TRIBUTES have been paid to a long-serving parish clerk who has announced his retirement after 16 years of serving his community.

Ian Calvert told members of Croft Parish Council of his decision at a meeting this week.

The 73-year-old will stay on until March, to allow time for his successor to be appointed.

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He said: “It has been an enjoyable job, but I have decided I’ve been doing it for long enough.

“My most memorable moment was helping to compile the Year 2000 book, which was distributed to all the residents.”

The book, given out towards the end of the year 2000, included details of all the events marking the occasion that took place that millennium.

Mr Calvert added: “The book was certainly the biggest task I took on as clerk - it had colour photographs and information on the history of particular properties in the parish, like Clervaux Castle, Croft Hall and some of the big houses.

“We started preparing it in 1999 and it was given out to free residents, but it was also available for sale at £10 per copy – Waterstones sold some for us.”

Parish council chairman Leo Nugent thanked Mr Calvert for his service, describing him as a “diligent servant to the local community”.

Mr Calvert, a former security worker, says he plans to spend more time gardening following his withdrawal from the parish council, as well as pursuing his hobbies of walking and photography.

The search for his replacement is due to begin shortly, with Mr Calvert offering some words of encouragement to his potential successor.

He said: “It is a reasonable job for somebody – it is not the biggest parish, but that does not mean to say there is any less to do.

“[The job] needs somebody with administrative and computer experience.

“You have got to keep accurate records of the finances of the parish council – they have to be accounted for carefully and audited.

“Perhaps it does not sound a lot, but it soon adds up.”

Coun Nugent said the post, which is paid but is not full-time, could suit a retired person looking for a hobby.

Anyone interested can call him on 01325-720905.