CALLINGTON’S Portreeve will step down from the role later this month.

Mayor Mike Tagg says he doesn’t think it’s fair to try and keep the job up after he moves across the Tamar to live in Devon — and he’ll be retiring from the Town Council as well, after almost ten years as a member.

In a letter to councillors and staff, Cllr Tagg, 79, said: “I regard myself as a hands-on Portreeve and I cannot do that from Tavistock, plus I don’t think it is fair on our ratepayers who deserve a 100% Portreeve.”

Current deputy Suzan Tolman, who was Cllr Tagg’s predecessor as mayor, will take up the position of acting Portreeve after the Council meeting on November 22. In the December meeting there will be an election for a mayor who will hold the fort until the Portreeve-choosing in May 2023.

Cllr Tagg said he felt that Cllr Tolman had been “the best Portreeve the town had had since Jeremy Gist” and that he was leaving things in very capable hands.

Hinting at some rather rocky moments during his tenure, Cllr Tagg said: “My retirement is not, and I repeat not because of the plotting, scheming, and general backstabbing by a couple of senior councillors who should know better. My wife and I have the opportunity to move to a retirement apartment in Tavistock.”

He added that after a career as a Troop Sargeant in the Royal Marines, the hardest thing about the job on the town council was “being diplomatic”.

But the bulk of his resignation speech to colleagues focussed on the positive achievements of both the council and the various groups in the town.

“We now have a closer and more fruitful relationship with our many groups: The Poppy Volunteers, Lions, Rotary, the Church, Police, the Town Forum, The Cornwall Bakery, Tescos and many more,” he said.

“This community began working more closely together in the pandemic, with various groups collecting and delivering food and prescriptions to the old and vulnerable. The poppy group brought many together and made us proud, with the “Poppy Wave” even reaching the national and international press.”

Party in the Park and the Platinum Jubilee celebrations followed, all thanks to individuals giving their time and money and by making a team effort, he said.

Listing some of the things he was proud of, Cllr Tagg mentioned the CCTV system in town, the Town Council taking on ownership of St Mary’s Square, the new toilets, the refurbished town murals, and an upgraded IT system, which allows residents to access free Wi-Fi in the council building.

Callington has one of the lowest precepts in the county thanks to the council’s RFO (Responsible Finance Officer), he added.

Among very recent achievements, the outgoing Portreeve wanted to make mention of the newest mural on the wall of the Town Hall, and an £80,000 ‘Youth Monies’ grant from Cornwall Council, which he said had been long-fought for, and which would be held for the Youth Steering Group while the group decided on the best use for the money.

He said: “I would like to sincerely thank all councillors and staff who have supported me in making Callington and Kelly Bray, just that little bit better to live in.”