Two councillors who have racked up decades of service between them have decided to call it a day.
Mick Cornish, a member of both Great Cornard Parish Council and Sudbury Town Council, and Derek Matthews, a Bures Hamlet parish councillor, have both announced their retirement from local politics.
Mr Matthews joined the parish council after moving to Bures in 1969. He has gone to give 48 years service to the village.
He attributes his long-service to the support the village gave him after the death of his wife in a road collision in 1973.
“I wanted to be involved in the village and it gave me something to do,” he said.
“When I lost my wife, it made me do something and get out. I owed the village so much. The people of the village were so good to me.”
Some of his proudest achievements were being involved in the design of the village sign and helping organise the village carnival.
The father-of-two turns 82 tomorrow and the council plans to celebrate his service to the village next week.
The former Eight Bells Garage owner was also involved in the village’s football and cricket clubs and is a long-standing member of the Royal British Legion.
He has also been a freemason for 42 years, having been one of the founding members of the Pyefleet Freemasons’ Lodge in Colchester.
Mr Cornish was first elected as a parish councillor in 1961. He lived in Liverpool for 13 years but returned in 2002 and rejoined the council in 2011.
The 79-year-old said: “I don’t think people should serve on local authorities after they get into their 80s.
“The cheapest thing to do is if a by-election falls on the county council elections.
“If nobody wants to stand, then councillors can nominate to appoint anyway, so either way there is no expenditure to tax payers.”
Mr Cornish, from Shawlands Avenue, Great Cornard, said his most memorable moment on the parish council was the opening of the village’s country park.
He joined the council as he had always had an interest in politics, particularly local politics, following in the footsteps of his father who was a parish councillor in Trimley where Mr Cornish grew up.
In 2015, Mr Cornish, a former county councillor, was elected to Sudbury Town Council.