Mayor’s Secretary steps down after over three decades of council service

WINNING LINE-UP: The 2018 competition

Katie Neve, the Secretary to the Mayor, has worked for the Council since she left school.

Mrs Neve has looked after 29 mayors during her time in her current position, but is now leaving to become a clerk at a local parish council.

Katie told the Times how she first came into the role. 

She said: “My first job was at the Council and I’ve never moved from it since. 

“I moved up here to do my A levels from Plymouth as my dad got a job up here. I started at the girl’s grammar school, but I decided it wasn’t for me. 

“Then I started looking for jobs, and the Admin and Legal Receptionist job at the Council paid slightly more than being an estate agent.

“I started off just doing post runs and the switchboard, which I did for a year until I moved up into another position as Committee Administrator in the Council, which I did for about four years.

“It was there that I covered the Mayor’s Secretary while they were on maternity leave, and I’ve now looked after 29 mayors.

“Chris May is retiring from his position as Clerk at Speldhurst Parish Council and he is gradually handing over the reins to me.”

Katie also shared the highlights of her career and what she would miss the most about her role. 

She said: “My colleague and I were part of the National Association of Civic Officers and we put ourselves forward for the award for the best office and we won it in 2018.

“I also helped out in MP Greg Clark’s office for seven months during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Every year I am amazed at the public’s response to the Mayor’s Toy Appeal, which has been running for decades and really makes such a difference to many families in the borough.

“Out of everything about the job I will miss the people the most – which is what everyone who has worked here has said. They all work so hard and do so much for the community and really do make a difference.”

Katie also told the Times how the role of the Mayor had changed since she started at the Council 35 years ago.

She said: “The mayoralty has shrunk during my time at the Council, but the role is still so valuable.”

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