Longstanding Midhurst councillor and former chairman steps down

The former chairman of Midhurst Town Council has announced he has stepped down from his role as town councillor

Mark Purves, former chair of the community and environment committee, sat in on his final full council meeting last night (Monday, January 17).

Fire station manager Mark served the town council for ten-and-a-half years and said he would 'recommend it to anyone'.

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Speaking to this newspaper, he said: "It is time for a change for me and time to allow other people to step up and get involved. It has been, at times, a big commitment and there is a lot of work to do alongside working full time and with all the community work that I do."

He said he is 'absolutely going to miss it', adding: "It has been a fantastic experience for me on so many different levels and being able to get involved and give an opinion and represent people and their views has been an honour.

"Especially being able to look at things from the perspective of a Midhurst resident and being able to put residents views forward in so many different ways."

Mark said that with few residents attending the council's monthly meetings, he took it as a great responsibility to voice concerns on behalf of the people of Midhurst.

Old Library Refurbishment phot kate...Mark Purves inside the council offices in 2019.ks190214-3

In more than a decade of service, he said the highlight of his career as a town councillor was being voted in as chairman from 2016 to 2020 having joined in 2011 as Midhurst's youngest councillor.

"Having the confidence of the council who all made me chairman in 2016 for four years and I think during that time was a real turning point for the council."

During his time as chairman, Mark said residents took more of an interest in the work of the town council and became more engaged thanks to an increase in use of social media.

He added: "I am going to miss putting my voice forward and being able to have those debates and I will being being able to challenge people on certain issues."

Chairman Carol Lintott said in a statement as last night's council meeting: "Mark joined the council in June 2011 taking over the title of youngest Midhurst Town Councillor!

"Injecting youth, energy and vibrance to the council he has brought many new ideas about engagement with our residents and how the town and the council could improve.

"Serving on the Town Trust and the Youth Trust, Mark took over as chairman of the Council in 2016 until 2020, remaining as chairman of the Community and Environment Committee to this day.

"He will be very sorely missed by all of us and I am sure you will all join me in thanking him for his commitment and service to the community of Midhurst."

Cllr Lintott presented Mark with a gift last night.

She later added: "It’s with regret that I accepted Marks resignation, he made a huge difference to the council during his time, I will really miss him and all the support he gave me and my colleagues."