MAY I add a few further comments about how privileged I felt working alongside Mayor Jean Hole for so many years.

It follows only two or three weeks after I paid tribute to John Meikle.

Perhaps there is a touch of irony that these former Mayors played such an important part in the 80s and 90s in shaping the future of Taunton as we know it today, despite the ravages of Covid 19.

In addition to Jean’s excellent work with Taunton Women’s Refuge and promoting the Women’s Forum in the then council – perhaps it should be resuscitated again – I worked with her for a number of years on the Committee of Taunton Association for the Homeless.

READ MORE: Tributes to former Taunton Mayor, Jean Hole
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It is now known as ARC and of course is still responsible the running of Lindley House in East Reach and providing move-on accommodation for those who are striving to return to as normal a way of life as possible.

She was indefatigable, strong willed and in the forefront of progressive thinking, qualities which she shared with John Meikle, even if they had different long term visions of what that meant!

She was conscientious, not slow to correct me if I overstepped the mark on matters of feminine rights!

Surely what the world needs now is for all the positive aspects of these two formidable people to be celebrated and bring forth a sense of unity of purpose as they exemplified in their political careers. 

We cannot afford to miss the chance to keep Taunton uppermost in the local minds.

It is significant that the government announced on Boxing Day that it has awarded nearly £14 million towards the resuscitation of Taunton’s town centre.

Let us hope that this money is for real, and not just not another rehash of an earlier promise.

Ex Mayor of Taunton 2012
Leader of the former Borough Council 1991 to 1999 and from 2001 to 2003