Long-serving community leader to stand down from town council

Graham Minshull, former leader of Diss Town Council at a public information event. Picture Anthony C

Graham Minshull, former leader of Diss Town Council at a public information event. Picture Anthony Carroll - Credit: Archant

He has been the 'solid rock' of the community for many years who has overseen a number of important changes, including helping to bring back his town's Christmas lights.

And now long-serving Diss town councillor Graham Minshull is due to stand down from his town council role after 11 years.

Although he will remain on South Norfolk Council, the 51-year-old said he felt it was time for someone else to have a go at the town council.

He has held a number of roles at the authority, including town mayor in 2012 and the council's first leader when the role was established in 2016.

Mr Minshull said: 'Yes, it was a difficult decision but it is a very different role nowadays compared to when I first started.

'I just felt that after 11 years, I had become a bit tired.'

Mr Minshull, who has lived in Diss for 30 years, explained that being a town councillor was a demanding role.

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He said: 'Being a councillor requires around 20 to 30 hours of work a week and people don't always understand that is a voluntary role.

'Cuts to central government grants have given councils an awful lot more to do with less money, to provide the services a town like Diss needs you have to be very creative.'

Looking back on his time on the council, Mr Minshull said there had been quite a few highlights over the years.

In particular he highlighted giving the freedom of the town to the Royal Anglian Regiment in 2013, bringing back Christmas lights to Diss in 2006 and working with the community to establish the Fair Green Neighbourhood Association.

When asked what advice would be to his successor, Mr Minshull said: 'The people of Diss expect high standards and you have got to continue to provide them.

'It can a thankless job but it can also be hugely rewarding.'

Trevor Wenman, current Diss Town Mayor said: 'The council will not be the same without Graham.

'He has been a solid rock for many years. We have been through quite a lot of changes over the years and he has kept our spirits up, he has done a very good job and we are very grateful to him.'