OTHERY’S Parish Council chairman has stood down after serving the village for 44 years.

Mervyn Winslade, 76, has lived in Othery his whole life and has also served on numerous boards related to drainage, farming, the local church and school.

For his efforts Mervyn was made an MBE in 1998.

“There were a few things going on in Othery in 1974 that a lot of people didn’t approve of, so a few of us decided to run for the parish council, and I have been there ever since, mainly as chairman or vice-chairman,” Mr Winslade said.

In that time Mr Winslade helped to oversee the construction of a new cemetery car park, the building of six new low-cost homes in the village, and the handing over of a small playing field to the community.

“We tried for over 20 years to get more affordable housing in the village, tried various sites and eventually after a lot of persistence six new low-cost homes were agreed upon, built and are now occupied,” Mr Winslade said.

“The addition of the car park has made that area safer and we managed to prevent the playing field being developed upon.”

As well as his work on the parish council, Mervyn has been heavily involved with Othery Street Fayre, has been a school governor for 33 years for Othery and Middlezoy and sat as chairman of the Othery, Middlezoy and Westonzoyland Drainage Board for 20 years.

Not only that but he has been church warden in Othery for over 50 years in two separate shifts, been chairman of the Bridgwater branch of the NFU and helped found the village Neighbourhood Watch in Othery.

“I guess I have always had a passion for village life and have always felt if you could help you should.

“That might be old-fashioned and you don’t see it as much these days but I am proud to have been able to help my community all these years.

“But I decided I would be 80 at the end of this council term so decided it was probably best not to stand for election again.”

Mr Winslade said he was pleased Othery Parish Council was in good hands going forward and thanked councillors for their kind words.