Okehampton Town Councillor and former mayor Jan Goffey will step down from public service this year after the local elections in May.

Cllr Goffey said she had decided not to stand for re-election in the coming local elections in order to enjoy her retirement and spend more time with her family.

She said: ‘I would like to spend some time actually being retired.

‘I’m still involved with various other things in town. I’m still a trustee in the museum. I’m still coordinator for books on wheels for the library ­­— the home delivery services. I’m doing all sorts of things that I would like to spend more time doing.’

Cllr Goffey has been a long-standing and active member of the town council, having sat as Okehampton’s mayor for two years (2016-2017), and fighting to solve some of the town’s most pressing issues including campaigning for the re-opening of the hospital beds in Okehampton Hospital, which were closed ‘temporarily’ in 2017. Cllr Goffey has battled on several occasions to try and get them re-opened.

Currently Cllr Goffey is liaising with Core 20+, part of a national NHS group aiming to reduce health inequalities across England, to put together a report to argue the case for the hospital bed re-opening.

Cllr Goffey said: ‘It’s taken all these years since 2017 when we jumped up and down saying, “this is going to be inhumane. You’re going to get people dying far away from home and their loved ones can’t be with them because they can’t get there on public transport” and now we’re seeing the exact thing happening. It’s happened since day one.’

Cllr Goffey has also been heavily involved in Sponsor a Slate campaign, which was set up to raise money to repair the Charter Hall roof and its ventilation system as construction costs have risen dramatically since the start of covid and the cost of living crisis.

The town council started the campaign in October last year asking residents to donate £10 towards a roof slate for the Charter Hall, with the aim of matching the £250,000 already set aside for the repair work.

But it has not all been hard work. Cllr Goffey admitted that she had especially enjoyed meeting such a wide range of people during her years of service, particularly during her time as mayor of Okehampton.

She said: ‘I actually enjoyed feeling that we have got some responsibility to improve the town. I’m trying to do our best fighting for things.

‘I enjoyed the people side. I enjoy being there because of all the people that I met, the people that I came in contact with and the lovely supportive community that is Okehampton.

‘I hope that those still young and fit and active will step forward to take my place on the town council because that’s what we need.’