle Hunkin is also one of two young mothers representing the town. Alongside Councillor Laura Ward they both demonstrated the progression in local councils when they carried their babies with them during the Mayfair procession in 2022, fulfilling their roles as Councillor and mother simultaneously.
If you feel you would like to join the council and become one of the women representing the community please do get in touch, no matter what your age, occupation, or educational background. Please see the criteria for eligibility to become a local councillor in our other article on elections.