Ashbourne’s newest town councillor hopes his appointment will help bring back the town’s community spirit and spark an interest in its future development with the younger generation.
Sean Clayton has lived in Ashbourne all his life, and is passionate about rekindling the town he remembers from his youth.
In particular he wants to encourage more people to have their say on what happens in town, and to show them that their opinion does matter, and can make a difference..
The 45-year-old said: “One of the biggest problems I think is that people don’t believe they can influence what happens in town- and I want to show them that if we all work together we can enjoy a town that reflects what we want it to be.”
He is particularly keen to see the waterslide and May Fun Day organised, and said it would be a welcome return for the carnival spirit of the past.
But he also knows it’s not all about fun and games, and he said he is ready to tackle some of the bigger issues facing the town, such as housing, traffic and future development.
Sean is a keen outdoor enthusiast and spends his weekends walking and indulging his hobby for foraging, with his wife Suzanne.
He said: “We don’t really watch TV, we are much happier out in the countryside.
“Ashbourne has some fantastic green areas and that’s another thing I want to see preserved for future generations.
“I love taking what Mother Nature offers, and using what we find to cook and even make wine, and I love going out hunting different kinds of fungi.”
He is also an enthusiastic gardener and enjoys cultivating gourds and exotic plants.
Sean and Suzanne got married last year, and he has three grown-up children from his previous marriage: Charlotte, Ryan and Chelsea.
He lives in Park Estate and is a former pupil of Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School.
He said he decided to join the council as he wanted o give something back to the community.
He said: “I thought that the time was right to do something to help shape Ashbourne’s future.
“I am settled in life, and wanted to get involved in something worthwhile.
“I’ve done all the usual charity things, like bungee jumping, so when I heard there was a vacancy on the council I thought that would be perfect for me.”
Sean knows it won’t be an easy task ahead of him, but he hopes that during his time on the council he will be able to make a difference and help to keep Ashbourne a special place to live.
He said: “So many friends have asked me if I know what I am letting myself in for.
“Well, I do – I know it won’t be easy, but if we all work together then I believe the Ashbourne we all love has a great future.”