Heritage officer role significant success

.Dennis Hill right takes a heritage bus tour today from Kirkby
.Dennis Hill right takes a heritage bus tour today from Kirkby

Ashfield Council defended their decision to axe the role of the Heritage and Tourism officer at a meeting on Wednesday night.

As councillors and residents gathered for the Hucknall Area Committee meeting at the John Godber Centre, a question raised by a member of the public about their decision was tackled by locality and empowerment manager, Theresa Hodgkinson.

She said the move was part of a bigger restructuring plan of roles at the council.

“The district has now been split into different localities with groups working at a local level,” said Ms Hodgkinson. “Work will be more local where needs are identified by the locality team looking after that region .”

“All these individual officers, councillors and the public will then be working together to meet those needs.”

The officers’ roles have been duplicated and divided between the four area committees with a ‘district hub’ for certain roles like events, town centres and markets.

Ms Hodgkinson said no compulsory redundancies were made as part of the restructure but roles like the heritage and tourism role, currently filled by Denis Hill, would remain but ‘in a different guise’.

“The service will still be there but skills will transfer across the locality,” explained Ms Hodgkinson. “This new structure will make it easier for councillors and the public to know who to contact within their locality.”

The new system was given the seal of approval by Coun John Wilmott: “Decision making for our town will be made by the town councillors bringing everybody together.”