'A man of Honiton'

PUBLISHED: 07:51 21 May 2008 | UPDATED: 21:50 15 June 2010

The year 2008 will be remembered by Chris Tratt as one of personal achievements. On February 17 he and wife Jean celebrated their ruby wedding anniversary. They have two grown-up daughters, Julie and Clare, and four grandchildren. Councillor Tratt, 64, is

The year 2008 will be remembered by Chris Tratt as one of personal achievements.On February 17 he and wife Jean celebrated their ruby wedding anniversary. They have two grown-up daughters, Julie and Clare, and four grandchildren.Councillor Tratt, 64, is a Honitonian and was educated at Honiton Secondary Modern School."I have been an agricultural engineer since leaving school," he told the Herald."I've worked for myself for the past 18 years, and more recently have worked mostly on lawnmowers."For 32 years Mr Tratt was a member of the Special Constabulary, rising to the rank of Assistant Divisional Officer. He looked after three local areas and co-ordinated 36 volunteers. "I was supposed to finish at 55, but carried on for another two years," he said. "I joined Honiton Town Council shortly afterwards, five years ago."Mr Tratt is chairman of Honiton's CCTV committee and is a member of the Local Action Group, which forms part of East Devon's community safety partnership.He was elected to East Devon District Council in May last year and serves on the authority's licensing and scrutiny committees. Pressure of work led him to stand down from the development control committee.Although elected to the district council as a Conservative, Mr Tratt is adamant that politics should never play a part on the town council. "It's the last thing I'd want," he said."I'm looking forward to representing the town as mayor, although I am feeling nervous about the mayor-making ceremony. I'm going to have to put some time into writing my speech!"Mr Tratt says he is looking forward to working with the new deputy mayor, Councillor Vivienne Ash."I think we'll make a good team," he said.When he is not working or serving the community in a voluntary capacity, Mr Tratt enjoys fishing, gardening and riding motorcycles.n Vivienne Ash commands respect as a local councillor. She is respected by her peers at Knowle and by fellow councillors in the town she serves.A hardworking and diligent councillor, she is never short of time to keep abreast of changes in local government. Neither is she stinting with her time when it comes to consulting with and working for the community.She is a staunch supporter of the proposed Honiton Community Centre complex and recently instigated the launch of focus groups in the town, set up to look into ways of improving street cleanliness and also providing more affordable homes in Honiton.Councillor Ash was humble in her acceptance of the deputy mayor's role, after receiving a huge majority in a secret ballot.She told the Herald: "Initially, my reaction was one of shellshock. "I felt really humble and it took me back, but it is an honour."I've got such a lot of respect for Chris and I am sure we will work very well together."Councillor Whitlock's time as mayor has been a good period for the town and I hope that Chris and I can also achieve positive things during our terms of office."Hopefully, it will be a positive time for Honiton.

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