Four-time Budleigh mayor stands down from town council

Budleigh Salterton mayor Courtney Richards is pictured alongside railings near to Steamer Steps that

Budleigh Salterton mayor Courtney Richards is pictured alongside railings near to Steamer Steps that the Town Council have paid to be repaired and repainted. Ref exb 14-16SH 9447. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

After 16 years, Courtney Richards will be standing down from Budleigh Salaterton Town Coucnil on May 2

A four-time mayor of Budleigh Salterton responsible for turning around the town council’s finances has called time on his civic career.

Courtney Richards, 75, will not be standing as a councillor as of May 2 when the new town council is duly elected.

The retired IT director of NatWest Bank was a member of the council for 16 years following in the footsteps of his father Courtney I Richards who also served as mayor three times.

Mr Richards said he is looking forward to some ‘me time’ with his wife and is immensely proud of his time on the town council.

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He said: “I had a bit of a health scare last year – it’s my time to just enjoy life. I have taken my role on the council very seriously.

“I love Budleigh. I felt I wanted to put something back into the town; I wanted to make the town better than it already was.

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“I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the council – my proudest achievement is turning around the council’s finances.”

During his time, he chaired the finances committee building up reserves which he believes will be important in the coming years as more and more responsibilities get devolved from county and district authorities.

He is also credited with the idea for renaming a seafront shelter the ‘Jubilee Shelter’ in 2011 and setting the wheels in motion for the town council to take it over from East Devon District Council.

Mr Richards also set up the town improvement fund which has gone on to pay for projects like the renovation of the seafront railings.

The town council is not being contested in this year’s elections and there will be three new town councillors elected as of May 2 with Pete Duke, David Hayward and Penny Lewis coming in for Mr Richards, Chris Kitson and Tony Gooding.

Mr Richards advised them they should ‘keep their powder dry’ to start with and get involved with council committees.

“Don’t under-estimate the commitment you are making,” said Mr Richards.

“You really ought to sit and be an active member of the committees – there’s a bit more to being a town councillor than you might think.”

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