The chief executive and town clerk for Trowbridge Town Council is planning to step down after the local elections in May 2025.

Lance Allan, 58, plans to take early retirement after next year's local elections are held as he approaches his 60th birthday next year.

Mr Allan said: “I will be 60 on 11th August 2025 and this is very much the main reason for taking my pension and retiring from Trowbridge Town Council. I will have been in post for 19 years and 11 months at that point.

“I intend to give the council my resignation letter formally at the first full council meeting after the 2025 election which is three months before my birthday.”

Cllr Stewart Palmen, the Liberal Democrat leader of Trowbridge Town Council, revealed the roles of responsible financial officer (chief executive) and town clerk will be split following Mr Allan’s retirement.

He said: “The roles will be split when Lance goes and we will be looking to recruit a new town clerk as well as a new RFO. Whoever takes over won’t have to do both the RFO and the town clerk role.

“We haven’t got a detailed job specification or salaries yet for both roles. We will be doing that before the next local elections when we start to recruit.”

Wiltshire Times: Trowbridge Town Council Chief Executive and Town Clerk Lance Allan plans to retire next year after the May local electionsTrowbridge Town Council Chief Executive and Town Clerk Lance Allan plans to retire next year after the May local elections (Image: John Baker)

Trowbridge mayor, Cllr Stephen Cooper, said: "Any decision that Lance makes about his future with Trowbridge Town Council is really for him to communicate when he feels the time is right, but if he were to decide to call it a day next year I for one would miss having him around.

"I’ll always be grateful to Lance for being willing to share his knowledge and experience with those willing to listen.

"Lance is one of those people whose office door is more often than not propped open, and that to my mind sums up his attitude to his role within the council.

"As a newly-minted councillor in 2021, easy access to his advice and guidance certainly helped me get to grips with the protocols of the council  chamber.

"That understanding that I can rely on Lance to share his expertise and counsel hasn’t really changed to this day, and for that I am still thankful.”

Conservative opposition councillor Edward Kirk, who has frequently crossed swords with Mr Allan in the past in committee meetings and at full council, said: “Lance has been an excellent town clerk in terms of knowledge and particularly in advising the council on planning matters.

“However, sometimes I have felt that it is not the elected members making the decisions of the town council. Lance is a very hands-on town clerk and that has advantages and disadvantages.

“Whoever the town council decides to appoint in his place they are very very big boots to fill, but as a member I wouldn’t mind the change and someone wearing slippers. 

“It will certainly be very different and probably more like other parish councils where the members are more involved in the meetings.”