New chairman relishes role in top job

CLIFF Cocker is used to the top jobs - and is relishing the challenge of being officially the first citizen of Suffolk Coastal.Former mayor of Woodbridge, Mr Cocker has been elected as the new chairman of the district council.

CLIFF Cocker is used to the top jobs - and is relishing the challenge of being officially the first citizen of Suffolk Coastal.

Former mayor of Woodbridge, Mr Cocker has been elected as the new chairman of the district council.

Councillor for Woodbridge Seckford, he moved to Suffolk to work on the construction and operation of the Orfordness Radar Station from 1970 to 1973.

After a short spell at the Post Office Tower at Martlesham Heath, he then returned to his original profession as a chief engineer in the Merchant Navy. After redundancy, he returned to building services engineering at RAF Woodbridge until 1991.


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He is chairman of a small Woodbridge almshouse charity, and also of the advisory committee of the Deben Family Centre, while he is also a committee member of the Coastal Accessible Transport Scheme and Woodbridge Community Council.

Mr Cocker said: “It is a great honour to have been elected as chairman of the council for the coming year. I have now lived in Suffolk for 37 years and recognise the unique qualities of this district's people and our environment that makes it such a great place to live, work or visit.

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“The role of chairman is largely ceremonial and I look forward to representing this council and the district while meeting the business, community and voluntary organisations who are working for the wellbeing of all those who live within our area.”

Mr Cocker takes over from Sir Peter Batho. Jim Bidwell, of the Melton and Ufford ward, was elected vice-chairman.

Also at the annual meeting Ray Herring and Andy Smith were council re-elected leader and deputy leader respectively.

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