News today in the agenda for the next Conservators’ meeting that Gerry Ball, the head downskeeper for many years, is retiring – and indeed, did so on New Year’s Eve. We’d like to wish Gerry a full and happy retirement: we have not always seen eye-to-eye with the conservators, but Gerry and his team have always been enormously helpful, and done their best to secure improvements within the resources available to them.

News also comes of the appointment of an interim chief executive to the council, suggesting that David Smith, who has been off work for several months, may not be returning soon, if at all. David has always been a sharp-witted but very fair-minded clerk to the Conservators, and we hope he makes a full recovery. Meantime, we look forward to meeting the interim chief executive and clerk to the Conservators.