Colnbrook pays tribute to Roland Hewson after 19 years as clerk

Colnbrook Parish Council bid a fond farewell to its clerk of nineteen years on Tuesday, with councillors giving three cheers and a round of applause.

Roland Hewson, left, has driven the  Parish to explore alternative options

Roland Hewson, left, has retired after 19 years as parish clerk.

Roland Hewson had been clerk and responsible finance officer from the inception of the Parish Council to date.  Originally due to step down in March next year Mr Hewson brought forward his retirement for personal reasons.

Typically more vocal on policy matters at parish meetings than most of the councillors present, Mr Hewson nevertheless displayed a willingness to engage and discuss issues – and even defend the council – beyond the confines of the Village Hall.

Being a Parish Clerk is a bit akin to an iceberg – you see a little on top but nothing of what goes on underneath.

Despite preferring more traditional forums, Mr Hewson managed over 50 postings on this website over the last two years alone, contributing to public debate in a manner we could only hope some day may be emulated by his elected colleagues.

His passion for this village was evident; shortly after the fledgling parish was formed he donated the Colnbrook Community Cup in the hope that it would foster community spirit.   His dedication was such that he missed just 7 meetings in 19 years but in 2012 his loyalty was put to the test when rival proposals for Green Belt freight interchanges pitched Hewson’s home town of St Albans against Colnbrook.  Mr Hewson sided with Colnbrook.

He once likened his role to an iceberg on these pages, insisting that people did not appreciate his contribution.  But Mr  Hewson grew increasingly impatient with “asinine questions” from “armchair critics” and the “moan a lot do nothing brigade”.

By last November he appeared to have run out of patience altogether, issuing a veiled threat to detractors online.

Once I am no longer the parish clerk I intend to meet some of these moaners face to face and see if their criticism can hold up to legal face to face debate with an independent legal representative present

The Chairman paid tribute to Mr Hewson during Tuesday’s meeting of the Finance & Policy Committee, the last meeting of the parish that Mr Hewson will attend.   He was thanked for all his work during the last 19 plus years, and members gave three cheers and a round of applause.  

During the meeting Mr Hewson officially handed over the parish’ Civic Map painting to the Chair.  The painting by the former vicar the Rev Peter Abrahams, valued at over £1,000, was in the safe keeping of the clerk.

Cllr Mrs O’Flynn, chair of Datchet Parish Council, joined the meeting along with Graham Leaver, Datchet’s clerk – and the anticipated successor to Mr Hewson should the details of a new “clustering” relationship between the two parishes get the go ahead.

Councillors voted unanimously to break with their usual August recess and allow an Emergency Committee to continue negotiations on July 21.

Mr Hewson’s contributions will be missed and this website wishes him a long and happy retirement.



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