Throughout its 50+ of service to local council clerks, helping their development and professionalisation, SLCC’s primary movers have come from ordinary members who have devoted freely of their time to help fellow clerks. Even after the trend towards the employment of paid officers and expert advisors from 2008 onwards, the governance of SLCC has remained in the hands of unpaid volunteer members. It is thanks to the selfless dedication of these countless members that SLCC is the strong organisation  it is today. Whilst it is impossible to recognise by name everyone who has contributed, Honorary Vice Presidents Alan Fairchild, Richard Walden and Johnathan Bourne have compiled an initial list of those who have made such significant contributions that they merit being included in a Hall of Fame. This is not an exclusive list and we expect it grow in the future.

If you know of someone who you feel merits inclusion in the Hall of Fame, please advise the Chief Executive accordingly.

Alan Fairchild MBE

Affectionately known to many as “Mr SLCC”, founder member Alan served as our first Membership Officer before being elected to two terms as Chair of the NEC and later as President. In 1969 he had been appointed as the first full-time Clerk in Norfolk with Sprowston PC/TC whom he served for 37 years. Both before and since retirement Alan has continued to serve SLCC in many capacities including External Affairs Officer, Audit Commission Practitioners Group and Ministry of Justice Burials Advisory Group whilst continuing as SLCC’s principal advisor and trainer on burial and cemetery management matters. Alan was elected as an Honorary Vice President in 2005 and appointed MBE by her late Majesty The Queen in 2007. He was given the Society’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 2019.

Alan Fairchild photo

Alan Woodbine

A qualified accountant and former Director of Housing, Alan, served as part time clerk of Rolleston-on-Dove Parish Council in Staffordshire from 1974 until 1987.

As our Honorary Financial Advisor he was a key advisor during a difficult period in the Society’s history in the early 1990’s and was a great support to many clerks. He represented the North East Region on the NEC, spent five years as Town Clerk of Stone Town Council, and was President in 1989.

Roy Gibbs

Roy took over as Editor of The Journal of he Society of Local Council Clerks (The Clerk) from Frank Shepherd in 1977, his first task being to produce a special edition to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

Roy served a number of parish and town councils although his main interest was freelance journalism which he put to good use during eleven years as Journal Editor and also Publicity Officer of the Sussex Branch. Following his sudden death in 1991, Society President Sheila Wilson donated the Roy Gibbs Memorial Trophy to be awarded annually for the best article from member clerks on a topical subject.

Mike Kennedy

In the late 1990’s Mike led an NEC committee called the forward planning group. Following a particularly difficult period in the Society’s history this group established an initial vision for the future of the Society including most significantly, the appointment of paid professional officers, including a Chief Executive. Mike went on to be President in 2004/5.

Colin Roddan

Colin was Town Clerk of Swanley Town Council in Kent which was and continues to be one of the most pro-active and innovative local councils in the country. A long serving members of the NEC and regular attendee at National Conference, Colin could always be relied upon to ask the perceptive (aka awkward) questions at the AGM.

As National Treasurer and later President in 1987, Colin helped streamline the Society’s secretariat, initiated a highly successful membership drive which saw numbers increase by over 500 in a year and foster a more commercial approach to our National Conferences. On retirement from Swanley Town Council, Colin went on to set up his own very successful local council consultancy service.

Harry Brown

Harry Brown was a founder member of the Society. He was our inspiration and driving force for many years.

A Tynesider, Harry entered local government in 1953 working for both district councils before becoming the first full-time Clerk of Burnham Parish Council in Buckinghamshire in 1966.

He was Chairman of the Steering Committee which organised the inaugural meeting of the Society and was appointed our first National Secretary. He continued in that post until 1978 when he became National Membership Officer until he stood down in 1987. The only member of the society to serve two terms as National President when elected in 1973 and again in 1974, Harry went on to be appointed the Society’s first Honorary Vice-President.

David Durban

The former Town Clerk to Cirencester TC, the late David, a Solicitor by profession, served as the National Legal Advisor for many years when he was SLCC’s sole professional advisor and countless members benefitted from his wise counsel. National President in 1993, David was elected as our third Honorary Vice President in 2003.

Chris Geeson

Chris, the former Clerk to South Kirby and Moorthorpe TC, was elected Chair of the NEC from 2003 to 2007, a time of great change in SLCC’s affairs including the negotiation of the National Terms and Conditions of Appointment agreement, the appointment of a full-time Chief Executive and the adoption of a new constitution and governance arrangements. He was National President in 2012.

Mike Elliott

Mike, the Clerk to numerous parish councils in Nottinghamshire (at one time serving an incredible 15 councils), organised SLCC’s National Conference for many years including the infamous occasion when the Conference to be held in Plymouth, had to be cancelled at two days’ notice as the Hotel had burnt down! Mike edited The Clerk magazine for 14 years and was our final Hon Secretary from 1999 to 2002.

Bethan Osborne

Bethan was appointed SLCC’s first professional Employment Advisor in 2000 and took the advice, support and dispute resolution service provided to members to a new level. She initiated the invaluable suite of HR policies and guidance available on our website.

Howard Midworth

Initially appointed Deputy Chief Executive in 2011, Howard was elected Chief Executive in 2012 before leaving to take up the position of Chief Executive to the newly formed Smaller Authorities Auditor Appointments Ltd (SAAA).

Sam Shippen

Sam was the first secretary and NEC member of the re-founded Durham Branch in 2003. Sam was an active NEC member and stepped in at short notice to Chair the NEC from 2007 to 2010. She was a well respected Chair who led the NEC at a time of significant change. On stepping down as Chair she became the Society’s External Affairs Officer. She also became the first Chair of the Institute of Local Council Management and succeeded Nick Randle as Regional Director for the IIMC. In 2017 Sam was elected the first General Secretary of the new ALCC trade union.

Sam Shippen, CiLCA Trainer

Linda Butcher

A long serving and active member at branch and national level, Linda, was elected National President in 2011. She also served as President of the Sussex Branch.

John Kimber

Chairman of the Leicestershire and Rutland branch. John became the Society’s first marketing officer in 2003 and was instrumental in developing the SLCC bookshop and helped the society to develop its sponsorship programme which laid the trail for the Society being sees as “the best route to market” for many commercial firms seeking to exhibit to our sector.

John also worked on a pioneering branch development programme in the North and East Midlands which led to the reformation of the Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, and Staffordshire branches.

Jack Patterson

Jack, the last Clerk of Prestatyn UDC and the first Town Clerk of Prestatyn Town Council in 1974, represented North Wales on the NEC. He was Chairman of the NEC in 1977 and President in 1978.

Jack’s principal contribution to the Society was as National Liaison Officer with NALC. in that capacity he led officer negotiations with NALC on salary and service conditions matters. He helped frame the first Model Contract of Employment and persuaded NALC to recommend adoption of local government (“Purple Book”) conditions of service and admission to the local government pension scheme for all full and part-time clerks.

Kathy James

A keen golfer, Kathy James holds the record for winning the Society’s annual conference ladies golf competition more times than any other member.

The former Town Clerk of Bridgnorth Town Council in Shropshire, Kathy stepped in to help at a key moment in the Society’s history when, following the sudden death of Society Secretary Paul Roberts in 1996, she took over the office of National Secretary and organised the transfer of all records and administration to Bridgnorth. Kathy continued to combine these duties with her busy town council clerkship until 1999 when Mike Elliott was appointed, pending the recruitment of our first full time Chief Executive.

Richard Walden

A member since 1976, Richard worked for two smaller councils before being appointed in 1985 Town Clerk to the newly established Dunstable Town Council which went on to become one of the largest and most active councils. From 1998 – 2005 he served as Secretary to the self help “41 Group” of those local councils designated statutory best value authorities. In this role he negotiated directly with Government and secured the first ever government grants paid directly to local councils. After serving as Chair of the Beds Branch and National President in 2005/06, he took early retirement in 2007 and went on to serve SLCC in various capacities including Conference Coordinator, Branch Development Officer, two spells at Interim Chief Executive and 10 years as editor of The Clerk magazine. During his second term as Interim CEO Richard managed the process for transforming SLCC from a scheduled trade union into a solely professional body as a company limited by guarantee. He also compered all residential conferences and several regional conferences from 2007 to 2020. Richard was elected an Honorary Vice President in 2016.

Richard Walden, LCC Associate

Laurie Howes

In 1987 in partnership with Steven Wright of the Staffordshire County Association (and later the Gloucestershire Association) and David Trafford, SLCC’s training officer, Laurie created the Certificate in Local Council Administration, the very first qualification specifically  aimed at the local council sector. The new Certificate was delivered by the School of Local Policy at Gloucestershire University where Laurie was a senior lecturer and course leader. In 1989 a Diploma and BA Hons degree courses followed which were delivered through distance learning. Countless clerks and others in our sector owe Laurie a debt of gratitude for how he has helped them develop their professional potential. The courses are now delivered directly by SLCC (see Elisabeth Skinner).

Margaret Grimster

Another founder member of the Society, Margaret Grimster was our first Honorary Legal Advisor serving in that capacity from 1972 to 1982. during this time Margaret wrote a regular “legal snippets” column for The Clerk and contributed numerous articles in local council administration and health and safety topics. She also produced the first Clerk’s Handbook, the forerunner to today’s Clerks Manual.

In 1984 Margaret was elected President and in 1987 became only the second member of the Society to be made an Honorary Vice-President ad she continues to be most active in that capacity.

Duncan Wright

A charted accountant by profession, Duncan, Clerk to Hatfield (South Yorks) TC was the last member to serve as SLCC’s Hon Treasurer, before the position became a full time paid post. His period in office coincided with a dramatic increase in SLCC’s activities and financial turnover making an honorary position no longer viable. Duncan was elected National President in 2013.

Nick Randle OBE

Nick was serving as Clerk to Chard TC when he was appointed SLCC’s first Chief Executive. Initially the position was part time and based at Chard Council but Nick’s enthusiasm for developing the Society’s services to members that a full time position became essential and the membership, under trade union rules prevailing at the time, elected Nick their full-time CEO. Membership saw a huge increase and, under Nick’s guidance the services offered to members increased dramatically. New headquarters were established in The Crescent Taunton but Nick’s greatest achievement was undoubtedly the securing of the 2005 National Terms and Conditions agreement with NALC which saw numerous members enjoy substantial increases in salary. On retirement in 2012 Nick was appointed an OBE by Her Majesty The Queen.

David Preston

One of the very first Local Policy graduates, David throughout his long and distinguished career as Town to Oswestry and later as Chief Executive of the National Association of British Market Authorities, has been an active SLCC member and passionate advocate for developing training opportunities in our sector. He was elected National President in 2017.

David Preston, CEO, NABMA

Anne Wilson

Another early Local Policy graduate, Anne was the final member to act as National Training Officer before the post became a full time paid position. She has also been a member of the SLCC team of advisors for many years.

Anne Wilson FSLCC, Cover Advisor

Katherine Brown (formerly Owen)

Katherine, formerly Town Clerk to Caernarfon Royal TC, chaired the NEC/ Board during the crucial transitional period when SLCC ceased to be a scheduled trade union and became a solely professional body as a company with limited by guarantee governed by a Board of 18 directly elected Directors. A new trade union, ALCC, representing solely with employees within the local council sector was established at the same time.

Linda Larter MBE

Town Clerk to Weston super Mare TC and then Sevenoaks TC, Linda has the distinction of being the only National President to be elected for a second consecutive term of office (occasioned by the Covid 19 national lockdowns). Linda has been a powerful advocate for the advancement of civility and respect within our sector and has persuaded hundreds of councils to sign up to the Civility and Respect “pledge”.

Sarah Jeffries

Sarah has clerked several small parish councils in Wiltshire and has been a champion for the particular needs of those working for smaller councils. National President in 2018, Sarah has also served as Regional Director of IIMC and been a member off SLCC’s advice and learning support teams as well as leading our response to the challenges of new Data Protection legislation.

Sarah Jeffries PSLCC, Advisor & Induction Support Officer

Elisabeth Skinner MBE

Elisabeth joined the Local Policy teaching team in 1989 and ever since has played a key role in the dramatic advances in academic learning available to our sector. She has also written the landmark introduction to local council administration “Working with your Council”, which, after several changes has become the Introduction to Local Council Administration (ILCA) and the Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA) delivered through the National Training Strategy of which she has been a key partner. On the retirement of Laurie Howes (see above) she became the Local Policy Course Leader and when Gloucestershire University (UOG) could no longer directly provide the courses, she was appointed by SLCC as its Academic Leader and continued to provide Level 4 and 5 certificates and diplomas in partnership with UOG from 2012. Level 6 degrees stayed with the University. UOG ended the partnership in 2017 when Elisabeth led the negotiations for a most successful new partnership between SLCC and De Montfort University which now delivers a full range of academic qualifications up to Masters degree level. Elisabeth was appointed MBE by Her Majesty The Queen in 2019 For her services to education in local councils.

Elisabeth Skinner MBE FSLCC, Academic Leader

Bruce Poole

Bruce has clerked a number of smaller councils in Somerset where he has chaired the local branch for many years. Bruce is a Local Policy Honours degree graduate and continues to share his passion for life long learning by leading numerous courses and webinars supporting members develop their professional skills. Bruce was National President in 2010 and is a former Regional Director of IIMC.

Bruce Poole, CiLCA Trainer

Michael King

Presently Town Clerk to Whitby TC, Michael was elected the first Chair of the new Board of Directors and helped establish our new form of governance. He also serves as SLCC’s Director on the Board of the SAAA (see Howard Midworth above) which procures external auditor contracts for local councils and also helps advance standards of governance within the sector.

Cathy Tibbles

Cathy has served councils in both Warwickshire and West Midlands and Leicestershire and has been an active branch member in both counties. A former member of the NEC, Cathy also chaired the newly established National Forum as well as conducting the new delegates induction sessions at national conferences.

Lesley Swinbank

Lesley, the former Clerk to Sedgefield Town Council and chair of the Durham and Cleveland branch, was appointed manager of the Institute of Local Council Managers in 20?? and, upon the merger of ILCM back into SLCC in 2016, became our Professional Development Manager encouraging and supporting members to participate in our Continuing Professional Development programme, an initiative with which she will now for always be associated. Don’t forget to visit Lesley at her stand at any national event and be assured of a fun welcome and you may even win a sack of potatoes from her family farm!

Lesley Swinbank, Professional Development Officer

Mike Page

Mike joined the Society as it’s first National Training Manager in 202 serving until 2010. He implemented the Society’s plan for a significant expansion in training. He developed the regional conference programme whose initial agenda included the Minister for Rural Affairs, Alun Michael, speaking on the rural white paper. He also established the first practitioners’, and larger councils conferences. Perhaps his greatest achievement was the development of the society’s Continuous Development Programme which facilitated the creation of the Institute of Local Council Management in 2008.

Johnathan Bourne

Town Clerk to Wootton Bassett TC, for ?? years, Johnathan managed the royal ceremonies when his town was awarded the title of Royal Wootton Bassett in recognition of the dignified manner in which the town had marked the repatriation of fallen service personnel from Middle East to nearby RAF Lineham. On retirement Johnathan was appointed the town’s first ever Honorary Freeman. Johnathan served two terms as Chair of the NEC and was instrumental in the evolution of SLCC into a solely professional body. Since retirement he has worked continuously for SLCC in various capacities including external affairs and aa senior community governance tutor. In recognition of his unique contribution Johnathan was elected an Honorary Vice President 2023, only the sixth person to be accorded this honour in SLCC’s 50 year history.

Johnathan Bourne FSLCC, Community Governance Module Tutor