Newport bids farewell to town council stalwart after more than 25 years service

Staff at Newport Town Council have bid a fond farewell to their clerk this week after more than 25 years service.

Sheila Atkinson is retiring after 27 years with Newport Town Council
Sheila Atkinson is retiring after 27 years with Newport Town Council

Sheila Atkinson has left her role as town clerk after taking retirement and Jo Reay has taken over the position.

Sheila says she has been humbled by kind messages received in her final week.

She said: "It has been very emotional as I have worked for the town council for 27 years, so have seen many changes.

"It's been amazing the amount of people I have heard from this week and I have had some absolutely marvellous messages. I am very humbled to say the least."

New town clerk Jo Reay, left, with Sheila

Sheila's career with the town council began with a six-month work experience placement for women returning to work.

The training was designed to update typing and administration skills and she was employed to support then town clerk Dee Halliday.

"It was an exciting time as the town council had moved from its home on Water Lane to the soon to be completed refurbished grade II listed Guildhall on the High Street," Sheila recalls.

"I have seen and been part of many changes as the town council has grown and developed.

"The constant golden thread that has run through my time with the town council has been the community of Newport.

"There have been some challenging times and some difficult, unpopular decisions have had to be made.

"The public sector is not always a popular choice for a career, but I feel I have been lucky enough to have worked with many dedicated volunteers, private sector professionals and not least councillors who serve this wonderful jewel in the crown of Telford & Wrekin.

"I could not have lasted this long without the valuable support of colleagues, friends and councillors and I will use a quotation from one of my cards – 'We have cried, we have laughed and made memories for life'."

Sheila says she is leaving the town council in good hands with the new town clerk.

"Jo has a wealth of experience in her working career in both the private and public sector as well as being a mum to four lively boys," said Sheila.

"She is very excited to be joining the team as the council continues to develop, grow, and support the wonderful community."

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