Driffield NewsNEWS

Town clerk Claire bows out after 25 years serving Driffield

Driffield town clerk Claire Binnington has bid an emotional farewell to friends and colleagues at Driffield Town Council after more than 25 years serving the people of Driffield.

Claire joined Driffield Town Council in 1997 as the assistant to the then clerk Geoff Eastwood, and, after a spell as acting town clerk, she took over the reins officially in 2002.

She has provided invaluable guidance and advice to councillors over the years and has worked tirelessly to improve the facilities and services in the town for the benefit of residents, businesses and visitors.

Claire said she was tremendously proud of the achievements of Driffield Town Council over the past 25 years and believes the council will continue to go from strength to strength

She said: “We have had tremendously engaged councillors in the 25 years I have been at the town council, who have made brave decisions and established themselves as the most proactive town council in the East Riding.

Claire Binnington with the new town clerk Matthew Brown

“For me, town clerk has been more than a job but a vocation and the overall highlight has been to be able to be involved directly in making things better.”

Claire said she is particularly proud of the work of the council over the past four years.

Following the pandemic, Driffield Town Council launched a number of initiatives aimed at helping the high street businesses to bounce back and to improve the appeal of the town.

She said: “With the expertise of Fiona, our external funding officer, we accessed a lot of money coming from the COVID bounce back initiatives

“This enabled us to provide the Umbrella Plaza, the brainchild of Maggie Lynch of the Town Centre Steering Group, as well as many of the Discover Driffield initiatives, such as the gift voucher scheme and the loyalty card, and the general focus on ensuring that our town centre businesses survived the pandemic.

“The council was totally behind all the initiatives, and their bravery and forward thinking approach over these last four years will have a lasting impact on Driffield.”

Claire said she will miss her friends and colleagues at the council and the many groups and organisations from Driffield and the East Riding she has worked so closely with over the years. She said she will also miss making a difference.

“I will miss the chance to have an idea, or have an idea given to you and take it the council and with luck, run with it and deliver it,” she said.

“My town councils over the years have run with ideas and our work has had tangible real results, which gives great job satisfaction.

“I think being able to make a difference, even if it’s just helping someone out who comes in with a small query, going that extra mile and receiving that warm smile of appreciation is also nice.

“I have just been a cog in a very big machine, a machine made up of lots of dedicated and committed people who have all pulled together with the one main focus of making Driffield a better place.”

Claire has now handed over the reins to new town clerk Matthew Brown, who joined Driffield Town Council in January, and is happy she is leaving the council in safe hands.

“I go knowing I am leaving my ‘baby’ in excellent hands, so because of that, I am happy to go,” she continued.

“I have so many memories, I have made friends who will be close to me for the rest of my life, and I do feel that with the help of so many people – councillors and staff, I am leaving Driffield better than when we found it in 1997.”

Friends and colleagues gathered at Cass Hall last Friday to bid farewell to Claire and to thank her for all she has done for Driffield.

Mayor of Driffield Cllr Mark Blakeston paid tribute to Claire’s drive, enthusiasm and passion for the community she has served for the past 25 years.

He said: “I don’t know anyone else with such a great understanding of our local community, the people and organisations and perhaps, more importantly, how they all fit together.

“I’ve said it before, if you want to know about how things work in Driffield, ask Claire! 

“But Claire’s knowledge alone isn’t the reason she’s held the position of town clerk for all these years –  it’s the drive, enthusiasm and love she demonstrates for our community, and none more so than over the past few challenging years when she’s been instrumental in supporting and delivering so many new projects for Driffield.

“Lots of her work supporting council initiatives and driving ideas forwards is clear to see but it’s also the not so obvious things that often make a real difference – the late in the evening responses to messages and emails from residents, the day-to-day direction of the Tidy Team and keeping multiple plates spinning all the time.

 “As Claire steps down from her role, she leaves the council and the people of Driffield so much better off for the work she has done, so, on behalf of myself as Mayor and Driffield Town Council and the community, thank you Claire for everything you’ve done.”

The Driffield & Wolds Weekly also thanked Claire for the support she has given the newspaper since we launched in 2015.

Andy Stabler said: “Claire has been a huge support to us right from the start. We wish her all the best for the future and would like to thank her for the incredible hard work, dedication and passion she has given to the town and its people for the past 25 years.” 

Claire added: “I would like to thank everyone who gave up their Friday evening to come and say farewell at my surprise leaving do.

“Special thanks to Cllr Gillian Helliwell, who arranged everything and Cllr Mark Blakeston and Matthew Brown who assisted.

“Thank you for all the gifts, cards and messages on social media – I am truly humbled.”

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please allow ads on our site Ads help pay for our website and content. Switch off your ad-blocker and enjoy.