Former police sergeant takes on the mayoral chains

New council chairman ready to repay the warm welcome shown in a cold winter

A FORMER police sergeant has been elected as the new Mayor of South Molton.

Dave Goodman spent 16 years in the hot seat at South Molton Police Station after moving to the town in 1977.

Speaking to the Gazette after his election as council chairman last Tuesday night, Cllr Goodman, 67, said one of his earliest and fondest memories of the town was the warm welcome he and his wife Jenny had received.

“When we moved up here from St Columb in Cornwall, South Molton received us with welcome arms and as mayor I want to be able to give something back to the people who looked after us so well,” he said.

“Shortly after I arrived we had a very harsh winter and lots of motorists became stranded in snow on what was the old A361.

“As police sergeant, it was one of the first major incidents I was called to deal with. I remember phoning people in the town I hardly knew to see if they would take in some of the stranded motorists and was amazed at the response.

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“As the night went on, people started phoning me to see if they could help and I think in the end, we managed to find temporary homes for around 120 motorists and their passengers – including a few pets!

“Even today I know that some of those stranded people keep in contact with the families that put them up for the night.”

Cllr Goodman – who has a son and a daughter and three grandchildren living in the town – was born and bred in Launceston. He became a police cadet in 1961 and joined the force in Cornwall 1963.

An independent councillor, he said he wanted to do his bit for the people of South Molton.

“I don’t believe in politics in local government, particularly at the town and parish level,” he said.

“Sometimes I think it does more harm than good.”

While he said he was keen to see the town council work with the relevant bodies to help deliver a new health centre and junior school for the town, Cllr Goodman said the next year would be about saving money rather than spending it.

“South Molton has done very well for the last two years and outgoing mayor Steve White has done a very good job,” he said.

“The town has a new children’s park, new toilets and the new youth resource centre will be open very soon.

“We’ve had new paths laid at the community woodland to enable disabled access and the roads at Pathfields are set to be resurfaced.

“But this year, due to the financial situation the country is in, I think it is time to consolidate.”

Cllr Goodman will select his deputy mayor and will be ceremonially sworn in as mayor at the annual mayor choosing event in the guildhall on Wednesday, June 15.

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