In 1974 my husband and our family moved from Coventry to Minehead to manage a 40 bedroom hotel on the seafront. It was a wonderful challenge, one of my responsibilities being to ensure all the guests had a lovely break with an opportunity to enjoy West Somerset and beyond. Three times a week I organised whole day and half day outings thereby understanding the beauty of the Exmoor National Park, covering the coastal stretch to the Brendon Hills, encompassing a huge variety of walks, forests and villages.
After many years I was voted on to Minehead Town Council and began to learn the complexities of local government and the responsibilities and opportunities available to communities. It was only when I joined the District Council that I was offered the chance to join ENP. I felt this a privilege and another opportunity to learn more about financial challenges and responsibilities. I met some amazing staff and colleagues whilst learning, understanding and being involved in the duties of ENP which include community needs, changes where necessary and tasks to be achieved. There is always more to think about as financial pressures of the present day make us more aware of what needs and has to be done, and what would be nice to do, and there lies the balance.
I have been a County Councillor for the Dunster Division for twenty-one years, looking after fifteen parishes from Alcombe, Minehead to Stogumber. I thoroughly enjoy this position as it enables me to travel far and wide in Somerset, meeting many wonderful people to whom I can offer encouragement and support, especially to the numerous volunteer groups.
Living in rural areas has always had its challenges and I am very grateful to those who have made personal sacrifices so that the care of the land and rural spaces remains a priority to many hardworking people.