A LONG-SERVING councillor bid her colleagues farewell during her final council meeting before she stepped down after more than 20 years of service.

Conservative Ann Holland is retiring from Southend Council after 23 years, during which time she served as mayor and has been the council’s longest-serving representative for the fire authority.

Speaking during a full council meeting on Wednesday night, she said she was stepping down alongside Labour councillor David Norman after the pair agreed four years ago that they would be serving their final term.

She said: “My first working party was the dog control working party, which was exciting, and also the oil committee.

“I was also the council’s member for the fire authority and I was the longest serving member.

“I was on it from the beginning to the end and I’m pleased that there is a youth facility and when I launched it as mayor they said it wouldn’t have happened but for me because I really fought the business case so that the youth of the town can use it for Firebreak and the cadets, so I was really pleased about that.

“I’m also leaving knowing I brought in changes such as recycling. We only had fortnightly recycling for paper and cans and I really fought hard so we could have weekly recycling.

“I also brought in new toilets and was dubbed the Queen of Sanitation.

“When I lost that portfolio and went on to leisure after five years, my sons were so pleased and said: ‘Mum, we are fed up of seeing you in the paper in urinals and toilets in all the pictures.’

“I have fond memories of the mayoralty, especially the different groups and volunteers that I met that make Southend the great place that it is.

“I have been honoured to serve the people of Southchurch and Southend.

“Working with councillor John Lamb over the last four years has also been good and I am pleased that councillor James Courtenay is keeping up all my good work on the pier, I am really pleased about that.”

She added: “I will miss you


Council leader John Lamb praised the councillor for her service and said he would like to explore ways to recognise her for her time at the council.