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AXMINSTER: Still going strong after 50 years a councillor

Thursday, 01 May 2014

IT’S a case of 50 years not out for well-known Axminster councillor Douglas Hull. In May he celebrates 50 continuous years as a member of either a parish, town, district or county council. The 76-year-old is currently a member of Axminster Town Council and East Devon District Council - and has no plans to step down, saying: “It’s up to the people of Axminster. I’m here if they want me.” Born in Lamberts Castle, he first became a member of a council in his mid 20s when getting a place on Hawkchurch Parish Council. “I stood because I had an interest in parish affairs and my family was active in the community, so it was natural progression. “From there my attention turned to Axminster Rural District Council, which I felt was completely out of touch with the needs of young people seeking modern jobs,” he said. His first attempt to get elected, in the late 1960s, failed but he triumphed in a by-election a year later. He had joined The Liberals and as the 1970s arrived, Mr Hull (pictured left) had his sights set on the county council, saying: “Lo and behold, with no organisation except knocking on thousands of doors myself, I won a recount by 36 votes.” During his early days on Devon County Council he met his wife Joy, who was a campaigner and “banner carrier” for The Liberals. Membership of Axminster Town Council and East Devon District Council came following local government reorganisation. Mr Hull reluctantly said goodbye to the county council in 2009 when he lost his seat, but he remains a member of Axminster Town Council and East Devon District Council. Mr Hull served two terms as Mayor of Axminster and his wife became the town’s first woman First Citizen. Asked if his 50 years of involvement have been worth it, and if he would to the same was time turned back, he gave a resounding : “Yes.” His achievement will be celebrated with “a few glasses of wine and some cake” after Axminster Town Council’s meeting on Monday, May 12th


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