I am happy and honoured declares Marlborough’s new town clerk Derek Wolfe
After a debate lasting just 13 minutes – the public and press were excluded – a special meeting of Marlborough town council last night (Monday) chose 57-year-old Derek Wolfe (pictured) to be its new town clerk.
He took over as acting town clerk at the end of last month when Liam Costello, town clerk for the past two years, left Marlborough for a similar post on the doorstep of his home in Wootton, Northampton, and was selected from a short list of six candidates for the post.
The town council’s appointment was unanimous after just a short discussion and answers to questions.
Mr Wolfe, who has had extensive experience of local government over the past 35 years, told Marlborough News Online: “I am extremely happy and honoured to have been selected. I look forward to serving the town and the town council for many years to come.”
“I have some good ideas for tackling the tough times ahead but whether they are good ones or not will depend on the views of the town councillors. I have alluded to one or two of them already and I am sure there are other issues that will either will need to be examined because we need to be prudent or initiatives that will enhance the experience of the lives of those living in Marlborough.”
Mr Wolfe and one other candidate dead-heated for the post – in a salary band of £35,000 to £41,000 -- with the result that a group of town councillors other than members of the Staff Committee were called in to question the two applicants last Friday.
Was it a hard grilling?
“It was quite searching but I didn’t have any trouble with any of the questions,” said confident Mr Wolfe. “I delighted that councillors have shown faith in me by offering me the permanent post of town clerk.”
Councillor Edwina Fogg, who chairs the Staff Committee, told Marlborough News Online: “We interviewed six very strong candidates. Mr Wolfe stood out as a man of wide experience with positive ideas. He understands the minutia of local government from his considerable experience.”
“He will serve the town council very well. He will be staying here in Marlborough during the working week and is enthusiastic to become involved in the life of Marlborough. We are pleased to welcome him.”
Interviewed when he took over as locum town clerk, Mr Wolfe said he was hopeful for the future of Marlborough, adding: “I am optimist. And at the end of the day I can only really work effectively somewhere where I believe those around me want improvements and future enhancement for the good of the local people.”
London born and educated, Mr Wolfe began his local government career with the London borough of Harrow in 1974 and since then has worked for other London boroughs as well as town clerk of Keynsham, in Somerset, and Barry, South Wales.
He lives in Axminster, Devon, with his wife but will now take accommodation in Marlborough during the working week.
“I look forward to doing my best for the town and everyone in it,” he told Marlborough News Online.