Hucknall councillor describes outgoing council chairman as a friend of the town

A Hucknall councillor has publicly praised the outgoing chairman of Ashfield District Council as his year in office came to an end at the authority’s AGM.

Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 10:07 pm

Over the past 12 months Coun Arnie Hankin (Ash Ind), has been representing the council at dozens of events across the district.

And Coun John Wilmott (Ash Ind), who represents Hucknall North, thanked him for his support of Hucknall in that time.

During his time as Chairman, Coun Hankin has raised more than £4,000 for his two chosen charities, Cancer Research UK and The British Heart Foundation.

New chairman of Ashfield District Council, Coun David Walters (left), with new vice-chairman Coun Dale Grounds (right) and outgoing chairman Arnie Hankin

Commenting on his time as Chairman, Coun Hankin said, “It has been an absolute honour and privilege to serve the residents of Ashfield as the chairman.

"I have loved every single minute – it has gone far too quickly.

"I’d like to thank all councillors and council officers for the support they have given me over the last year.

"Special thanks must also go to Coun John Smallridge (Ash Ind), who has been a marvellous vice-chairman.”

Coun Wilmott said: “Coun Hankin has been an excellent chairman of the council.

"He is a great friend of Hucknall and, in fact, is related to Hucknall man John Godber.

He has had an outstanding year as chairman and made regular visits to our town.

"This includes when I asked him to come to Hucknall to celebrate a ladies’ 100th birthday at short notice and he dropped everything and made the lady and her families’ day as he turned up wearing his historic chains of office.

"He has supported businesses, recognising their loyalty and extra efforts to serve our town, and been a regular visitor to Titchfield Park.

"On behalf of Hucknall – thank you.”

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The new chairman is Coun David Walters (Ash Ind) and Coun Dale Grounds is the new vie-chairman,

Coun Walters was first elected in 2019 and since then has represented the council as an armed forces champion, member of the local Civil and Military Partnership Board, governor of the Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, member of the Nottinghamshire County Council Health and Wellbeing Board, and as chairman of the audit committee.

He retired from the military after serving decades with the armed forces, both in uniform in the RAF, and as a civilian as part of NATO forces in Europe.

After the fall of the Iron Curtain and the reunification of Germany, Coun Walters returned to the UK in 1997 and worked until his retirement as a management systems auditor for a world-leading German healthcare company.

He said: “I am proud to be the new chairman, it is an honour.

"I’d like to thank Coun Arnie Hankin for his dedication over the past year.”

CounGrounds, was also first elected to the council in 2019 and has been a prominent figure in the community.

He is well known as his alter ego, Spiderman as, during the pandemic, he was unable to visit hospitals as Spiderman and so video-called children he would normally have seen in person.

He also became a volunteer at the Ashfield Health village vaccination centre, during the Covid vaccination programme.

He said: Becoming vice-chairman is a huge source of pride for me and I will strive to continue to make a difference in the community.

“I’m looking forward to my first civic duty.”