SECRETS FROM THE COUNCIL CHAMBER
by Ted Sherrell
With his knowledgeable and humorous approach in telling these stories from a
westcountry council chamber, Ted Sherrell provides a wry insight into the
workings of local government and what it is that councillors actually do – or perhaps that should read ‘don’t do’.
At the meetings councillors are faced with the most unlikely proposals and
subject matter. They could be dealing with trees that are in the way or
dropping their fruits on people, or dogs that leave their droppings in public
places, or unreachable flagpoles, decrepit bridges or even the need to set up
committees under government policy that never actually do anything!
The problem with all the discussions and decisions is that each of the
councillors have their own strong individual personalities and quirks, and
these can quickly make them appear either outrageous or extremely inflexible.
Whilst democracy is obviously essential, there are other considerations – can they afford the proposal, which proposal will close the meeting quickest to
allow them to go home, and will the outcome affect their chances of
When we consider that many of those who eventually reach the hallowed halls of
Westminster start out as elected councillors, it is perhaps not surprising that
the one true principle that can be seen running through our democratic system,
just as occurs in this book, is that of procrastination – and perhaps it’s just as well!
Born and educated in West Devon, Ted Sherrell has had an interesting and most
diverse working career; past work including being a civil servant, newspaper
reporter, fireman, factory worker, door-to-door salesman, insurance agent,
shopkeeper, proofreader and as a business adviser calling principally on farms
in Devon and Cornwall.
A farmer’s son, he has worked amongst and been around the farming and rural communities
of Devonshire for most of his life. He draws greatly upon this background – plus his various working experiences – when writing his novels and short stories.
In past years he gained an Honours Degree in History through a correspondence
course and, as well as his writing career, Ted Sherrell was for many years
involved in local government as a member of Tavistock Town Council, where in
2013 he was made the first ever Freeman of Tavistock. He has also been a member
of West Devon Borough Council and is a Justice of the Peace.