On Monday 18th December, a drinks reception was held by the Chairman of Rother District Council, Cllr Mrs Barnes at Bexhill Town Hall in honour of Mrs Joan Downing BEM, recognising her 43 years of service as a Councillor for Westfield Parish Council. Joan was driven there and back in the comfort of a classic Rolls Royce. She was delighted to hear tributes from a number of councillors and to receive a presentation from Cllr Mrs Barnes. The celebratory evening concluded with a meal at The New Inn, Westfield, attended by current and former councillors and clerks.

During her time as Councillor, Joan worked with enthusiasm and determination to address her community’s needs, enriching village life. In 1993 she established community meals for the elderly and disabled, cooking 60+ hot meals in her kitchen each month, transporting and serving food. Joan was an active member of the steering committee for the Parish Action Plan (published in 2006) achieving a new children’s playground, the establishment of a community drop-in centre, and a youth club, verge bulb planting and the now well established twice-yearly community litter picks. In 2014 Joan was awarded the British Empire Medal in recognition of her dedication to her local community. Although, at the age of 97, Joan has now stepped down as parish councillor, she continues to play an active role in village life, and still attends all council meetings.

Thank you Joan for all you have done for the PC over the years!

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